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She, the Teacher

Posted on November 12, 2021 | No Comments on She, the Teacher

And they say teaching is best done when the mentor knows what she preaches like the back of her hand. She never ceases to learn and continues to live life brimming with zeal to gain more knowledge and acquire more skills. The knowledge and skill she eventually fills herself with, she then passes on to her apprentices.

A teacher is she who constantly feeds herself with new information and innovates not for her personal benefit, but for others. That same she, who though subjected to barrels of ridicule and criticisms, still teaches anyway. She never asks for a cent in return. Rather, she is contentedly grateful for the rare occasions she gets to be acknowledged and recognized smiling at a mere “thank you” from a person whom she has touched.

Such kind of mentor goes by the name Emy Cardino, a diabetes educator for more than 15 years. Having graduated cum laude in food technology from the University of Santo Tomas, Emy didn’t have any inkling that she would end up teaching people about diabetes until fate itself worked its way through her life.

During her college days, hers was the last batch that required a year of diabetic internship before they were allowed to take the board exam. “That time, most of the patients that I handled were diabetics; when I was doing my thesis I was also focusing on persons with diabetes,” she recalls. “Everything was just coincidental.”

Practically unaware that fate was leading her to become one of the best diabetes educators today, Emy once spent time in the food service where she managed a restaurant and a cafeteria. She also taught at the University of Sd’nto Tomas where she taught 3″ and 4″‘ year college nutrition students and had a brief stint as a teacher in the graduate school. Another feather in Emy’s cap was maintaining Diabetes Watch magazine’s nutrition section for a few years and eventually writing for newspapers thereafter.

Jill-of-all-trades she may seem, but she admits that 75 percent of her career is really spent in the hospital setting. Here is where she hones her knack for teaching about diabetes with ease. However, in her line of work, it is a given that not all patients are bound to be happy with what she is doing.

“Not all patients are appreciative of what I do. Some of them even argue with me,” says Emy. “It’s part and parcel of the job that your patients may become irritable and get mad at you; that they may snob and even blame you in the process. It’s all part of the job.”

Despite all these, nothing beats the recognition of each and every person that she has helped. “If I come across a patient that I have taught or have helped and they talk to me and still recognize me as their teacher, it makes me happy” she says.

“In fact there’s this one patient who had diabetes at 16, she’s now married and with a child but whenever we meet she and her mom would greet me,” she reminisces. “I didn’t help them financially but I taught the girl more about diabetes.”

Being a diabetes educator is not easy at all, but Emy, who brims with joy and vigor with her work make it seem like being one is a breeze. Pain, annoyance, and blame may slump her spirits down but people who come up to her and tell her the beautiful effects of her teaching warms her heart and keeps her going, she says.

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