I am Thomas Jefferson A. Fernando, top 3 of the recent Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) last January 30, elementary level. I graduated from Pangasinan State University – Asingan Campus under the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) program. An interesting fact about my education was that I did not go into formal schooling during college and that was the reason why I enrolled under the ETEEAP program which was a way for a person like me who had a lot of life and work experiences even if I was not yet a college graduate. I was 31 years old when I graduated college due to financial and family problems and thankfully, someone also helped me to finance my educational needs.
I experienced a lot of problems. First of all, I did not attend any formal schooling during college, and I did not have the face-to-face experience of being inside a classroom while listening to the professor during his or her lectures. I only read the modules that they gave to me and it was very hard for me because I didn’t have someone to ask about my questions. I was also a working student, so I really need to use my time wisely for work, studies as well as for my home/online tutorial services. I also supported myself during review days and I was the one who paid all my fees during review and the books that I wanted to read for the LET examination.
I solved this problem by being motivated to learn and by being passionate about teaching. It all started late when I realized that I love teaching, so I really did my best during the review days. I worked while studying at the same time. Apart from that, I also grabbed the opportunity to learn online during the pandemic and to get a lot of review materials online as well.
I also believed that I cannot do it alone, so I enrolled in a review center near us and it was Carl E. Balita Review Center (CBRC) Cainta Antipolo. I enrolled there during my face to face review days last 2019 onwards. Even when they shifted to an online setup due to the pandemic, I was with them. They helped me with a lot of review materials to read. The lecturers were very accommodating and helpful to us. They were very helpful to me especially with the books and materials that I needed to ace the LET exam.
I would like to tell whoever is reading this that age doesn’t matter. God is always there for us. We all must patiently wait for God’s perfect timing in our lives. I was once lost and anxious if I will still become a professional, but God made everything beautiful in his own perfect time. Never lose hope and never ever give up. I know that we all face a lot of challenges in our lives, but we should not be tormented by fear and anxiety for we should hold on to God’s promises that He will always make a way.