I am guided on my research journey by my former students
I am Jean Lawrence S. Rodriguez, a researcher from San Fernando, The Philippines. For the last three years, I have been working as a teaching assistant at the Saint Louis College in La Union, Philippines. Since English is not my native tongue, I found it challenging to facilitate research since the topics of my students were not only in English, but also varied.
At first, I was hesitant to accept my school’s offer to teach research, but took it up nonetheless – I realized that I wouldn't know if I enjoyed it or not if I didn't try. Sleepless nights and really bad headaches became my life due to all the readings and revisions I had to do, but despite these, being a teaching assistant was one of the most fulfilling jobs of my life—I can attest to that.
I felt that I am one with my students and felt their hardships and pain when they had to revise their papers or start things from scratch. But I was the happiest when they were learning and were able to defend their dissertations, or got to learn more about people and essential communication by conducting qualitative research. I knew how they felt when they made an exciting discovery, developed a new perspective, or achieved something new through their research. I was such a proud, happy teacher!
So much for my journey as a teaching assistant. Today, I am pursuing a master’s degree that involves research and I am enrolled at a state university in a town near my home. I am working on my thesis and it feels like the tables have turned. From identifying a problem to the gathering of data and from figuring out the statistics to the final defense and finishing touches, indeed, research is more than a challenging task—it’s a tough and uphill journey.
I am specializing in language teaching and my study focuses on challenges in research writing.
With the busy schedule at work and home, I have been progressing at a slow pace. My writing keeps getting delayed. What's funny is that some of my students now coax and encourage me to finish my research. But in spite of the delays and challenges, I am happy that apart from my family and friends, the students whom I always guide and help are also the ones who guide and help me with my study. I thank God for the opportunity to be a researcher and a guide for researchers. I am grateful to be able to share a part of my research journey here.
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