What Is Your Biggest WHY? #Weeklies

Week 38/52 #Weeklies




Today marks my 10th year here in the US. Yes, time flies! 

Ten years ago, it was just a dream. Up to now, I am still amazed by the transitions, changes, and everything in between those ten years! I only have gratefulness to God for allowing me to experience life as it is.

My stories are ordinary to some, but to me, there is always something extraordinary hidden within the simplicity. I always tell myself, if I can inspire one, then I am okay. It is still a ripple for good.

I encourage teachers who dream of teaching in the US to ask themselves why they want to do it, why school districts in the US will hire them, and most importantly, their most significant reason they want to leave our country?


Because it all starts with why. What is your WHY?


I believe there are only two things that could happen if you know your "why." 


First, you will act on it and be responsible for it. 

Second, you become its victim.


Dennis, my husband, works as a seaman when I met him. I told him I do not want a seaman because my father worked as an Overseas Contract Worker too, and yes, he provided for the family, but he was away while we were growing up. 


But love won, so I married him. 


Two years after, we had Mymy. Dennis was not there when Mymy was born. 


When Dennis came home after nine months, Mymy shooed him away. Typical, right? She did not know him. 


After four years, we had Mimoi. That was my eye-opener and my biggest why. We have two kids, and they did not have a father who was "physically" with them (at least for nine months a year).


I thank God for my father and brothers for being there and being my kids' father-figure. But it still would not suffice. Why? Because I was also without a husband for nine months. 


Friends, this was my story. You may have a similar one, and you have a different way of looking at the situation. But you see, "To each his own." 


That was my biggest why.


Now, what were my choices? 


First to act on it responsibly. Or second to talk about my story over and over and not do anything about it like a victim.


I chose to dream, so I decided to act responsibly. 


When I did that, events led to its fulfillment, like magic! 


Magic because when I focused on my "why", the "how" showed itself. I took the plunge, I went with the flow, and I allowed God to lead me to where He wants me to go. 


We are always at His mercy and grace. 


I urge Teach-USA applicants to continue to pray about your calling. If God is leading you to try our agency to help you, then trust Him. If not, then trust Him.


But, as soon as you know your "why", please choose #1. #2 will lead you nowhere.


To my fellow co-teachers who were with me that blessed Sept. 21, 2007. 


Cheers to 10 years!






62 comments:

  1. it is such a wonderful way of fulfilling one's dream..taking the first step..and see what God can do. More teachers to be successful.

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  2. HOPE I WILL BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM TOO, MAAM. MY HUSBAND IS ALSO A SEAFARER SO I CAN RELATE WITH YOU PO. I JUST ACCIDENTLY LOOKED INTO YOUR PAGE ONE NIGHT WHEN I WAS CHECKING MY FB. I KNOW GOD IS LEADING ME TO GREATER HEIGHTS. MAY GOD OPEN DOORS FOR ME AND MY FAMILY PO...

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  3. Ma'am Gemma,as i read your story i feel like crying because i'm experience now for what you have experienced before.My husband is also an OFW and a little chance or opportunity were together with my only son.His vacation is one month only in a year. We miss him a lot mostly for special occasion.Growing his son without his side was very hard.I Hope that someday we like togethere forever,through teach-usa!

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  4. Hello...! I salute all of you brave, hardworking and efficient Filipina Teachers and congratulations for reaching 10 years of teaching in the USA. Indeed, your Why's and How's plus God's grace, faithfulness and thru Teach-usa.net led you through 10 years full of challenges and rewards. I rejoice with you and I dream to be one in the future if God's will. Please pray for me.

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  5. This is the answer. Thank you Lord.

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  6. Hello ma'am Gemma, feeling so blessed to have scrolled upon the Teach-USA FB Page, thanks God for your advocacy to help other teachers who shared the same dream with you. You WHY is so relatable like me as a single parent. I hope God will hear me out again this time through you, amen.

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  7. I really like your story.Thanks for sharing and inspiring us. I do hope God will also show me and guide me towards my ultimate vocation and purpose in life..

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  8. I am also dreaming to teach in the US for the future of my children. I think this is the answer to this dream.

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  9. Hello Teacher Gemma, may I ask, how to apply as J1 Teacher in this institution you had? Pls help me to be a member of this group thanks

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  10. I am still confused where to submit my requirements.

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  11. Hello ,I salute to all Filipino teachers who bravely stand out in their dreams to explore what is beyond from their own country.Kudos....

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  12. Hello everyone, I am a Solo parent, a widowed at the age of 33 I lost my husband(died at the age of 36 due to end stage Chronic kidney disease.) Together with my son We are now about to face the new chapter of our life together and I hope and looking forward to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to get a chance to work in USA as a teacher and along with me will be my son. Thank you very much and I hope to hear a positive feedback from you soon. Thank you

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  13. Indeed, your biggest why is simple yet inspiring especially for teachers who have children like me whose main goal is to give the best for the family even if it takes the biggest sacrifice or risk. I am forever grateful for your openness to share your storu and for my friend who referred Teach-USA as my possibility of becoming a chosen US teacher in God's perfect time.

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  14. This is God's calling I know that He is the one leading me to teach in the US because I have been dreaming so many times about this. And now is the time to fulfill my dream in going there to teach...Lord please guide me always and bless me to my new journey.Amen

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  15. Hello po! What an answer to the biggest WHY po mam. Iam always inspired reading teachers' experiences in teaching the US. If God's will I want to be one of them!

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  16. Hello. I wish that my calling is also to teach in the US. To inspire kida there.

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  17. I want to broaden my horizon as a teacher, that's why I was attracted to this page... I know God is leading me and I want to tell Him to lead the way and experience His leading in my professional life.

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  18. My why is pay my loan, whilen i stay in Philippines i can pay it. If God allow me Thank you Lord I offer my whole swlf to you

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  19. I can relate to your story, ma'am. I am also a wife of a seafarer. I grew up without a father and so I want to build a family where we, as parents, are physically present in order to support our kids emotionally, spiritually and financially. At the same time, I want my children to grow in a place where there are many opportunities for them to explore.

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  20. Pray to live the American dream.Enrich my experience, that is teaching here and there.

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  21. I hope I will be given a chance to live my American dream also.

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  22. Hi Ma'am Gemma! I have just read your story. It's so inspiring! Same with you, I also have my biggest why and that, I hope, and pray would lead me to fulfill my dream of teaching in the USA.

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  23. Good Day Ma'am Gemma!its a big honor to read this inspiring story of every one,like others story.My biggest WHY that God help me a lot to fullfil my dream come true

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  24. Hi Ma'am Gemma! I was inspired by your story that in your journey God be with you along the way. I believe if you have dreams and faith you have to step out of it. Teaching and living in America is my prayer and my dream. I want to support my family, my church and to help others. Thank You Jesus for leading me and i want to start this journey.

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  25. I want to grow professionally with your team ma'am Gemma, I hope that God will give me the opportunity to teach in the USA because that's one of my biggest dream to teach. Thank you ma'am Gemma for sharing your love and concern to all teachers here in the Philippines.

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  26. Hello! I'm Epoy. I'm willing to take the challenge of serving young children in the US through teaching. I'd like to touch young lives through my passion, at the same time, look for greener pasture for my family and loved ones, and be a blessing to anyone whom I'll be meeting along the way.

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  27. First of alla,a single mom for 9 years. I have a big dream for my 3 sons. I don't like that they suffer the same hardship in life that I had experienced.

    Secondly, I want to learn other educational system especially curriculum implementation and improve myself. As a school head for 12 years, i also want to share my knowledge and experiences and culture among students, teachers and parents as well.
    Finally, US is my dream country.

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  28. That is a really inspiring story ma'am Gemma. It's been a month now after my father rested in peace. I've been a teacher for 2 years in Thailand but chose to go home because my he was terminally ill. Now that he's gone my biggest WHY in striving harder in life is my mother and my brothers. I want to give them a brighter future. I want to continue the legacy of my father. I must take care of my family and be the man of the house now that he's gone.

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  29. Hello ma'am Gemma, your story is very inspiring. I am one of those teachers who are also aspiring to teach, learn and share my expertise and experiences as a public school teacher here in the Philippines to the young children in the US. It is my hope and prayer that God will answer all my prayers and dreams through you Ma'am Gemma as God-sent angels on earth.

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  30. Hello! I'm Bart Its my biggest dream to teach in other countries especially in the U.S. I am Public School teacher for almost 20 years in the Philippines, and I always looking forward to grow professionally. I love to teach children especially elementary pupils. I am a fighter I'm always willing to accept the challenge and opportunity. Its my biggest chance to share my expertise not only here in my country but also to other country like U.S. God bless all the teachers.

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  31. Yours is a heart-melting story Ma'am. I feel you since I was once an OFW in China. Not long after I left my family to work as a Foreign English Teacher, my husband also followed to work in another city in China. We were both away from our lovely daughters for years, missing special and momentous events in our kids' growing years. Then, just last year (2020) we were fortunate to go home to spend our supposedly short winter break together , but that short break lasted for almost two years now since we're stranded due to this unexpected pandemic. Yes, we manage to bond with our family for a much longer time, but a bit frustrating since my husband and I are left with a hanging and uncertain hope as to when we can finally return and resume our work in China. The current banning in China has greatly affected not only our career, but above all, our kids' future. Thus, I've been searching other ways to seek for any possible work opportunities for us to be able to provide for our family. I am hoping and praying that one day, God will lead me/us to the right and perfect workplace He has in stored for me/us. May this agency be a channel of His grace and mercy for us. Thank you so much🙏

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  32. Very touchimg story. I am very much willing, too..
    to serve my teaching profession to Teach-USA.

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  33. Very inspiring stories. I am a Sped Teacher for almost 25 years. I am a solo parent of 3 kids. My two daughters are now in college and may son is in grade 10. IT is one of my biggest dream to teach in USA and share my expertise as a Sped Teacher. I have working been so hard to give my family a better future to think that I am the only one supporting my family. Hoping and praying that one day God will lead me to a perfect workplace and through TEACH USA my biggest dream soon will come true with GOd's grace. Thnk you so much .

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  34. A very touching stories from those who were away from their families but I knew that these would be one of the risks we must to take just to reach our dreams. Am serving the Department of Education in public elementary school for 22 years, 10 years as primary teacher and 12 years as school principal. I just want to fulfill my dream to Teach-USA and to grow professionally that's WHY am very much willing to apply. May God grant my prayers with your help ma'am Gemma and your company. May God bless us always!

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  35. it melts my heart. I am willing to impart my teaching skills to TEACH- USA

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  36. It has always been my dream to come and teach in the USA.Right now I'm preparing to take the needed requirements
    to be able to fulfill my dream of giving my family a bright future.I'm very much willing to impart my knowledge and skills thru Teach USA.May it will become true in God's perfect timing.

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  37. As I read some of these comments since I am new in this site I was amazed their shared stories and their big" WHY". For me it`s been my big dream to explore other culture , their life styles, and to find more greener pasture, but in the first place it was been a big why because I don`t have capacity to do my dream, and US is the country which Iam dreaming to go. Hope you will give me a chance to realize my dream. I am a primary teacher here in the Philippine for 17 years, but until now my economic status as average only because my husband depend on me only. Hope you can help me and God will guide me to obtain my dream comes true.

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  38. It's been my dream to work in USA which I think big opportunities waiting for me. I hope that God will give me this opportunity .

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  39. My biggest why is that, why others can pursue their dreams teaching in the USA, how about me? Its been my dream to be in the USA, to work, to explore and to learn many things from different people with thier different culture. Why can I? if others can. Hofefully, through the TeachUSA, they will be one of the bridge to achieve and attain my goal to become one of the Filipino teacher in the USA as cultural- exchange. It would be a great and awesome opportunity to serve other country without any reservation and hesitation.

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  40. It was my mother who influence me on becoming a teacher. But when I started teaching it became my passion. I have proven my worth as educator but still there is WHY because there's more that I can do through teaching while making money... Why not try explore through teaching? Indeed, while teaching other nationalities I will earn a bigger amount & investing knowledges.

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  41. After reading your testimony, I think, this is the start of acting on my whys and doing the hows. Thank you. I would love to see you ma'am Gemma when I'll get there. ---Robi

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  42. It's my ultimate dream to be part of teachers group in the US. I believe that it will be helpful for me to maximize my talents and sills in teaching

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  43. It is my ultimate dream to work as a teacher in USA.I have same story with other members in the group. My husband was also an OFW for almost 10 years and now he stayed for good and my son is about to go to college. It was here where I started to dream big.I believe that my experience as a teacher for almost 15 years will open door to new opportunities, opportunities for myself and my family and also to my future learners in USA that I will be imparting them 21st century skills of a Filipino teacher.

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  44. Teaching in America would be a dream come through. I always wanted to experience a new culture, explore new things and places and meeting new friends. In God I put my trust.

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  45. I really want to help my family. We're 11 children and I'm the 9th child out of 11 children .

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  46. I want to experience and know more about the culture of the USA. I also want to learn new things, share my knowledge and skills with others as we all journey together in making a difference in the lives of learners.

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  47. Wow!what a beautiful and touching story of your "WHY?" Ma'am.And the truth is,that is my Biggest "Why" too.I have two kids .Life is not easy without a husband especially in times of need not just financially but physically.Igave birth of my two chikdren with CS Without my husband.

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  48. To the teacher behind this beautiful story of her biggest "WHY?", congratulations to you and to your family, ma'am! Indeed, God is good! :)

    Here's my biggest "WHY?" too...

    When I was in college, I wrote a dream book where I put down everything I wanted to do in my life such as, "To be a mental health advocate," "To build my own school or tutorial center for kids," "A better life with my family," and "To live and to teach abroad." Up until now, I always go back to those big dreams. And it is always in my heart. I love and enjoy teaching because I know that it is my purpose: to inspire the young ones to have a brighter future ahead. I also do believe that my experiences in teaching Junior High School and having 8 tutees during weekends or in my free time are my stepping stones that I can also showcase my expertise and my heart of teaching in US. Of course, I also want to learn and explore more about my profession.

    I do know that Dreams Do Come True even the seemingly impossible ones.

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    Replies
    1. God is good!
      Dreams do come true.
      See you soon!
      And yes, that's my story.
      Thanks for reading! - Gemma

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  49. There are so many reasons why I would like to work as a teacher in the US. One of these reasons is to give my sons a better future. I could send them to college and have a better life of their own. I want to continually send my younger son to therapy because he is a PWD. I need to secure his future by providing him his needs like sending him to good school that will help him to be independent. I need to help him to stand by himself by sending him to therapist.

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  50. I've been reading successful stories of teachers working in the US. I am encouraged and motivated. If they can make it I am sure I can make it, too. I just have to work hard and give my best. I want to make my dream come true working in US moreover the dream of making the greatest change in my family's life.

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  51. Hi maam, Im Kathleene from Philippines. I'm also a public teacher here , the reason why I am planning to work abroad as a Teacher cause my salary here is not enough, especially I'm racing my own child alone without the support of the father of my Baby. And I want to experience the culture in the USA and It is my dream to work and live in USA. I'm Hoping that God will grant my wish as I'm starting to accomplish all the requirements needed here.

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  52. Cheryl Anne Marie Messam-BurrowesApril 10, 2022 at 10:55 AM

    I have travelled to the USA countless times but never had the opportunity to teach there. I would want to add this experience to my teaching portfolio and be able to further impact the academic community.

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  53. I want to teach in the USA beacuse as early as nine years old, i have always dreamt of becoming a teacher and work in the US. Twenty years ago, it seemed so unreal but as my friends left one by one to try their luck there in the Land of Milk and Honey and returned home with a big smile, That's when i knew i know i can also do it. I sharpened my skills in the past twenty years and knew the ropes of my trade by heart so i know i have an edge to make it big there in the academe. Another thing is... i want to secure the future of my daughter. Life in the Philippines is getting even harder and i know it could get even worse five to ten years from now... if the wrong presidential candidate wins. It is getting to be helpless here as an ordinary employee

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  54. Inspiring! thanks for sharing your experience...and your faith in God. I wish I have that strong desire to pursue my dream.

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  55. Despite adversities in life since July 1, 2020 until this 2022 a successive trials devastated our family but with strong faith in God that after all storms in our lives there is always hope and sun will shine again.Thanks Lord I was able to develop ability to withstand adversity and bounce back and grow despite life’s downturns this because of my long dream to travel USA in order to gain international experience,achieve personal and professional development and unite with the world.Until this time keep on praying for God's mercy for the approval of this dream.Until this time I keep on doing my best moving forward because I firmly believed of miracle that will happen by just a wink of an eye if God is now ready to answer your hearts desire.I just hope that with the journey of ma'am Gemma I can ride on her bringing me to the place wherein I can experience a very rewarding work environment that would help me ease all the pains and grief in life . Ma'am Gemma and with your team you are my inspiration.

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  56. I do envy all those teacher applicants who got their respective job offers and j1 visas. I am really fascinated by your story. For me it is quite complicated because most of my relatives are in the USA since early 90's. My father wasn't that fortunate to obtain a non-immigrant visa because he died while he was waiting for his parents petition during the 90's. That is if I would be able to be given the chance with your assistance and guidance for a teaching job I am very much interested. What is my Why? I would like to experience how is it going to be different when your students are AMERICANS who speaks ENGLISH as their native language while my students are speakers of other languages. I am currently teaching here in the ROYAL KINGDOM OF THAILAND. I would like to share the THAI culture and how is it different from other countries. I have been here for almost 17 years.

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  57. I am also Dreaming like you. But I have 3 Dreams, 1st Teach in America, 2nd Live like American, 3rd Provide the needs of my Family here in the Philippines. How Inspiring and very encouraging.

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