I must be one of the luckiest people on Earth, because I have met many great teachers in my life. Besides our parents, teachers are usually the ones whom we spend quite long time with, especially during our primary and secondary school days. I had a few horrible teachers too. Luckily, they were not too many.
*You can continue reading paragraphs in orange for stories of not-so-great teachers, but it’s not necessary. 😀
I remember when I was in Primary 1, one of the mentioned horrible teachers stuck pieces of cellophane tape in students’ mouths (almost the entire class, including me). Apparently, we were making too much noise. On one hand, I could empathize how she was feeling in a noisy classroom. On the other hand, I felt quite disgusted over her actions. I do not hate her. But I think she shouldn’t have gone this far as we were only Primary 1 kids. She did apologize in the end over her actions after several parents (including mine) went to see principal to seek for clarification. It was NOT that kind of “parents scolding and flipping tables” meeting. It was a calm and civilised discussion. I was there in the meeting since everyone “involved” had to be there.
The second horrible teacher I had was when I was in secondary school. She was actually not so horrible (just a bit) in her personality but she had quite horrible sense of fashion, on which I will not elaborate in detail. I know that everyone is entitled to their own fashion opinions, but seriously, she had like quite unpleasant make-up and unkempt manicure. I guess that was the reason why I did badly for that subject. Haha, that was an excuse but whatever. 😛
Enough about horrible teachers and back to the original topic, I want to share about teachers and mentors who have shown me a lot of kindness and guidance during my school years. (Note: they are not in any order of priority.)
My English teacher in secondary school was the one who somehow motivated me to become an English teacher. She did not talk me to it but I had great respect for her and her teaching. On her first teaching day, I remember her giving the whole class an English test. Being in a “premier” school in Johor Bahru somehow made us (me and my fellow classmates) think that our English was generally good. But almost everyone flunked that test. Lucky for me, I got a B. But I’d never received a B in my entire school years. Initially, many students hated her for her action but I guess we did realise that she was doing this for our own good. True enough, from that day onwards, everyone started taking English seriously. I’m not saying that being well-versed in English makes someone a god, but I must say that it did help me communicate well with others and understand my subjects better during my university years.
During my university years, I also met many great lecturers, who have shown great patience and kindness to me. I majored in English Language and Communication. I like English a lot. But every time when someone heard that I majored in this subject, their first response was “English? You mean like grammar and stuff?”. Seriously, these people were so shallow. English is so much more than just “grammar and stuff”. And, communication is not just about “talking with others.” My university lecturers have taught me so much about English communication, from the perspectives of teaching, linguistics, mass communication, psychology and even photography!
Later when I started working (teaching), I continued my master degree in Linguistics. Again, when people heard about “Linguistics”, their first response was “Linguistics? You mean English and grammar?”. Seriously again, these people were so so so shallow and (erm, let me check for other synonyms of “shallow”) superficial, hollow, depthless, empty, etc. Again and again, Linguistics is not just about “English and grammar”, it’s so much more that I can’t even explain it in a single blog post like this. Anyway, I gave up on these shallow people and everytime they asked about “Linguistics”, I would reply “Well, it’s not like you will understand it anyway so I’ll not explain further.” Sound shitty? Totally NOT, especially towards these “shallow-ers”. My university lecturers continued to amaze me with the world of linguistics. I have learnt so so so much from them. Now that I am no longer going to class, I actually kind of miss those times I used to spend in classrooms, exchanging constructive ideas with my fellow classmates and lecturers.
As a teacher myself, I understood that being a teacher is not an easy task. Students sometimes do not understand our position and think that teaching is a “free-and-easy” job. I have heard people saying “Teaching is easy, everyone can teach.” I can assure you that this is NOT true. NOT everyone can teach. NOT everyone has the skills to teach. Even if they have the skills, NOT everyone has the passion to teach. I’m so lucky to have studied and worked with teachers, lecturers and mentors who are really passionate and knowledgeable in the field of teaching.
To students out there, it is important for you to show respect and gratitude to your teachers. Teachers DO NOT NEED your presents or flowers. What we want is for you to learn and understand the things we have taught you, and get good results for your subjects (although we don’t really benefit from it because your good results determine your future, not ours). Also remember, please DO NOT say to your teachers “Oh, we pay for the school fees so we are your customers. Therefore, you cannot scold us.” (This is personal experience). I believe respect is mutual. If you have fulfilled your responsibility as a student, your teacher will definitely show you the respect you deserve. So please do not expect your teacher to like you if all the things you have done are not submitting work on time, being late for class, not paying attention when your teacher is teaching and worse of all – wearing horrible clothes (that merely cover your skin/butt/boobs). Remember, respect is earned, not asked for. And, you will need to respect yourself first before expecting others to respect you.
In fact I do know some teachers who are simply teaching for the sake of money but this blog post is not dedicated to such teachers. This blog post is dedicated to teachers who have shown hard work and passion in teaching, not for the sake of “earning money”.
Dear teachers, thank you for your hard work and guidance. I appreciate all the support and love you have shown me all this while. I hope I have been a good student, too! 😛
HAPPY TEACHERS’ DAY! ❤ ❤ ❤
Love from the pink monster ❤