Sunday, March 25, 2012

Proud to be a teacher


THE article “Making a difference in life, one person at a time” by columnist Soo Ewe Jin (Sunday Star, March 18) suddenly got me moving energetically again.

Time and again, friends have asked me: “Is it tough or difficult being a teacher nowadays?

“Have you ever met parents who declare ‘Touch my child’s hair and I’ll see you in court’?”

Yes, it is indeed tough being a teacher these days.

You see, early in the year, when it’s time to collect fees, I become an accountant.

When a small fall happens in school, I am the doctor on call. When it’s near the exams, I become a motivator; time for class decoration, I am an artist; during Teacher’s Day, I am a stage performer.

A broken chair? At once I become a carpenter, not forgetting being a cleaner when a pupil vomits in the class.

When things go missing and they cry, I become a detective and investigate; during an argument, I am the judge; when pupils fall sick and in cases of emergency, I am the ambulance driver.

When they are sad, I become the circus entertainer; early in the morning before the school assembly, I am the guard and the traffic warden making sure they cross the road and enter the school safely.

The list can go on.

On top of these, being an English teacher in a semi urban school may seem like a daunting and uphill task in getting the pupils to love and speak the language.

However, the thought of making a difference in one student’s life at a time, keeps me going.

No point complaining or lamenting about the lack of parents’ support or the pupils’ lackadaisical attitude.

I will do my part because I care for them.

I believe the aura of the children keeps me young in my heart at least, and the joy in seeing their innocent faces makes my day.

To all the educators out there, do not feel defeated, upset or disheartened when the road we’re trudging seems long and winding.

Someday, somewhere out there, a pupil is bound to appreciate us for just that little thing that we had done for him or her.

I have experienced that. A few months back, a former pupil from my college practicum days (25 years ago) came all the way from Britain to visit me.

I take pride in my job and am loving it, too.

OOI MEI GEK,
Johor Baru.