Field Trip USA was on the tv last night. It is that tv show where they bring some Malaysian students to the US as exchange students. It is quite good that they offer some kind of different perspective to our local students as they can learn a lot about the culture of the people there. One of the exchange student even said that he likes the teachers there as they are different in their approach compared to Malaysian teachers. His favourite teacher there is a Social Studies teacher because the teacher likes to crack jokes and is like a friend to him. That is not actually surprising as even I, who is teaching right now, would like to have a teacher who understands me, rather than dictating what should and should not be done. Then I also read an article which discusses the impact that a teacher has on the students. The encouraging teachers who always say the right thing at the right time, who do not condescend the students whatever their capabilities might be, who have that little sprinkle of trust dust which would help the students to be confident of themselves, no matter how insignificant they might seem. So I tried to recall those teachers who have shaped me to be who I am today
Primary School : Cikgu Badariah - my Mathematics teacher who was very fierce but actually meant well. Teachers nowadays don't do things like she did back then. You don't do your work, be prepared to be pinched until it leaves a mark. Haha. Though I am not exactly a fan of Mathematics, I somehow realized that I like being calculative and technical even in my language works.
Secondary School : Miss Umi Kelsom - When you only have one English teacher for that 5 years of secondary school, you know that somehow, sooner or later, you would bond with that teacher. And I did, I have always liked being in her class as I would sometime escape some sort of punishments while my friends did not. Haha. She managed to make me love English and trusted me when other teachers did not. You surely can't ask more than that.
University : Madam Sri Hariaty - There was this time when we had a group work and have to write articles. For my article, I wrote something about the elements in water. Once the work was submitted, one of my friend from another class told me that she complimented my work in front of the other class and said that my work was good and I could be a writer for a magazine or something like that. Though I am not exactly a writer now, I feel that that recognition motivated me to write more and not to give up on writing. Though she did not say it directly to me, I will always remember how it affects me in my writing.
To have these teachers who have influenced you and helping you to be who you are right now is really a blessing. So last week when a student of mine gave me a letter, I was not expecting the things that she wrote in it.
Yes, she spelled my name as Sayfiq. Haha. I can't exactly remember when I said this to her but I am almost certain that I was joking. I was not expecting this letter at all as I would just say something without trying to preach or nag them. But I am honoured that at least what I said has some impact on them. At least she likes going to my class and enjoyed it. That is one thing done right by me. Haha. So being an educator is more than just teaching, it is leaving an impact on the students and helping them to improve. It is more than helping them to learn what is in the syllabus but to learn about life as well. That is not exactly an easy ride but that is something that I am willing to do.