Proud to be a daughter of educators
They shoulder their responsibilities with pride, care deeply for their students
IAM blessed to be born into a family of teachers. My uncle would proudly regale us with the story of how our late grandmother taught one of my brothers to read.
Each time I listened to that story, it is as if I’m being taken through a magical experience.
I imagined (as we fondly called our grandmother) persevering in making sure that my brother, Azad, was able to catch up in his lessons.
Apart from my parents and grandparents, many of my uncles and aunties have also become teachers.
For them, educating others does not stop after school.
It is their way of life and it is not limited to books and exams, but also involves other aspects, such as household chores, playing, singing and even a thing or two about relationships.
My elders, as well as my school teachers, played a huge role in my life and I am forever grateful to them. I would not be where I am today if not for their guidance.
Some of my sweetest childhood memories came from schools. I learned how to play hockey from a teacher in primary school (I can’t remember his name, though).
Despite being beaten to a pulp by Kluang High School (STK) in our first outing, I held on to the memory of that game. This was despite me unashamedly admitting that I can’t play hockey to save my life.
Of course, some of us would have encountered that “teacher” whom we do not want to remember. Despite this, I have always had high regard for my teachers.
Even after years of leaving school, when I bump into my former teachers, I still have a lively and friendly banter with them.
For this reason, I naturally get upset each time I come across derogatory comments and remarks about teachers.
One recent example is when someone posted a Facebook comment describing educators from a certain school, who wore school uniforms on Teachers Day on May 16, as clowns.
The last time I checked, there is nothing wrong with wearing school uniform to celebrate that special day, nor is it illegal to do so.
Teachers Day is the one day they can have things their way (within the law, of course) after a year of sweat and toil, and there is no harm in having fun on the day that is dedicated to them.
And, if all you can see is a group of people making a fool of themselves, then shame on you.
Teachers are not defined by the clothes they wear, but by the knowledge they impart and the values they inculcate in students.
Being raised by teachers, I have witnessed the late nights my parents put in to mark exam papers, the efforts my mother made in preparing teaching materials and how my grandparents were beaming with pride when talking about their former students.
There were also hilarious moments that some of my uncles had encountered in their classrooms.
The invaluable contributions of teachers were aptly described by Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah during a tribute luncheon recently.
He said teachers played a crucial role in shaping the minds of the youth and that the development of a country would come to a standstill if the education system was a failure.
Sultan Nazrin wanted the voices of teachers to be heard, as they are the ones who were in constant contact with students, and could give input that might help the government to draw up solid educational policies.
He also urged parents not to depend solely on teachers in raising their children.
In the past, albeit rarely, there were parents who would show concern during parent-teacher meetings, and make it a point to visit their children in school.
But today, we hear of busy folks sending text messages to teachers, asking them to stay back after school to look after their children because they will be late in fetching them.
And, also these days, social media like WhatsApp has become an extension tool in the lives of parents and teachers.
For some, it is a nightmare when queries start appearing in the wee hours or while relaxing on weekends!
Despite these “extra duties”, teachers still shoulder their responsibilities with pride and care deeply for their students.
I am sure it means a world for them to hear that there are people who appreciate their efforts and sacrifices.
To all teachers, have a belated Happy Teachers Day.
The writer is NST’s Perak bureau chief. A fan of rock music and a coffee addict, she loves talking to people, but appreciates time alone by doing yoga or reading thriller novels