When Am I Ever Going To Get Over This? (~_~)

I'm supposed to be marking some exam papers (promised my sister I'd get it done by morning) but I just cant seem to get my mind to do it. 'Why?' you may ask. Well, I suppose there are things that should be left unsaid but I do believe I should share this with other teachers (or any human being) as well.
As stated in my past post, I had just recently graduated from a teaching college.  However, truth is, I am not so proud of my degree.  Reason being is I graduated with this:

"Saya pass kan awk sebab kesian je kat awak."
(English translation: "I passed you because I sympathize with you.")

For your information, these words keep ringing at the back of my mind (sometimes even while I'm teaching a class). I admit, I have not been the best student (ever since I was in primary school, my teachers have always seem to see a label on my forehead that say: 'good for nothing'...

even my counselor said that I shouldn't be a teacher because I'd ruin the kids even AFTER the career test I took shows that I've got the right personality - and mind you, I'm not making this up) but trust me, when I do something, I put all my effort into it.  Right now, because of these words, often, I would think back and worry whether I really am ruining these children.  I tend to doubt my self even if I don't want to because if I really am ruining these students, I should never even be near them.  They are, after all, our future.

So, why am I telling you this? No, it's not because I want you to sympathize my luck nor to agree or disagree with anything.  But I would like to show (from my experience) how a teacher's words could effect a student.

When I take a while to reflect on myself, I know I am a person who has strengths and weaknesses.  Naturally, that's what a human is born with.  Nobody's perfect.  But, I know that I am not ALL bad. I'm hardworking and I love to learn about new things.  While I was at school, people tend to think I'm a bad influence because I listen to rock music and prefer wearing pants than baju kurung and they think I'm emo because I like to sit alone, walk alone and read alone (that's the only quiet time I get with myself back then anyway - how can you do any form of thinking with people gossiping and giggling around you anyway?).

So, let me ask you this:

What would you do if you saw one of your students who just couldn't keep up with your expectations of a 'good student'? 

In my course of life, my teachers tend to give me that stare and think that I'm just unreachable.  There were also people who said I have a brilliant mind but a disappointing attitude. But very rarely has anybody held my hand and guided me in the right direction (actually, there was a senior in my school who tried to help me get along with others - she was a Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya - her friends stayed away from her after seeing her talking to me and well, she just had to avoid me in the end - which I don't blame her for).

Being a teenager is rarely easy.  Without support and guidance, it would probably be difficult for anyone to go through this life unharmed. Because of what I went through, I tend to try and reach my students in any possible way.  It hurt me when I didn't have anyone who tried to understand me and who ran away when I tried to reach out to them.  I hope my students and my future sons or daughters do not have to go through the pain that I had to go through.  Thus, at this moment, my teaching beliefs are based on this wish.

It may be my confidence that has hurt me all this while.  But as a person who puts all her effort in her work, it killed me the minute I heard that I passed because of sympathy.  But my parents and sisters have never taught me how to give up and for that reason, I am so very thankful.  And I am also thankful that Allah has given me a chance to get to know an amazing person who has always been there supporting me even from far far away =)

Till this moment, I have met students who had all sorts of problems - family, friends, self-esteem, peer pressure and etc.  And I have never succeeded in teaching any student who is burdened by their problems.  Not many of my students opened up to me because I asked them 'What is your problem?'.  And no - I don't know each and every one of their problems.  But they came to accept me because I showed them I'd be there IF they needed my help.  And often, after they come to accept me, teaching these problematic students seem to be less frustrating because they don't mind being in my class and learning what I'm teaching them.

We're all human beings and human beings have feelings.
If you feel you don't wanna be hurt by others, try your best no to hurt others.
You never know if what you do to others will bite you back.
Forgive but never forget because if you forget, you'll never learn from that experience.

P/s: I do realise this post is just my uneducated ramblings but I hope it did at least make you think of how important it is to consider your students as human beings before judging them.  I believe there's always a better way of saying something.



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~ an English teacher, an eager learner and still figuring out what it really means to be a TEACHER

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