Tomorrow, the teachers in Malaysia will celebrate Teacher’s Day. I was reminded of it by the boy I am homeschooling. Back in my hometown, we celebrate Teacher’s Day on 1st September, so I usually cannot remember the celebration in May here, although I have been here for 2 years already.
I remember a really long time ago, when I was a rookie teacher, barely in my first year of teaching, I had gone to the admin office to get some documents. There was a teenage boy, barely 18 years old, with tattoos on his arms and earrings dangling from his ears. His hair was heavy with gel. He was looking for my colleague.
In a while, my colleague walked in. He nonchalantly said his greetings in a very ‘pai kia’ manner and suddenly, I heard him say these words that made me stop looking for whichever document I was looking for and just turned and faced that boy and my colleague. The boy, grinning sheepishly and scratching his head as if he didn’t really know what to say, said to my colleague. ‘ Err eh cikgu… saya dah ada anak tau cikgu! Saya dah jadi bapak. Cikgu ni belum kawin-kawin lagi. Saya tak kawin pun dah ada anak’ …
Later on, I saw that particular colleague sitting in one corner of her work cubicle looking stumped. I’m not sure whether she had been crying but she sure didn’t want anyone near her for the rest of the week.
Over the years, teaching has given me the sweetest and the most bitter life’s lessons. My primary school teacher, who single-handedly pulled me out of my fear of Maths back then came to my wedding and I must say that was one moment I would cherish. I’m sure everyone has his/her own teacher to remember and I am sure, if any of my students is reading this, they too, would remember things about me which I myself do not know about
By the way, out of genuine curiosity, when the present day Malaysia’s retired teachers watch the news these days and see their ex-students from primary/secondary/college behaving badly in parliament and/or making the headlines for the wrong reasons, do you think they feel ashamed of the behaviour of their students and quickly do a disclaimer with ‘ aku tak ajar mereka buat macam ni !!!’ OR, do they feel that grudging pride which says ‘ haaa bagusss… dulu aku tak boleh buat ni semua sebab aku cikgu.. bagus lah anak buah aku buat ni semua biar sedunia tau betapa terar anak buah aku.. tengok lah siapa yang ajar.. aku jugakk….
In any case Selamat Hari Guru !!! 😛