I am already in my 30s and yet each year, on this day I would be reminded of what someone did to me when I was 11 and 12 years old. That person, Ms B, gave me the gift of belief, the belief that no one else had in me that I had what it took to achieve. And to this day, I am forever thankful to her, and in many ways, I have tried to emulate her in the course of this profession that is an art on its own, that not many can master, yet let alone do.
Since we were young, I have been taught that as a Muslim, when a person passes away, 3 deeds will forever go on i.e one’s possession left to benefit the needy, the prayers of your good children upon you and lastly, knowledge which you give that benefits others.
Ms B, have benefited myself with plenty of her knowledge beyond the classroom. When I teach, there was never a moment I didn’t think of her and thought, given a similar situation, what would she do and how would she teach it/handle it. And this is not only for myself. 6 peers from the same class under her wings those two years ended up as teachers and to this day, we still keep in touch and fondly share notes on how she would teach us and how we can apply it in our own teaching methods at present. She was that influential as a teacher, and myself and my peers who have been given this gift of belief from her, will be forever be in gratitude to her and will continue benefiting our students from what we had learnt from her. And when she dies, I pray that this will be amongst her deeds which will benefit her in the hereafter.
I have since lost touch with Ms B. If I ever have the opportunity to meet her again, I would want to wish her a Happy Teacher’s Day, thank you for believing in me, thank you for all that you have done for me and thank you for being a teacher which none of us can hold the candle to.
And to the rest of my peers in education in Singapore who are celebrating Teacher’s Day today, a very Happy Teacher’s Day to you. I may have left the system, but I never ever set foot out of this profession. And for all of our struggles to educate, please take heart that no amount of money can be worth all that, and our reward is solely in HIS hands.
Cliche as it may sound, but yes, to teach is to touch a life forever, just like how my Ms B did.