Dear Teacher

By Elie - 12:30 AM

In case a lot of you had missed out or have simply forgotten since we've left school for a while now, today is the actual celebrated "Teachers Day". Some days it's not easy to remember trivial days like these be it that we've just brushed them off and took them lightly or that we just can't be bothered to care. Truth is, I've been forgetting for the past few years but somehow I remembered it today. It's an odd feeling having to remember about teachers when all you do nowadays in colleges is address them as Sir, Miss or Mister.

Teachers always felt like such horrendous people in my life back when I was younger - probably when I was 7 or so when I began studying in a government school and life wasn't all about fighting for a piece of block like in kindergarten anymore. I didn't have nap times, there was no more sit down story telling times and no one fed me with Scot's Emulsion Cod Liver Oil in original variant anymore. Okay maybe the last one wasn't too bad, I hated it anyway. But the point was, everything became serious. Exams with 40% grades or less meant I was a bad child and getting 100% suddenly sounded like such a great thing. Not being able to count 3 x 3 meant I was stupid and knowing my multiplications by 12s would have put me on a genius state.

As times rolled, recess periods were such bliss, after school bells was the best sound to hear all day and the point of standing up to stack our chairs onto our pencil-drawn tables was the greatest thing to do. I hated school, there was no doubt about it. I hated homework, I hated exams and I hated numerous teachers of mine. Not all, just some. Those who smacked my hand for not remembering my tables, those who put me out of class for not bringing my book and those who simply shamed me by shouting at me for doing something naughty. In my head, I was the right one. They were merely monsters trapped in someone's body giving me orders.

This continued onto high school when they stopped me from bringing my phone to school; something very "cool" at that point of time to do. They confiscated our poker cards (AHAHAHA HEATHER, PUI YI AND SEUK YEE I HOPE YOU GUYS ARE READING THIS!!!) and told us to get into our sports clothes no matter how much we would feign sickness. I hated teachers. First I hated school, then I hated teachers. I hated them for failing me, for splitting me up from my best friends when we sat together in class and for giving me homework to do. I hated them for making me memorize so many things and ultimately still pretend like they cared. What lies, I thought.

Today I'm a college student, nearly a graduate but still there. I realize how much teachers must have had to suffer; telling us day in, day out to remember our facts and to know our subjects. It must have been torture to have to wake us up from our sleep or from having to stop us eat in class. I never realized how much trouble I must have put these teachers in when I threw things out the window or when I failed a paper. It wasn't just me facing the music for a red mark in my report card, it was them talking to my old folks, explaining to the head of the subject and possibly the principal by the end of the day.

It looked like such easy jobs, just reading out questions from a worksheet and sitting down in a room with a full blast of air-conditioning penning down red ticks or huge crosses over papers and books. We always thought of how you had the freedom to leave the classroom and head over somewhere else while we were stuck to the same environment for hours and hours but we never thought of how tiring it must have been to climb those flights of stairs from a Form 4 class to a Form 1 class at the other end of the school. We never took to understanding the bad for you because we always saw it as that we were suffering and you held the end of the string to laugh at us.

So for this year's Teachers Day, my dear teachers, I wish to say a great big thank you. We never understood you through our younger days but today we try. We always thought of you as nothing more than just someone who would come and go but never did we think that you've been there to teach us, to guide us and to lead us to a path to success. We could claim how colleges or universities has given us job opportunities but what we have failed to remember is that it was you who had led us here - our higher education and our success by the end of the day. Thank you for your sacrifices for us, the time you have thrown in for us, the holidays you have foregone for us, the times you put made yourself either look like the devil or a fool, all for us. Thank you dear teachers, for being there for us. This is to you, from me and a whole lot of others.

For my educators in Strawberry Hills Child Development Center, Damansara Heights: Ms. Tan, Mrs. Aik, Teacher Debbie, Mrs. Mohan, Mrs. Maniam and Cikgu Ina. You had to teach me how to count, how to speak proper English and write with good grammar. And a special thank you wish to Kakak Jo who is now back in Philippines, with your family and children of your own. You had to live with my endless crying for the first 6 months of my kindergarten days. (Don't ask, I used to think my parents would abandon me in kindergarten. I was so unloved hahaha!) You have all been great, thank you.

For my teachers in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Bandaraya: Puan Rahayu, Puan Noraini, Puan Masnani, Puan Pauziah, Puan Rohani and Puan Koh who have all been my class teachers. Also to Puan Ong Ai Geik, Cikgu Shahrol, Cik Yurita,  Encik Balen and my numerous other primary school teachers. You have all had to give me a foundation to grow, my pathway to learn and a lit way to grow. You have all been there living with the immature child, the 7 to 12 year old me. I was horrible but you have all endured it. Thank you.

For my teachers in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Bandaraya: Puan Ong Be Be, Cik Kuah, Puan Ooi, Puan Ng, Puan Jasbeer, Puan Ranjit, Puan Salmah, Cik Shahrizad, Puan Hasleeza and my numerous other secondary school teachers. You guys had to endure the growing youth in me. You had to handle the 13 to 17 year old in me. The one who thought I knew more about the world than you ever could, the one who thought I was so intelligent on the street, I needed nothing else and the one who had never been so wrong in hopes you will all forgive the impulsive teenager I was. Thank you.

And finally to my tuition teachers in various places: Mr. Neoh who used to live down the street from my house. You didn't give up in the stupid in me who never understood math. It's amazing how you turned my D into a B for my UPSR and PMR. Datin Khoo who taught me accounts. Your nagging and your scolding and the fear you instilled in me gained me my first diploma at the age 18 with top scores for SPM. Thank you for that. 

Ending this wordy piece with a clip I found a year back. It's a production from Singapore filled with a message that brought tears to my eyes; knowing the love teachers had for us. Thank you all.

So teachers, maybe it will be time for our dinner soon. :)

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