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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Teachers - The Good, The Bad And The Ones I Remember

The other day as I was shopping I saw some promotion for Teacher's Day gifts. I hadn't realised that Teacher's Day was just around the corner. In Malaysia, Teacher's Day is celebrated on May 16. Teacher's Day is celebrated on different days for different countries. The schools usually celebrate it according to their own schedule around this date. This year my kids told me that the head of the school had informed the students that they had received directive that celebration for Teacher's Day cannot be so elaborate. The kids were disappointed. "We have to go back to class after some performances by the students to continue with our lessons as usual. There will be no party."

That reminds me of the time when I was a student. I was just an average student, quiet and not noticed by the teachers. So none of the teachers made an impact on me either since I was not a teacher's pet. So I do not remember many teachers, certainly not their names but some faces do stand out.

Like the one who jeered and called me "Butter Fingers!" when I couldn't catch the ball during PE. I also remember the one who sighed and said "Both your sisters art are so good but look at yours.... I don't know how or why.....blah blah blah" followed by another sigh. Oh and I definitely remember the headmistress who shouted at us to smile when we were singing in the choir. How could we smile when she wasn't? She was also the one who called me up including others and cut my hair without warning, just because the pins that was holding my fringe up had fallen off. How humiliating.

Then I remember the one who taught us sewing for home science. She shared her love for cross stitch with us and taught me a lifelong skill, love and  hobby. Thanks to her I have many pretty cross stitch pictures hanging in my house today. Here is my cross stitch gallery on Squidoo. She didn't have to do that. She could have just followed the syllabus (sewing boring aprons etc which we did) but she went above that and got us pretty things to sew and we all loved it.

I remember the kind and calm one who couldn't quite control the naughty boys in Form Four. Then there was the almost retired Math teacher who always wore white and who was funny. I also remember the law lecturer who loved to teach using mnemonics. We used to pass notes around to each other during his class.

Teachers and memories. I realize from this memory trip that bad things stay fresh in my mind. I can remember the exact look of that teacher who called me "Butter Fingers", her curly hair and big round eyes and how they stared at me in disgust.

As a teacher now myself to my own kids, I should remember to look at the big picture and try to make the memories good instead of bad. I certainly don't want them to remember the bad moments for life!


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