Why did I choose to become a teacher?
Let me begin with the day when I told myself that I wanted to be a teacher who would teach in many different ways. When I was at Kolej Abdillah, I really liked English. I was 16 and naïve. However, I was so interested to improve myself. However, I was disappointed as my English teacher was only interested to teach the fast and rich learners. That was the day I promised myself that I would bring positive changes in school. I told myself, “If I become a teacher, I will try my best to be fair in class. I will not allow the weak ones to be forgotten and sidelined in my class.” This promise had caused me to take up TESL at Uitm, Shah Alam.
When I was there, I was humiliated by my classmates as I could not write nor speak good English. I thought I would not make it. Even my own lecturer claimed that I didn’t deserve to be called a university student. For your information, I was the only one who applied for the course by using my STPM result. The worst part was, I had never taken MUET before. For two years, I learned nothing about English compared to those from matriculation who learned English for at least 1 year before they went for their first degree. I was completely paralyzed as my English was too weak. When the lecturer asked me to present a subject individually in front of the classroom, I was shaking. I was speechless. I thought I was going to die. My classmates were laughing at me. However, my lecturer, Ustazah Siti Zulaikha, was very supportive. She gave me a lot of chances to redo the individual presentation. She was very supportive and helpful. Because of that incident, I also promised myself that I would not allow this to happen to my students in the future. That is the main reason why I gave all of my students at SM SAINS KUCHING to learn about debating skills and public speaking because I do not want them to suffer from public humiliation when they go to university. I do not want what happened to me happened to them.
In my second year, I had an argument with my American lecturer named Mr. Kieran. He claimed that my writing failed to meet the university’s standard. I was angry and disappointed. I said” If you know that I am weak, why don’t you help me?” I thought that he was going submit my name to the dean for being rude. I was wrong. He was a perfect gentleman. He didn’t scold me. He said that he would help me. Starting from that day, he began to teach me about grammar. I learned a lot about writing skills. I have been sharing everything that he taught me with my own students for the past 9 years. My thesis was about my conflict with him in literature subject. He was my savior. Without his specific guidance, I don’t think I can be who I am today. I believe that no matter what I do, I will never be able to pay his kindness. The best thing that I can do is by sharing all the knowledge that he gave me with my students, colleagues, my family members and anyone who needs my help as long as English is concerned.
When I was a form 6 student, my geography teacher named Madam Christina Chai saved my life. That year, I had lost my desire to continue my study as I was too weak mentally, emotionally and financially. I had to work at least 3 to 4 days a week at night to support myself and my family. I always didn’t have enough sleep. One day, I was sleeping in my class. She woke me up. She touched my shoulder and I looked into her eyes. I felt like I was looking at an angel. She said “Mani, wake up. I will help you”. Since then, I had stopped sleeping. I paid attention in her class. I got B for my geography. I knew that if I were to change myself earlier, I would have got an A. She was my savior. Because of her, I learned about the importance of using love in teaching my students. That is also the reason why I will wake my students up politely and say inspiring words in order to keep them awake. I know that if the students do not like me, there is nothing that they will learn in class as I believe in the law of attraction. If I hate them, they will definitely hate me too. I use my counseling skills in my class as I want each of them to feel the love that I am sharing with them. I want them to like me. These great teachers had really changed the way I think and have helped me to become a better teacher.
I hope God will always bless all these great individuals. Thank you for reading.