Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Are You A Teacher?
This startup line was used on me several times when I was introduced to strangers and I curiously asked them what made them think so. Did I have a 'teacher' look? Of course all I got was a smile and no reply. I would examine myself and thought perhaps I looked authoritative or stern to qualify the description. Or I looked 'knowledgeable' whatever that mean since it is a subjective and unquantifiable mask. The truth is I am not a teacher but I had spend several months many years ago teaching. Maybe that gave me a 'teacher' look.
My first teaching exposure was during the first semester of 1968 to a class of secondary students in a private school in my hometown. I had just finished my Higher School Certificate (HSC) exam and awaiting my results pending enrollment as undergraduate in the Universiti Malaya. The money I earned was used to buy me a secondhand motorcycle so I can move about in university.
But I was involved in teaching earlier as a tuition teacher in 1967 to my landlord's daughter. I still remember her name, Ms Gooi Lee Peng. It would be nice to catch up with her.
My final teaching experience was immediately after my exam in university. In January 1971 I joined the Methodist Girls School in Klang, Selangor as a science teacher. I was popular with the girls who were in Form 4 and I believe one or two had a crush on me (wishful thinking?)
Thereafter I joined the industrial sector working my way up to where I am now, as chemist, production and factory manager until I started my own business in 1988. The rest is history which you can read elsewhere in this blog.
I sometimes wonder would I have been a good teacher since people have connected me to that career. I think that knowing my character better now I would be a great teacher because of several desirable qualities exemplary teachers must have. I myself have been taught by great teachers who've influenced my attitude.
Firstly I believe in nurturing children and youth in developing their potential through encouragement and right exposure to knowledge and moral values. Secondly I believe I have good interactive skills with them being a good storyteller and buddy with them. Thirdly I am strict but fun so my students will accept me as a good role model. Successful teaching is founded upon strong bond between teacher and students. The fundamental role of teachers is to encourage and instruct, not forgetting setting the right example himself to be emulated. My weakness would be my lack of patience.
Is my not being a teacher a loss to the teaching profession? I think so but their loss is some other profession's gain. Right now I'm apply my teacher skills to my grandchildren and I hope they will grow up to be responsible, proactive, moral and productive citizens. I am seeing that in my children so I guess I've done right as a father teacher too. Perhaps I can be a good counselor to students and undergraduates to help them identify their future directions.