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October 19, 2009

A tribute to my teacher, RIP...

I don't know where to begin for this post. Days ago I lost someone who played an important role in shaping me in my life. My upper primary school form teacher, Ms. Teh. When we were small, we always had to choose to write from any of the title listed in the exam paper for essay, and one of the titles that I would never ever pick is "My Teacher". Why? Because if I wrote according to the real situation, I think I'd get "killed" in the exam. Another reason was I always thought the title sounds stupid, how could I describe my teacher when I didn't like her?! She was the most fierce teacher that I've ever met in my whole life! 3 consecutive years we never had a day without class test, standard 4 to standard 6, never stopped a single day, even during the Children's day, she would still give us a short dictation early in the morning before we go for the celebration.

A very very fierce and extreme teacher, whom we all hated her for almost 3 years until we left our primary. Not just us, I bet all her students who had studied in her class before hated her during the school days. Nevertheless, she never bothered how people judged her way of teaching, I could still remember, some parents always came to school and quarreled with her, and some parents went to our principal for complaints and so on, but she still endured her way of teaching the students.

All sorts of "tortures" we had at our classrooms daily -- she would yelled at anyone who failed to score above 80% for anything, and we would automatically walked outside of the classroom and started pulling ears at the corridoor, 1 time for 1 mark lesser than the target, so you could always see a whole class of students picking up books from the corridoor and started pulling ears, 1 time for 1 mark below the targetted 80%. So whenever someone in the class made a mistake, the whole building would know...that was quite embarrasing right? But it made us understand that you'll get whatever payback out of the effort that you pour in.

I know some parents couldn't bear the embarrasement faced by their children in her class, and even tried to 'bribe' her so that their children could have better treatment compare to the others, but she never took it. That's one of the biggest secret that I've never told, I heard about this unintentionally when some of the teachers talked about it in the office on weekend. I used to join her embroidery class last time, that's why... SHAME ON YOU PARENTS!! Bribing a teacher??!! She never revealed 'who' in the class, and I think my classmates themselves might not know what their parents had done too. I remembered she did said to the class, "IF YOUR PARENTS WANT WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU, ASK THEM TO COME TO ME AND DISCUSS FACE TO FACE."

She is a total 180degree different during the weekend co-curricular activities time with the normal class hours. I like her arts and crafts the most, her sewing skills and embroidery is the best that I've ever known of. At first I was so reluctant to attend her class for co-curricular activities because right then I would have to face her for all 6 days a week!! But after knowing her in real person, I felt so bad for misunderstood her as a bad teacher. She taught me a lot of things in 3 years, and I'm so grateful for that. We all realized that what she did for us was to boost our self-development after we left her, everyone started to miss her after we left primary. Without you, we would not be who we are today.

I bet none of her students was never scolded by her. Each of us got different naggings everyday, mine, "Jia Ween! If you are still that slow and being SO LADY all the while, even if you see a piece of gold in front of you, you'll never able to fight with the others and grab it just in time!!" Yeah, LADY... That's the word she used to describe me, slow and gentle, but it's only good as an attitude for the 17th-18th century ladies. She saw the weaknesses in us, and always went very extreme to shape us up. Ever since then, I was faster, faster and faster, and I really grabbed a lot of golden opportunities in life!! I think if she could see who I am now, she'd be pleased. I can say that students the more she scolded, the more successful they are today!

I'm too late to pay her a visit now, she's gone to heaven. The last time I met her was during form 3, when we purposely went back to school and paid her a visit. She was right, if you have something that you want to do, do it fast. I'm sorry for not being able to see you for one last time, I know it's useless to pay a tribute here for you my dear teacher. When I realized that you had left us, it's already after your funeral...

I will always remember the advice you give to me, for it had lead me to a brighter path for a lifetime...

Self-respect and self-assess will gain you endless prospects.

Maybe you rest in peace with God. There are flowers blooming in heaven, smells sweet just like the parfum that you love to buy. Thank you for being my most respectful teacher Ms. Teh!!


Hey, thanks for the lovely post. Brings back memories and smiles as I read them. I was one of her students too, 17 years ago. And you're right, all of us had to 'la er duo' if 'ting xie' below 80%, and it's mostly a mass 'la er duo' session outside the classroom. Well.. I miss those days.

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