In light of Teacher’s Day, I wanted to highlight someone who had taught me numerous lessons throughout my schooling years.
Out of the many teachers I’ve had the pleasure of associating with during my school years, my secondary school class and mathematics teacher, Ms. Sugada, is someone I truly admire to this day.
Although I honed my math skills thanks to her guidance, I have also learned numerous things from her that she may not have intentionally taught me.
1. Persevere in the face of failure
When I was preparing for my PMR (a form three national paper) examinations, mathematics was one of my worst subjects in which I would almost always get C’s.
However, she never lost her patience with me when I didn’t understand her explanations and would gladly repeat herself without a hint of annoyance in her voice.
The way she never gave up on me made me realise that I did have the potential to not only pass, but also excel as long as I put extra time and effort into my work the way she did with her students.
Her belief in me gave me the motivation I needed to study hard. Sure enough, my hard work resulted in straight A’s in the end.
2. Learning is continuous
My teacher used to tell my classmates and I that we should always expand our horizons and that learning doesn’t stop once we step out of the school compound. Learning is something that will continuously happen to all of us until the day we die.
She would always encourage us to read novels and biographies in our free time (after doing our homework, of course!) and that was something most teachers wouldn’t really think of telling their students.
3. Show respect to be respected
Although Ms. Sugada was my teacher and therefore, held a position of authority over my classmates and I, she treated us with kindness and respect.
She never once talked down to my classmates and I like we were clueless children. Instead, she treated us as individuals entering young adulthood. In return, we also showed our respect to her.
The way she treated us showed me that we should always treat people with respect if we expect the same respect from others.
Ms. Sugada’s words of advice continue to ring true to me today. It is important that we acknowledge the hard work our teachers do for us because they are the unsung heroes of our nation who help shape individuals into the mature adults they will be in the future.
So, take time out of your day to appreciate your teachers and show them that their hard work is not taken for granted. To all teachers, Happy Teachers’ Day!
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Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 16 May 2015