Tag Archives: students

Conversation with my ex student

Below is an exerpt of a conversation I had with a 16 year old. * I cut off certain aspects of the conversation and replaced them with ‘……….’*

“Yes, in fact, one of the reasons why I picked the NY trip is because I wanted to experience city life for what it really is. No doubt, the Americans’ lifestyles have constantly been negatively portrayed by the media, which doesn’t do justice to them at all! I believe there are so many other wonderful and unique aspects of their culture, especially the huge belief in freedom of speech and human rights! I’m planning to go into political science in the future, and so I certainly hope to be able to get some enriching insights out of this trip. ……………. Last but not least, I hope you’re doing well in America!  God bless …….” 

There is hope for the younger generation! This conversation ‘WOW-ed’ me because there are some educated adults that I have personally encountered and their world view of America and the world in general is no where as mature as this 16 year old! She was one of my favourite students too. I really really enjoyed having her as a student, she’s always attentive, handed in perfect work all the time with perfect hand writing.  Professionally, she helped me be a better teacher because she would always ask me difficult questions and that forced me to be ultra prepared for lessons! At the same time because of her enthusiasm I would invariably want to plan better differentiated learning lessons because I didn’t want to see all that talent go to waste! The part about her that that I loved was that she was really intelligent, humble and kind to her classmates.

I miss teaching.

I like having a break though, its so so so so wonderful having your own home. 😀

Cleaning is not so wonderful! But its good exercise

The closing of one chapter of life, marks the beginning of another! To infinity and beyond!!!!!

Today’s marks the last day of work in CGSS. I’ve cut out an excerpt of the farewell note I wrote to my colleagues.

“Dear colleagues and friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your love, friendship and guidance during my time in Cedar. Many of you, with your tireless devotion to your craft and love of the students have been a continual inspiration for me as a (relatively) young teacher. To the friends who have provided me much encouragement and a listening ear, my deepest gratitude. To the senior teachers who have shared their vast database of knowledge/pedagogies/classroom management skills with me, thank you for your sharing your invaluble experience. To the admininstrative and IT peeps, thank you for making everything so seamless and efficient, it has made my work much easier with you around. To Dr Bibi whose professional advice and warm friendship has aided me in helping to understand some of my students better, thank your for your time and expertise.

Thank you especially to Mrs Ouyang and Ms Sim for being pillars of support, continuously encouraging me, for your trust and the many opportunities you have given me. I also owe Mrs Lim a debt of gratitude for teaching me valuable lessons about life.

In 2012, I wish all of you a blessed dragon year full of love, happiness and bountiful wealth.”

I believe this farewell letter somewhat epitomizes the myriad of emotions that I felt. At this juncture I wish I was a writer by profession so I can use my vast vocabulary to put these complex emotions into some comprehensible. I mean I feel a tinge of happiness when I think about the adorable students and wonderful relationships forged over the past 3 years. But some aspects of the job made me a little sad. I can’t help but wonder if I could have done something else differently. I guess that’s because I’m a perfectionist by nature. 🙂 Hey at least I’m cognizant and not in denial!

I took some time to pen the letter above, mostly because I wanted my farewell letter to be sincere and genuine. I saw and still continue to see the world in black and white. I believe that its important for people to not be two faced and give credit when its due. I couldn’t bring myself to tell my immediate boss how ‘wonderful’ she was to me, but yet at the same time I didn’t want to lie because it was the politically correct thing to do. So I struck a compromise with ‘valuable lessons in life’ because really, when I become someone’s boss in future, I sure as hell will remember how NOT to treat someone. I will learn how to respect people and not throw my weight around just because I can. I’m deeply passionate about this, because as educators we hold ourselves high to the ideals or moral integrity, after all don’t we spend a vast amount of time focusing on character development? I mean I’m not trying to be on a high horse here, but treat others like how you want to be treated, should be the basic tenet governing human relationships.

For some parts, I had a challenging time, mostly because of my awfully immature and insecure immediate boss. However, it helped me to grow a lot as a person. I felt that despite the annoyances, the respect of my peers and love of my students made everything worthwhile. Of course I am not perfect; I have my own fair set of idiosyncrasies and possess a strong willed and sometimes unyielding personality. Sometimes my brutal honesty and lack of tact gets me into trouble because I’m so eager to get things right the first time. However, the single most important lesson I learnt from this is that I must stop,look, listen and empathise with the needs of the office environment and group dynamic before I speak or push for ideas no matter how ‘good’ I think they might be. When my eagerness to perfect a task, is not met by the same attitudes of my peers, it can sometimes cause conflict, and the solution is often, to be more patient and understand where others are coming from first. That I believe is something I need to work on in future.

On the positive side of things, the plentiful hugs I received today, the lovely notes, words of affirmation, thoughtful presents from my colleagues and students as well as this lil girl who burst into tears and asked me every so cutely, ‘WHY must you leave!’, brings this inexplicable swell of pride in me. It’s a wonderful way to leave an organization, feeling like you have made a difference.

After my colleagues treated me to KTV as a farewell gift. Andrew penned this song to me and sang it as the grand finale. I am touched beyond words.

The small little victories in life! How precious are they!

So here I am, closing a chapter and terribly excited about the future. Its this heady feeling that can be likened to Buzz light Year’s…. to infinity and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!