There are these two kids who I gave private tuition to. They lived a block behind my house and they have been my students for almost half a year. Being kids, they both are super noisy, talkative and practical jokers. During classes, they somehow could manage to piss me off by making so much noise and fail me the duty to make them concentrate. I would nag and nag,and would shout my lungs out and sometimes I am even reduced to threaten them with not allowing them to go home but it can only make them shut up for about 30 seconds before the scene resumes to normal. Therefore, after every class, I would feel restless and relieved at the same time. Both these two kids, are a living nightmare in me, as I always dread classes with them. I would always have to act serious in order to discipline them, carry my frown and throwing fierce tones of disapproval to them. But somehow, they do not really get intimidated much. After a while they will be all smiles and talking and laughing.It really does put me in wonder how do they do this, and so finally it came to me that, they are still children. No burdens in life, carefree and idle. Their wold is so simple, and therefore they have such innocent minds, unable to fathom the world around them. They are not very brilliant students. Their aim in exams is just not to fail. So, in their life, there no longer exist any competition. They chose to just do their best in their area of responsibility, and live their life as a kid. Though I scold them a lot, I love all my students. Each of them are unique to my eyes. Sometimes,questions they asked which portray their hopes and ambitions makes me upset and sad.Like that day my Year 6 student suddenly told me about her ambition.
" Teacher, can I be a flight attendant when I grow up?"
I said why not?
Then she asked what she have to have in order for that.
" Do I have to be tall or something?"
Remembering the fact that physical appearances should not be set as the factor, I told her the substance which I feel crucial in order for her to achieve her dreams.
" Nope, but your English have to be good, considering you have to fly around."
Her face fell slightly. Her English wasn't anywhere near competent.
I was worried that I may put her down, but then her face lit up again, as she told me.
" Never mind teacher. If that's the sense I would work hard to improve my English."
And she continued to read her text happily.
It placed me into thinking that small children like her are able to have the mindset to think that they will make a difference in them for ambition. They can commit to improve, to learn, to build. I draw her statement to comparison and I felt that as her teacher, I cannot even have commitment like her, and though she is weak, she is willing to put in effort. I just feel that as her teacher, I would not want her just to get perfect marks, because in just a little bit of improvement, I would be very happy and proud of her. During her UPSR Trial, she passed all subjects but one, yet I praised her and encouraged her to put more effort. I am sincerely proud of my students, not by the end product straight As, but the process as they strive to merely pass. They don't have a solid foundation, but it is their willingness which earned them all stars.
And as usual, weak students have the common fear of whether they will get into remove classes rather than the normal Form 1 classes. This student just asked me that day, based on my judgement, would she get into remove classes.
Another little kid made some noise.
"Teacher, I am sure I'll get into remove."
I asked why."Because I am weak and stupid. I never pass my BM before."
I knew they were discouraged,so I gave them a personal encounter I had.
"You know I had a friend who went to remove last time. She is like you all, believing that she is stupid, because her UPSR sucks."
"But you know, hey what, she got number one during remove. She moved on to Form 1, so what if you take another year more to learn? In the end she got 9 As in SPM, and now she is in university.""I am here just to tell you that, no matter who you think you are now, it is not important at all. Provided that you are willing to work your way out, you can be just like my friend, able to get a place in university. It is not the results that matter, just what you do now, is it accountable for what I have taught you, the effort your teachers gave in school, your parent's hopes and money they send you for tuition. If you think that the effort you pay is equivalent to what you want, then what you ambit will be yours one day."
I think I encouraged them a lot. The next time I overheard them talking about the remove topic, they were influenced on the positive way.
" I don't want to read already la. Go remove then go remove la."
" No, remember what teacher said about her friend? That one who went to remove?"
Students like them doesn't serve as monthly income for me, merely. Teaching them knowledge is one thing. Educating them about perspective and decisions is another. Being their private tutor is a learning process, and through them, I had learnt how to be responsible towards my actions and words, being that what I have conveyed can serve as a lesson worth a lot to people, inadvertently or not. I know that in any way I do, I must be enitrely serving the purpose of instilling hope in lives of people, allowing them to lead life with purpose because they are able to work on the optimism that has been inflicted upon. I really do pray that my students could become successful individuals in the future, and I believe that they will. I will guide them all the way through, because I love them.
It's amazing how little children can make your perspective change. They truly are God-sent.