Nazhif, a 2013 Fellow, describes a day during his first few weeks as a teacher in a Perak secondary school. Though challenging, his drive to be a transformational teacher pushes him to keep striving and never give up on his students.
I’ve never been sadder, angrier, or happier than today.
I was sad today because my 16 year-old kids don’t know what “I live in…” means, nor do they know the word “ambition.” They even confused “male” and “female.” The only thing they could say was “My name is …” and then they froze. I was angry because there were people in their lives who had the heart to let them wallow in such chronic underachievement. They were passed through the system for 10 years, and no one cared enough to find out if they were learning or not. They were always told that they are in the “last class,” so they can’t even fathom a life other than where they are now.
I was happy however because my history class on the other hand clearly did their reading, were excited to answer questions and more than brave to admit it when they didn’t know the meaning of a word.
I am also happy because I know I will have a huge impact on my kids’ lives. I know that they will be inspired and that I will never give up on them. I will always think that they can be the best in whatever they do. I will call their parents, make sure they come for extra help, talk to them, be their mentor. I will be their life-changing teacher, with God’s help.