A TFM Christmas: Little Wins

As we approach Christmas, we take the time to reflect on our greatest source of strength and inspiration: our students. Here, 2013 Fellow Sarah Quek shares the story of CX, who went from never doing her homework to scoring almost 50% on her latest exams.


“After 2 months of coaxing, convincing her that she IS smart, sending her home, staying back to tutor her and just being there for her, CX is finally invested and motivated to study! She completed the homework I assigned her in record time and even went a step further! She took the initiative to write out 19 pages worth of singular and plural nouns and their translations last night and returned me the original sheet today. The best apart was her friend, YY, was so impressed – apparently CX has never done homework before, let alone use more than 2 pages of her exercise books a year. Now YY is even more invested too!

This is going into my treasure box of little wins. THIS is why I Teach For Malaysia. The kids, they do want to learn…sometimes it’s just needing to find the right combination of patience, care, time, and just believing in them and more importantly, convincing them that they ARE smart and that they CAN do it.”

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Update from Sarah: “Now, CX is still quite weak but she managed to score a 48% in her August monthly exam, which is the highest score she has ever obtained for a subject! In terms of attitude, she is currently one of my most attentive, helpful students in class.”