When Your Child Teaches for Malaysia: Dipesh
Some parents are immediately supportive of Fellows; some take a little time to come around to the idea of the Fellowship; and some, like 2012 Fellow Dipesh Sanghvi’s father, remain skeptical throughout.
“My dad has been a teacher for about 35 years and has seen and heard so much that he remains skeptical about my decision to leave the corporate world and join Teach For Malaysia.
He believes that as the son of the family, I should be helping the family financially. Also, he grew up in a less-than-comfortable background and he hates the fact that I quit my comfortable job to be away from home, struggling to find vegetarian food and hardly spending time with my family. Even these days, his conversations with me are “Which companies are you applying to after the Fellowship?” “How many job offers have you received?” “What kind of salary do you think you’ll be able to get after the Fellowship?”
Thankfully my mum has been my best friend, and the main mediator throughout this experience. She has been patiently dealing with relatives and other people who have been negative about my decision. She told me to not be stuck with the idea of job security and taking the tried and tested and comfortable method, but instead asked me to do what would make me happy and be the best person I can be. Every week she lovingly helps me pack my bag to head back to school and we trade teaching stories, as we’re both teachers. She has taught me to look beyond the negativity and remind myself of the service I am doing to the students and God.
Despite the challenges, I have never been deterred from joining Teach For Malaysia, because I knew what was right. I remind myself of the students I am helping and the respect I have gained from so many other people. I have so much in life to cherish that I don’t spend time thinking about the challenges and mishaps.”