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Friday, March 10, 2006

Not a good teacher.. :'(

I just came back from my class in Bagan Serai.. with a sore throat! No prizes for guessing how loud I was shouting at my students just now. I'm just filled with this feeling of frustation..

Truth is, I've been wondering, am I cut to be a teacher?

I've loved teaching for as long as I can remember. My siblings (except Iwan and Adi la.. and Annisa sebab dia kecik lagi!) were all taught by me (poyo jekk..). I used to by these cardboards and taught them the basics of reading as well as the miracles of numbers. Mama and Abah were supportive and 'financed' my classroom (which was the guests room at home). There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a teacher.

However, the preassure of being in an extended family where everyone is always trying to outdo the other finally got to me and reluctantly, I furthered my studies in the engineering field. At first, I still held on to the hope of being a teacher but well-meaning relatives wanted me to do something more.. technical (is that the word?) Nope, its not that they think Education is 'easy', its just that they wanted me to 'make them proud' and be something 'bigger'.. duh! Sometimes, I just think they wanna use me..

Well, anyway, I finally got the chance to teach after I had registered my post gradute studies. A tuition centre wanted an experienced teacher but they couldn't get one. Since I had been joking with a friend about teaching a few days earlier (she's a tutor there), she suggested my name and the next thing I knew, the head of the tuition centre (Cikgu Arun) offered the job to me. Normally, he would give a probation period but since he NEEDED a teacher, I was given a permanent class instantly.

I really enjoyed my classes then. I always tried to come up with new ways to teach them and help them understand maths. To my delight, the next year, those students requested me to be their teacher, telling Cikgu Arun, "Kami tak mau cikgu lain!".. boy, was I delighted!

The next year, I was given even more classes. I was really happy with the arrangements as I got to teach on weekends. My students weren't all angels, but well, I can't really expect them to be, right? Besides, it'll be dull if they were all good boys and girls. When I excitedly talked to Toroque about my classes, he surprised me by telling me that he's sure I would make a great teacher (Bangga kejap dalam hati haha..)

This year, I'm teaching my fourth batch of students. Some of them are from my previous classes so I'm quite comfortable with them. However, recently, I've noticed something amiss..

I don't look forward to my classes anymore!

At first I thought it was a passing phase I always face (memang ade mase yang tak larat pegi punn..) but the days turn to weeks and the weeks have turned to nearly a month.. and I'm still feeling this way. In fact, I dread going to most of the classes (I'm only ok with this form 1 class in Jawi).

It terrifies me to have these feelings. I come into class expecting the worse, and to avoid the worse happening, I become so strict that I hate myself. Then the kids, being kids would go around playing in class and joking and then I'd shout at them, making me hate myself even more. I think I spent more time shouting at them, than teaching them.

That explains my sore throat!

My impatience is overwhelming that I think my patience in non-existant. I'm mad nearly all the time and I seldom smile anymore when I'm in the class. Sometimes, a student or two will say, "Cikgu, senyum la cikgu!" and instantly a smile, or better, a laugh, would come outta me but it'll vanish once I hear them fooling around and once again I'll start shouting!

Then when the class is over, I'll go into my car while fighting tears, trying to understand what has become of me. Where is the teacher in me, who loved to joke with the students and could control the class so it won't be as noisy at it is now, but will still be filled with enough laughter to make it enjoyable? Where's the idealistic girl who thought she could change these students to love learning? Where's the 'kakak' who would teach with a smile without losing her patience eventhough she has to repeat the lesson 10 times?

Do you know where she's gone to? If you do, please ask her to come back.. I need her! Not only to save my sanity, but also to save what I have left of my students feelings towards me..

Maybe my relatives were right.. I'm really a joke to the sacred teaching profession.. :'(

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