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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Sy bukan budak pandai.."

Yesterday, something wonderful happened. Ok la, not actually happened to me la, but a realization of something gave me this wonderful feeling..

As said in my previous entry, I'm teaching form 4 going on to form 5 students. In one of those classes, I have 2 'old' students of mine who took my class in form 3. One is Miss Aiman bt. En Shah hehe.. and the other is this boy who shares my name.

Now, this boy when in form 3 was the type who'd frustrate me now and then. I know, I know.. as a teacher, I shouldn't be like that but I can't help it. Matters became worse when I myself admitted defeat in the end for him.. I really wanted to help him but it was as if he didn't want my help. And whenever I told him, he could do it, it just needed a little effort, he always told me, "Saya bukan budak pandai.."

I'm not proud of myself, but yes, towards his PMR, I realized that in not wanting to feel so frustrated, I sometimes avoided him. But he didn't care, in fact he happily enjoyed it with an 'in-your-face' attitude that made me sadder. I felt as if he hated me. Its not that I singled him out, other students were worse than him in maths, but I felt as if he didn't even wanna try. When the results came out, I didn't even think of him, rather thought of the other students whom I decided WANTED to at least try to succeed.

Fast forward to last month..

A new student came into my already crowded class (takde la crowded sangat, I just don't like large classes hehe..). When he wrote his name in the attendance, as usual, I wanted to comment on the fact that we had the same name but something stopped me as the name looked VERY familiar.. but the owner of the name didn't.

The feeling bugged me until the next day when it finally clicked.. OMG! I know him!!

Gone was the chubby boy and in his place was a bespectacled tall guy, half his previous size (btw, ape la rahsia dia ek.. nak tau gak heheh..). Part of me went, "O-oh! Not him again.." but another part of me who knew it was very bad of me to think like that scolded the first part of me. He still looked like he lacked confidence and I was still unsure if he hates me or not..

In class, he's a different guy now. He's more quiet and he actually LISTENS to me. And on one fine day, he raised his hand TO ASK ME A QUESTION.

I.WAS.SHOCKED.

But I was also suddenly so ashamed of myself..

Then last Sunday, I had handed out some extra questions for students who wanted them and though he also wanted the extra questions, I was still a bit wary with what he'd do with the questions.. I know, this is something a teacher SHOULD NEVER FEEL! I feel so bongok giler now!

And yesterday, which is MONDAY, just one day after I gave out the extra questions, he came in and almost shyly handed in his answer script.. when NO ONE ELSE in the class gave me theirs (I had told them to pass those questions to me whenever they wanted to). I'm sure my mouth dropped right on the floor then.. but I continued with the lesson.

Back home, without taking of my hijab, I 'attacked' his answer sheet and I came out SMILING & LAUGHING HAPPILY when I realized he had answered EVERY SINGLE QUESTION (some of them just submit the answers to a few questions.. which I don't mind since it was the extra exercise). There were still a couple of mistakes BUT HE TRIED.. and his total marks were somewhere around 95%.

I sat back in wonder.. and once again felt ashamed.

I had given up on him the previous year and yet he still came to me for this class. I had let him down when, for all I know, his 'in-your-face' attitude was a plea for help, a cry for his teacher to understand him.

I'm a BAD, BAD teacher.. whatever made me think I could try to be a good one, huh?

I sat there looking at his answers for a long time.. then I wrote a note for him on his answer sheet. Seeking redemption and forgiveness.. and hoping he understood that yesterday, he taught me a very valuable lesson.. DON'T GIVE UP ON THE PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON YOU!

I want him to know that I NOW believe in him.. as I should have when he was in form 3. I want him to know that I'm sorry for giving up on him and for letting him down when he must have needed me the most.. and most of all, I want him to know that yesterday, I was the student, him the teacher..

To Asyraf Ikhwan, saya mintak maaf! :( Sebab awak, saya janji akan cube untuk tak putus asa dengan student² saya.. Thanx sangat² sebab jadi cikgu saya semalam!

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