October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

A strange phenomenon in this particular school is that when students arrange to meet me for help after school, they are usually apologetic. Just this week, I encountered this special phenomenon. When I asked the particular student, why don’t you get XXX who is his actual teacher to help them, he says something along the lines of ‘He won’t want to see me’.

Could it be that these students are too embarrassed to ask their own teacher because their question would have been covered in class?

So I ask the teacher. He is amused and says, ‘See what he asks’.


Anyway, I go to meet this student. He shows me an essay he wrote. In the most broken English, he takes the chance to tell me about his life while telling me what he wrote in the essay. I direct him back to the essay. I even say, I’m going to take a walk while you write this paragraph, in a bid to get him going on the task instead of talking. He wants to take a walk with me.

When I return to the office and walked to my colleague’s desk, he just burst out laughing before I could even tell him anything. I probably had an incredulous look on my face, or he had experienced it before.

That day I saw a special role that I had, at least for now. I realise that new teachers like me, who don’t know any better and won’t scold you if you don’t know the most basic facts a day before the exam, are probably a God-sent for these students. And also, perhaps I am able to, more than the older and more experienced teachers, be a friend to those who need it. And perhaps have someone be a friend to me too. Here, I am happy to report that the student went out of school to buy food for the clueless me and even followed me when I wanted to confront some students playing in the toilet because he was afraid I would offend them and get myself beaten up by gangsters  -.0

So well, I am tired. I have not been able to accomplish what I envisioned so far. But I guess, in a little way, I have been a pencil in God’s hand no? Just not in the way I had envisioned.


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