Sunday, April 11, 2010

Needle in the Haystack

I read an interesting article on The Star Online today, Confessions of a Cikgu. It was by Nithya Sidhu who writes a weekly column on education, school, teachers...well you get the idea. She highlighted the ever-increasing-non teaching chores of a senior teacher. This certainly brought back some memories of secondary school.

I remembered one of my favourite teachers in school and the deep dark circles around her eyes. She always taught my class with oomph! and we enjoyed her classes very much. As fun as she can be, she'll also stare you down with her wide eyes when she spots any mischief. If I remembered correctly, during my final year in school, she was promoted and it was a well deserved one.

But obviously her workload [or more precisely, paperwork] increased. In that year, I felt that the promotion drained her energy. She was not as...I can't think of the word...but yes something has changed in her style of teaching. Not that she wasn't a good teacher anymore. She was still the impeccable, committed teacher she was before...just a little's really hard for me to describe how I felt...

So when I read the article, it made me think of what I felt back then. It could be related or not.. But if a teacher starts losing the passion to teach and some students would miss out getting to know such an amazing teacher when she considers optional retirement, then there's something seriously wrong the education system in terms of how it's handling our teachers [not that this is the only thing wrong with the education system...]. It really is a pity. Not many people actually consider teaching as a career nowadays and among those who do, the passionate one is really a needle in a haystack. That's why the closing line in the article made me sad.

I would like my children to be taught by some of the teachers who've taught me [probably impossible based on age considerations] or at least by someone with the similar passion and determination. Then there'll be no need for tuition. Well that's what I believe anyway because ONE of the subjects that I started taking tuition for in Form 4 was taught by a pretty lazy teacher. Yes, I'm saying it straight like that. It was really disappointing because I used to think that paying attention in class goes a long way...apparently not when the teacher is incompetent.

Here's a toast to all the amazing teachers in my life and as I'm heading towards the last spurt in my bachelors degree [am keeping my fingers crossed], a toast goes out to my lecturers as well. Thank you for your dedication and knowledge!

Note: I took tuition for some of the other subjects due to my own needs and not because of failure on the part of the teacher. Names were excluded from this entry but I guess you'd know who I'm talking about if we went to school together ;)


  1. Hi,
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  2. Hi there,
    This is Nithya Sidhhu, columnist with The Star. Couldn't agree with you more when I read your needle in the haystack piece. Your writing is poignant and full of feeling. keep up your blog.

  3. Nithya, thanks for dropping by. I do enjoy reading your column. Hope you'll keep writing as long as you can :)

  4. Good Good,keep it up.


  5. Haha..finally got the mood for a blog post


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