In conjunction with Teachers Day that was held on May 16, Star Media Group wishes all educators Happy Teachers Day!
THIS is a tribute to the greatest teacher that anyone could ever dream of having. He was a dedicated and committed teacher. He focused on his students, regardless of their weaknesses or strengths.
He never practised favouritism among the students as he loved each of his students. He made them into better people each time they attended his classes, that is how much of an influence he was to many.
The major subject he used to teach students was English. He breathed and slept English. That was how important the English language was to him. He always drove the point that English was a very important subject that students had to master. Indeed, English is a subject everyone must master because it is a universal language people use to communicate with each other.
He was a proud Penangite. He was a father of three. My father is his second child.
Nerissa’s grandfather, Ganapathy, who passed away on Teachers Day last year.
Yes, he was my grandfather. His name was Ganapathy Govindasamy and he was 78 years old when he passed away on Teachers Day last year.
He was a very good-hearted man, who always prioritised the happiness of others. He six grandchildren miss him dearly.
We will never forget the kind of person he was. He was destined to be the greatest teacher ever. Not only did he teach in schools, he also emulated the good things about life, such as kindness and selflessness.
He started teaching in SK Jelutong, then he moved on to teach in SK Sungai Gelugor and SK Penaga.
He also taught in SK Rawang. He taught English in all these primary schools.
While he was teaching, he also tutored primary and secondary school students. His students valued him very much. Once a student of his gifted my grandfather with a portrait of himself.
This is the tribute I have personally written for my grandfather whom I miss him very much. He is one man that I will not forget. He was a great teacher indeed.
Nerissa Sangeeta Mohan submitted this article about her grandfather, Ganapathy Govindasamy, who was an English teacher.
Educators who leave an impression
A FEW months ago, I started to ponder on the teachers who made an impact in my life because I wanted to become a teacher – just like them.
I tried to recall the names of teachers who taught me from Year One on wards but I it was difficult to do so until I remembered Puan Maimunah and Encik Jajuli – two names which stood out.
Puan Maimunah was my Year One class teacher. Though she had a hoarse voice probably due to the long term stress on her voice box from teaching, she was the gentlest teacher ever and encouraged my interest in Bahasa Melayu.
My Year Two primary school teacher was Encik Jajuli. To me, he was a handsome and gentle teacher. I could still remember once when I finished my work and started to pretend to skip rope beside my desk, he said: “Alice, buat apa lompat sini lompat sana macam monyet?”
I just smiled and stopped hopping around. Whenever I reminisce, this is a sweet memory.
Once when I was cleaning the house, I found a copy of my autograph book which I had passed to my primary school teachers. I found both Puan Maimunah’s and Encik Jajuli’s messages though only the latter left his contact number. I tried calling the number but it was out of service.
Good teachers know that their students are like their “anak” and they work hard to make learning fun for all. Though I did not manage to get in touch with them, Puan Maimunah and Encik Jajuli will always be remembered because they have planted the seeds of love that cut across race and religion.
This is what I want to model towards my own students so that one day my “children” will remember having a passionate teacher whose love knows no boundaries.
Wishing health and joy to Puan Maimunah, Encik Jajuli and all dedicated teachers! Happy Teachers Day!
Alice Tong is a teacher at Tadika St Ronan, Kuala Lumpur.
Following in mum’s footsteps
MY mother, Nur Yasmin Mohd Khalid, is a retired teacher. She taught for 33 years.
I truly admire her work ethics. I went to the same school where she was teaching.
She did not like to be late so she arrived early most days to start the day.
Despite being busy with her teaching dutes and other work, she organised her time well. She cooked, cleaned the house and raised all of us.
She taught my class once and I witnessed a different side of her. A professional and dedicated teacher who strove to give her students the best. She never complained about the workload. She loved her job and she was passionate about it.
My mother is my idol. I am an English teacher-to-be and I hope I can be as hardworking and as dedicated as she was. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to see my mother at work as it taught me about professionalism, discipline and dedication for an occupation.
I would like to be a responsible teacher just like my mother was, to make a change, to give students the motivation, to guide them and inspire them to be better.
My mother is the teacher I want to be. Happy Teachers Day to all teachers. Thank you for all your efforts. We really do appreciate it. A teacher plays a very important role in a student’s life. If anyone can make a change, it is a teacher.
Aisyah Puteh is a student majoring in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) at Universiti Malaya.
Like teacher, like student
MY favourite teacher in school started teaching me this year. She is teaching me a new subject. Puan Julia Jamil is the Sport Science teacher for my class. Sports Science is an elective subject for my class.
She is my favourite teacher because the way she teaches helps me to understand the subject matter better. She is an athlete who previously represented Kedah in hockey. When she’s teaching, her voice is much louder then mine.
She is my idol because she’s so active in sports and academics. When she checks our homework and there is something wrong, she will explain why the answer is wrong.
I hope I will be like her in the future. I want to be a sportsperson as I have an interest in badminton. I am determined to study hard to make my parents proud of me. In conclusion, we should not give up before trying.
Nor Aini Suaidi, SMK Cheras Jaya, Selangor
Pillar of strength
BE the first and be the best.
With this motto, she inspired and motivated all the teachers in SK Sri Langat in Banting. She has been in this school for the past five years. She has brought in tremendous changes to the school. The school has excelled not only in academic pursuits but also in co-curricular as well as co-academic activities.
A good leader does not just lead but guides throughout to achieve success. Puan Norzian Mohd Som is a dedicated and committed headmistress. She not only motivates her pupils towards excellence but she also motivates her teachers to work towards greater heights.
She is in school as early as 7am and leaves very late in the evening. She makes sure she is up to date with the latest developments in our education. This enables her to encourage her teachers to use the latest technology in the classroom.
Norzian inspires the teachers at SK Sri Langat
She takes great effort to get in experts in the field of education to provide in-house training for her teachers. This is leadership quality that I admire in Puan Norzian.
As a headmistress, she is aware of all the government policies and knows what is happening in the school. With her guidance and support, the school was able to participate in students’ exchange programmes in Bandung over the last two years. Our pupils have also taken part in an international quiz and managed to get gold medals. The school became champions in the District Level Choral Speaking and Public Speaking competitions this year.
I am sure dealing with humans especially teachers and parents can be an uphill task for a leader. But our headmistress is able to manage the pupils and teachers, and handle the parents gently to avoid any misunderstandings in the school.
I admire her straightforwardness, courage and boldness in managing and running the school. She is an example of an empowered woman. Happy Teachers Day to Puan Norzian and all the teachers at SK Sri Langat.
Anuradha Chelliah is a teacher at SK Sri Langat, Banting.
Made him who he is
MY former primary school teachers inspired and moulded me to become who I am today.
They were the teachers who taught me when I was in Year Six B in 1973 at SK Seri Indera in Jalan Sekolah Derma in Kangar, Perlis.
I have a picture which shows (from left) Cikgu Sabri (Bahasa Melayu teacher), Cikgu Asiah (Islamic Studies), Mrs Beh (headmistress) and Cikgu Ch’ng Theam Hock (class teacher).
My gratitude to all my teachers.
Assistant Professor Dr Mohd Yaziz Mohd Isa is a lecturer at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Her favourite teacher
Lakshmita Vigneswaran is a pupil at Methodist Girls School, Ipoh.
Dedicated to his students
MY English language teacher is Dr Hyginus Lester Junior Lee. He helped me to become a more competent student in speaking and writing in my second language.
Previously, I had a difficult time using the language but gradually I found myself getting better. He also helped my classmates who were weak in their studies and believe it or not, those who consistently failed their tests managed to pass their English Paper in the 2017 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia.
For me, I would personally say that he is such an inspiration. He earned a PhD from the Faculty of Psychology and Education at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. He was also a scholarship recipient who pursued his studies in New Zealand.
Dr Hyginus is very innovative. He used the “I SPY 5 Stars” which helped my classmates and I prepare for our SPM examination.
He was recognised for his effort and this dedication won him numerous awards. To date, he has earned 51 international, national and state awards.
He and his team of teachers always ensure that every student is not left behind. His dream of obtaining a PhD has become a reality and now it has become my dream and inspiration too.
Mohd Shahezzad Salim is a former student at SMK Mutiara in Labuan.
HER sweet smile and kind face always reminds me of a fairy godmother; she is no other than Mrs Tan. She is a patient and kind teacher.
Her class is never boring. She always teaches us how to do mind mapping. This makes it easier for us to understand a topic. I love it when Mrs Tan carries out role playing activities with us. She will also bring her creative self-made costumes and props for us.
Mrs Tan loves to go green. She always encourages us to bring things that can be recycled. She teaches us how to sort the recycled material. Apart from that, she also teaches us how to prepare our own compost.
I have gained a lot of knowledge from her, not only in English but also about the environment.
In a nut shell, Mrs Tan is a fun, caring, creative, patient and most of all inspiring teacher.
Yang Wan Hui is a pupil at SJK (C) Keh Seng in Melaka.
Dharmini (right) says her mentor Kanakambal gave her the strength to achieve her dream.
She is the best
MRS Kanakambal Velusamy is the mentor in my life. She taught me at Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Ipoh. She is the best lecturer I have ever known. She never postponed any of her duties. Thanks to her, I have learned to be punctual.
Today I am a teacher. Yes, Mrs Kana inspired me to begin this new chapter in my life. I couldn’t have done it without her. A teacher is the backbone of a student’s achievements.
She shaped my mind and thus my future.
Mrs Kana, you gave me the strength I needed to take the next step towards my dream. You made me a better and more thoughtful person today. I’ll never forget you.
Dharmini Munusamy is a teacher at SK Pauh Jaya, Penang.
A true hero
IT has been 18 years since I left Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur.
One of my most memorable educators is named Datin Maimun Hussin. She was a strict teacher but would give good advice.
She was my History teacher. She always stressed that History is to be learnt and not to be memorised. As a very keen reader, she would encourage her students to read a lot.
She said reading was the most powerful tool in life, She said simply to “read, read, read” so that we could be more successful and knowledgeable.
I have taken her advice and found it impacted my life in a positive way.
Lim ran into his former teacher Datin Maimun Hussin at the airport and was the pilot who flew her home.
About 14 years later, I was lucky enough to bump into her at the airport. She was coming back from her holiday and I flew her home to Kuala Lumpur as I was the pilot on the flight.
I was happy and grateful that she remembered me. She had finally retired from teaching and was living a very comfortable and fruitful life.
I would like to thank her again for the impact she made in my life. I know that teaching can sometimes be thankless but today I want to thank you for giving me an education that is priceless. Thanks Datin Maimun for being a true hero of education.
Lim Chee Ho was a former student at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur.
MADAM S. Jaya Letchumy was my Year One class teacher at SJK (T) Masai, Johor. She taught me Mathematics and Tamil subjects.
I like her because she helped me to read and write well in my mother tongue. I studied in an international pre-school so I did not know how to read or write in Tamil. But now, I can thank to my favourite teacher.
She is a stern teacher and scolds her pupils if they do not follow instructions or if they are naughty.
But, she is definitely one of the best. She encourages her pupils to participate in all the competitions held by the school. She brought some pupils to participate in national level competitions too. She is so passionate in training her pupils. She jumps excitedly when her pupils win prizes.
I would like to wish her “Happy Teachers Day”. May she inspire more children to love, read, write and speak Tamil language confidently. Thank you, teacher Jaya.
Daarun Vel Velmurugan is a pupil at SJK (T) Masai, Johor.
Daarun says teacher Jaya helped him to pick up the Tamil language.
Students leave impact on lecturer
I VENTURED out from the corporate legal world a year ago somewhat proudly thinking that I can somehow make a difference to my community by teaching law and sharing my experience in practice with you, the future lawyers and judges of our nation.
It only took me a year in academia to realise that you, the students, can teach me something bigger than law, by teaching me about life.
A year full of lessons, the Thursday noon lectures and the Tuesday classes in a big lecture hall and the small seminar rooms – together, we learned lawyering skills by drafting pages and pages of legal documents. I often nagged at you for using templates for your assignments, instead of starting from scratch on your own. Sometimes, I tested you on your application of the law or I criticised you for missing the full stops and the commas. And once in a while, we simply exchanged a conversation about your day or mine.
A year full of lessons, it wasn’t the Thursday noon lectures nor the Tuesday classes, it wasn’t the lecture hall nor the seminar room, it wasn’t the lawyering skill nor the corporate legal know-how. You weren’t my students. I was yours. A year full of lessons, no allocated time, no designated space, you, the students, taught me life.
A student showed me how a caring act can do wonders, by a simple hug that she offered me, my anxiety due to having to deliver my first ever public speech at an international stage was gently erased. Once, I eavesdropped on a phone call a student was making, a phone call to the authorities to warn them of a danger she observed on the road. This concern about the safety of others reminded me that genuine kindness can shine through, even from this kind unsexy act.
A couple of other students opened my eyes on the exquisiteness of living an unpretentious life by staying true to their principles, even if it means consciously having to make unpopular choices. And a few groups of the students I taught also inspired me by displaying remarkable determination to succeed not only in their studies but in all aspects of their lives.
It is May now. That time of the year when the classrooms are empty and the hallways are quiet. When all of you have left this law school to step into a world where the stark realities of life will start kicking in. I hope we have prepared you well for that.
In celebration of Teachers Day, I want to bid you farewell by saying ‘Thank You’. Thank you for teaching me about life.
Nur Husna Zakaria is a legal drafting lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya.