|Connect_ED 2014 by Teach For Malaysia|
There is one time in a year when I recharge my soul & spirit without having to do anything.
There is one time in a year when I feel hopeful for the future of my country.
There is one time in a year when I feel really old because of the fresh young new faces.
Many new teachers come up to me & express a desire to do what I am doing. No, they don't mean working in the jungle with low proficiency students for half a decade. All they see is the fluff. My travelling around to attend all sorts of ministry meetings, conferences, speaking & giving talks. That is what they want.
What they do not see is the process of getting from where I was, an obscure teacher working his butt off in the middle of nowhere where nobody cares, to a still obscure teacher known & appreciated by those who care.
Doing what I'm doing is a lonely road. Believing the best in my students. Doing my best to provide them with what they need to succeed. Burning fingers & stepping on toes to bulldoze my way to doing what I think is right.
For a long time, I have been working in isolation in the middle of nowhere. I dare not speak of my ideals lest I be branded a madman. During my darkest days, I wonder to myself whether I am crazy. I wonder to myself whether it is worth it. I wonder to myself whether any of this will ever make a difference in the long run.
This cycle of slaving, doubting, salving, wondering, slaving, crying, slaving, hurting, went on & on for years. Those were my darkest years where I tasted the deep dagger of betrayal & being abandoned. Amazing thing was I kept fighting & believing. Great colleagues joined me in my quest. I hung on to whatever hope I could find like my life depended on it. All in the name of doing what I thought was right & honourable.