|Featured on NST Online - 16 May 2016 (Malaysian Teacher's Day)|
This Teacher's Day, I was featured in NST print (I haven't read it yet because I have yet to receive a high resolution photograph of the article. Please help me out!) as well as NST Online. It is indeed a huge honour to represent the teachers in Malaysia and more specifically my beloved colleagues working at rural/remote schools.
Let me clarify that I am NOT the only teacher working in the hinterlands of our country, neither am I the most hardworking or the most deserving of "special" mention. There are plenty who are labouring endlessly for the betterment of the communities they are serving. Unlike syok-sendiri me, thousands serve wholeheartedly without seeking reward or recognition. To these teachers, I salute & I bow in respect.
Nonetheless, I did have a purpose for sharing my story. This part of my interview wasn't published. So, you're getting the deleted scenes straight from the horse's mouth!
Mainly, I wanted my story to inspire the younger generation to seriously consider the teaching vocation. If you think you are talented, there is no greater test of character, leadership & skill than teaching. If you've got the courage to fight for what is right & you're not the type who wants to leave the country at the first sign of trouble, teaching will connect you to what is really going on in society & provide you with an opportunity to enact real change & make a real difference in the lives that matter the most: the future generation.
Additionally, I hope that my example will cause the teachers-in-training to seriously consider rural placements. I hope that you'll think of the golden opportunities you have to make a difference instead of thinking of leaving even before getting there. This was what far far too many have failed to do. It's very sad because, when these teachers left, it was as if they never arrived. Let me tell you the truth: the small bit of effort you put into the children in rural/remote areas will bear a thousand times more fruit than all your might at an urban school. You don't have to do what I did. Just do what makes sense to you. You have something unique to bring into the world.
For those of you who are considering teaching, apply for Teach For Malaysia. There is no better fast-track training and support platform than what they have built. I am surprised & impressed that the organisation is truly genuine in its desire to be the change that they want to see. They have good leaders so don't pick a job, pick a boss.
For those of you who want to give to a good cause, look up 100% Project and help fund a Malaysian teacher’s education project. Or, donate to Teach For Malaysia just like I did on my birthday. If you're willing to spend money on hipster coffee every once in a while, you can afford to give RM10 to one of them. Do it.
The response online has been overwhelming. I thank you for reading & sharing my story. As usual, I welcome any co-conspirators to disrupt education as we know it.