People Can Surprise You After All

This week, I want to share about a decision someone made that has both surprised me & inspired me.
In every school, there is at least one teacher who is a master magician who can unbelievably disappear into thin air!
Someone who would avoid doing anything & would even struggle with the most basic tasks.

I hope you’re not one of them.
If you are, hope is not lost.
You can learn from this particular teacher in my school.

taken from

This teacher is notorious for being lazy & lately for being anti-establishment.
He would be late for lessons, teach half-heartedly & produce faulty exam papers that are distributed unvetted because he is both the Department Head & Panel Head. What meritocracy? This is seniority at its best!
He rarely turns up for extra activities, would come late & leave early.
He is in a position of influence & would often strut it but he rarely shows the aptitude or attitude of someone deserving it.

Recently, I had an honest man to man chat with him over a few beers, hard liquor & cigarettes.
He shared his grievances with me & blamed his impotence on being let down by his superiors.
His reasons were understandable & would have consumed any emotional man.

This time however, he has decided to put a stop to wallowing in self-pity & bitterness.
He promised me that he would give his best next year NO MATTER WHAT.
I was impressed. I was touched. I was almost brought to tears. Or was it the tuak?
Right there & then, I witnessed a rare moment in a man’s life when he has decided to rise above his overwhelming circumstances.

His career was riddled with incompetence & inconsistency.
It was inspiring to see him decide that enough was enough & plan to show what he is truly capable of.
If he follows through, I have no doubt that he will shine.

I promised him that I would support him all the way.
I promised him that I would acknowledge his good works.
I told him that it was not too late to do his best.
I told him that he was like a butterfly.
The many years wasted in resentment was his cocoon stage.
Now, it’s time for a beautiful butterfly to emerge.

It’s experiences like these that keep you going.
I praise God that I was able to witness such a miracle.
Men were designed to be miracle makers.
People can surprise you after all.
Don’t you wish you taught in a school like mine?


  1. A leopard can never change its spots. I was mentoring one like that, trying to help him become a better teacher...but to no avail. The sad thing is he is still teaching, drawing a fat salary every month...for not doing anything, just bluffing his way through each passing day.

    I really wonder how people can stand leading such meaningless lives...and the WORST thing is there are MANY like him - more and more and more.

    Something really drastic must be done to weed out these parasites, there only for the money - a disgrace to the teaching profession.

    P.S. Must tell you about that teacher the next time we meet. You will find it hard to believe that such a teacher exists!

  2. I'm hoping that this teacher will be true to his words.
    If he does pull up his socks, then this will be the most miraculous change from the deadest wood to billian wood.

  3. Well, I've met teachers who has done such irresponsible acts...i don't care much bout the much senior teachers - not that i can say much to them...but there are younger ones who does such things as well...its sort of amazing how ignorant they can be...ask them bout work they are supposed to do and they just say 'xtau'...what to do...what to do...

  4. how i wish half of my school teachers metamorphosis like the man in your story... sigh~

  5. Sarah: They learn this taktau thing from other teachers of a feather.
    Just force them to do it.
    Surely in the end they will do it albeit horribly. Better than nothing & better than letting them get away with something.

    Warid: The metamorphosis is incomplete. We'll see whether he turns into a butterfly next year or a moth.

  6. i have a teacher exactly like that. he is in a position of power, one of the deans. he has a super inflated ego and alot of the time talks down to his students not to them. i mean.. he can be very helpful and resourceful when its one on one, but when it comes to teaching as a whole he really sucks. i know he loves teaching but i dont think he takes it as serious anymore, like its a waste of time since half the class doesn't do so well, but still.. hopefully he will change one day.

    1. It's usually personal insecurities that cause him to be such.
      Yeah, I hope he changes too.

  7. I'm curious to know what happened to this teacher. Did he turn over a new leaf?

    1. He did.
      Then, he was betrayed & now he is doing his own thing. Not back to his usual self but not quite the best that he can be. Sad.


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