Putting My Family First At Last

For most of my teenage life, I really hated my parents. I blamed them for everything bad in my life. Like all those stupid music/language lessons I had to take. I even blamed them for everything that they didn't do for me. Like branded stuff, being handphone-less & unable to go out with my friends. Now that I am older, I realise that they really honestly did what they thought was the best for me. Deceived by emotions & pop culture, I was blind to all the good healthy things they have given me.

Now that I am older, I choose to see them & love them for their good side. Nobody is perfect. Not even ourselves. Everybody has flaws. Especially our parents. Once upon a time, I wanted them to accept me for who I was & not what they wanted me to be. (That's the ultimate desire of every child. To know that your love is unconditional.) I guess now that I know better, instead of pointing fingers, shouldn't I take the lead? I am truly ashamed of the child that I was. Now that I am an adult, I will adopt the ways of an adult & love my parents the way they want to be loved.

One thing I do realise is that they are getting older. Raising & educating 6 children is by no means an easy task. 1 is difficult enough, talk about 6! (Personally, I'm only having 2.) They are very stable financially but they are also well over 50, their bodies are getting weaker & my father has heart issues. After so many decades of pushing so many children to do their best, I'm sure they are also very tired. Yet their job is not yet finished, they have 2 more teenage children in Form 4 & Form 3. It is a steep uphill climb to ensure that the 2 remaining children are well prepared for an uncertain future.

When I started teaching 4 years ago, I had 4 siblings (out of 5) who were still in school. (Yes, there is a big age gap between us.) Since then, 1 sibling has done average while another 1 did relatively well. They have since moved on to tertiary studies. In all that time, I have been busy pouring out my heart & soul into a forgotten people whom their own people (who are educated) couldn't be bothered about. However, every time I go home for the holidays, I feel a deep sense of guilt & shame. I can't help but think: If I took my siblings under my wing, they would have done better. In my heart, I knew this was true & it eats me inside. I carry this burden until this day & I feel like I've let my 2 siblings down.

My parents are ageing & are not as forceful or persuasive as they were with me. They've been really soft with my younger siblings & I do feel that my siblings are taking advantage of my parents. (Yup, wake up parents. Your kids are still milking you long after they've stopped nursing. This might help.) I feel that it is my responsibility as the eldest child (who happens to also be a teacher for crying out loud) to play a larger part in the lives of my siblings. I hate feeling extremely inadequate when my father comes to me with a question about our education system or a request & I am unable to do anything because I am sooooooo freaking isolated & uninformed in my jungle school.

Especially now that my youngest brother is really struggling in school even with all the support, technology, camps & tuition money can buy. Next year is his Form 5 & if he continues on his current path, it will not bid well for him. SPM is the single most important exam in a Malaysian's life. You can judge the worth of a person by looking at his/her SPM results. (Degrees are overrated. Truly.) I plan to bring him with me into the jungle school & give him the best of all that I have in my personal capacity & my network of great teachers in my jungle school. In my 4 years, I have done so much & learned even more. I shall use that for him. I will create something unprecedented for the Form 5 next year. Watch me.

At the end of the day, you can bring the horse to the water but you cannot make it drink. My brother is a human being & should be treated with respect & love. I am really happy that he has accepted this exotic adventure & is willing to follow me to my jungle school. No tantrums. No arguments. In fact, he is embracing it. I believe these are the first signs of his maturity. My hope is that he will work his arse off next year & get the best possible results. I believe that he is meant for great things. That is why I am investing in him & giving to him my best. Therefore, I expect nothing but the best from him.

After 4 years of working my arse off for other people's children, I think it's about time I put my family first.

Comments

  1. "I believe that he is meant for great things. That is why I am investing in him & giving to him my best."

    It always starts with the mindset of the teacher :) And your belief in your brother is a strong drive in itself. Yet with all that effort you put in, it still is dependent on your brother. Hey holds the key to his own success.

    That being said, him agreeing to transfer to your school is the first step and brings him closer to achieving the goals. :)

    I just want to continue to encourage you in investing in your brother. My late father did that for two of my cousins and one is now doing well in university and making a path of her own.

    Looking forward to the plans that you have for the Form 5 kids! All the best :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true. A teacher's belief about his/her students is usually a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Thanks for the encouragement! =)

      Delete
  2. its better late than never :)

    having such devoted and loving parents,IM sure their off spring are meant to have fulfilling lifes.

    now its their refined version that has taken over the job to steer this Kid to his right path!

    IM sure everything happens for a reason

    and IM sure he owes his success to u, so keep it up! !

    and let the chemisty and the brotherLy bond between you work their way *^_^*

    ill be waiting for his flying colour SPM (^V^)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I do hope that I am able to help him do a last minute sprint upwards.
      Thanks for your support! =)

      Delete
    2. (^_^)Y bare in mind though,u are only helping him to help himself

      Delete
  3. Hi Jarod, I am always constantly amazed at how candid and honest you are on the internet about your life. I feel as I already know you even though we haven't ever met. I am going to be a first year teacher next year at Penang and I just want you to know that your blog posts and tweets are something I look forward to... for some reason I can't pinpoint. Must be your candour. Haha all the best in coaching your brother ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joel.
      I am honest because I want to share my experiences for the benefit of people who may be in a similar situation. Sometimes someone might just provide me with a great idea I never thought of or would not have thought of myself.

      Still, there are some details that I would not divulge lest I embarrass other people or make other people look bad when they actually have a good side too.

      All the best with your practice next year! =)

      Delete
  4. May be thats what most teenagers think, they dont like their parents at that time..
    But parents do whatever which is good for their children, we gotto love them, always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not every child thinks that way. I am very fortunate to be able to realise this early.
      I'd give credit to my relationship with Jesus. Helps me see things in a different light.

      Delete
  5. you are really a good person..
    all the best to your brother..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, SP!
      You are a good person too! =)

      Delete
  6. Foresee him as one of the top achiever in Kapit :) God blesses you both :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wont put such pressure on him. Targets will be something that he has to come up with himself. However, what I'm expecting will be much deeper than academic achievement.

      Delete
  7. Isnt important of who u were, its you u are now as a human being.
    Im glad that u've realized..some people are too egoistic to accept the fact that they are the ones to be blamed for...for not thinking thoroughly..

    Im the youngest in the family and usually i got everything that i want, you name it.
    then when i came to ipba, i learnt so many things. i observed some of my friends who are not as privileged as me..some are poor while some dont have parents. they mostly dpend on the allowances and friends around.

    i admire them so much and i learnt a lot indirectly...anyway, my point is im so proud of u..never know u in person but i have this thought that u are a very great and awesome guy brother :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great to be able to learn from all around you & the people around you. That's a quality that very few people have in this world. I'm glad you do. Hone it & sharpen it. You will gain a lot from your willingness to learn from others.

      p/s: I am not the best person in the world. I have many flaws. But I learn & I try to be better.
      I will fall sometimes. That is for sure. But I'm sure as hell going to get back up again & kick some ash.

      Delete
  8. It will help bringing him with you. It definitely will. And I'm sure he'll be there to create history...who says jungle schools cannot produce straight A students? All the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaa~~~ I'm not exactly jumping right to straight As but if I feel that he is capable, I might just push him in that direction.
      Perhaps the jungle school will produce it's first Science straight A students under my watch? PERHAPS.

      Delete
  9. This is very reflective :)..It's very true that as we grow older, we appreciate our family more than ever, like learning to really appreciate them while we still have them in our lives..Though we can never turn back time to change what could have been, we could only try to make things different and better today...Anyways good luck to your brother for his spm next year..;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope that I can make a difference in the lives of my two youngest siblings.

      Delete
  10. and good luck to you with the form 5 students next year..you are really an inspiring teacher ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Situation : a little girl will be sit 4 her PMR exam 4 next year..
    she totally afraid, not confident...
    She s slow learner...but I always give advice to her so that she wont give up easily..I follow her through fb
    but she always affected by her friend, she told me that her friend told her pmr is not important at all n ask me :should I just relax n just pushing myself after reach SPM..?
    hw im gonna to do to push this kind of student?
    soory 4 disturb u kam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If she is on FB, there is nothing much you can do except support her from a distance. Tell her that she can do it & she MUST do it.
      If you want, you can reach out to her. Send me something. An encouragement card, some workbooks or something you made yourself.

      At the end of the day, she will still have to push for PMR. PMR is the test run for SPM. If she does well in PMR, she will do well in SPM. If she doesn't do well in PMR, she will have a lot of catching up to do once she gets to SPM.

      Never leave till tomorrow which you can do today. - Benjamin Franklin

      Delete
    2. i got what u mean...even a slow learner also cannot give up easily...

      Delete
  12. Parents are humans - not always perfect, not always right. But we musty love them just the way they are for they are our parents and in their own ways, they do love us, their children...but we can try not to be like them when we become parents ourselves lest the vicious cycle continues on and on and on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. We try to be better... even by a little bit. hahaha~~
      Every generation needs to be better than the last. Only then will there be improvement & development.

      Delete
  13. First I got to say you are an awesome brother for looking out for your brothers. That's not a quality that many possess in regards to their siblings. Kudos to you!

    However, I have to disagree that your true worth is decided by your SPM results alone. I had learning disabilities that went undiagnosed for a long time....until college. I passed my SPM, but by a hair. I am now very good in what I do, and actually graduated college with a 3.98 GPA (Which if you were to judge me by my SPN you would have never believed it LOL) So I guess, it is hard to say how a person would be judging by their grades alone....but I digress :)

    You are an inspiration to the other teachers and to me.... thanks for all the tears, and sweat you put into these kids. Thank you for making it a better place for these kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha~~~
      And of course, there are people like you who are exceptional late bloomers.
      You'll make an inspiring story for my students.

      Thinking about it, I want to hear your story. If you dont mind, please email me at ahkamkoko-blog [@] yahoo [.] com

      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
    2. I just replied! I am so sorry for making you wait.
      Thank you so much for being so willing to share.

      Delete

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