By Bernice Kok, as shared on Christianity Malaysia
There’s no doubt that learning is a huge and essential aspect of our daily lives. In my opinion, “A life without learning is not a life worth living.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning new stuff at school, work or even by yourself; learning should always be a part of your daily life, even when you’re old and wrinkly. That’s why old people are so wise because of their years of learning from their own mistakes and life experiences.
With one of the children at the EduCenter
I have always admired the many people who pursue the noble career of teaching. While there may be many teachers who only perform the bare minimum, there are still those out there who carry the passion for teaching and raising up the next generation of world citizens. They are like precious gems, scattered across the globe, with hearts of gold, even though they can be pushy and tough sometimes.
These teachers spend extra hours helping students who are falling behind in their studies. They are the ones who will forever be imprinted in our memories because of both the academic and life lessons they have taught us.
So when my mother first approached me to be a temporary assistant teacher at the Educenter in tNCC, I was honoured, thrilled … and afraid. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to live up to the standards that my previous teachers had set before me. I didn’t want to teach for the sake of earning some extra money for my laptop fund or filling my free time before I started college. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be able to impact the lives of the children and students under me for the better.
As the school grew larger, my responsibilities increased. Even though I’m not the most patient person in the world, I tried my best to help my students with their studies and to develop relationships and bonds with them. I believe that in order to lead and guide someone, you must first have a relationship with them first so that they will trust you and your advice.
Even though I was the teacher and, technically, the students were the ones who should be learning from me, I, too, learned a lot from observing and talking to them. During the five months that I had with them, it was like watching a live TV series every day. I had forgotten how dramatic everything could be when you are a kid.
As I watched them, I continually reflected upon my own life and realised that true friendship is something that is extremely rare. There are many people out there who can pretend to be your friend, but those who stick with you — through thick and thin, highs and lows and even the loopy loops that life may throw your way — are the ones whom you should cherish and hold dear to your heart.
Another thing I learned from my time teaching is that potential exists in every single person. It’s so easy these days to label people as mentally challenged or “troubled”, but what we fail to realise is that there’s potential inside them too. I’ve personally watched the growth of one girl who was placed under my care for a couple of months.
Initially, she was a handful and I was doubtful that she would ever be able to improve, but she proved me wrong. Through all the obstacles we faced together, the roller coaster ride of emotions, the times I lost my temper and scolded her, she has since changed and grown tremendously.
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of watching a kid grow and mature and improve in every aspect of their life and being a part of it. I’m 17 this year, but I believe I have already experienced a part of what it feels like to be a parent, thanks to the girl. I hope that she will never forget the impact, no matter how big or small it may be, that I tried my best to make on her life. I guess this is how all parents feel; after all, they are the very first teachers we encounter in our lives.
NOTE : Bernice Kok is a Student of Communications, Taylor University, Subang, and served as an assistant teacher at the tNCC EduCenter. To find out more about the tNCC EduCenter, you can visit their FaceBook page or their website.