Guiding messages

Just received an sms from a student who I once tutored.

He asked if the inspiring quote I send him on visions and determination months ago was by David H Kellen, a soccer phenomenon. It turned out that he forwarded this particular quote to another friend who wanted to know more about the origins of the speaker. (I was actually referring to Helen Keller, the deaf-blind political activist, lecturer and American author.)

I had wanted to be constantly around my students, a solid presence that they can rely upon, immutable, unchangeable, dependable.

It was tiring, constantly fretting about them, wishing that I could be there to motivate them when everyone else - parents, siblings, friends, teachers - put them down with their pejorative derision. And so, as their O levels approaches, I smsed them motivational quotes on a regular basis.

Of the four students, two of them revealed that they forwarded the messages to spur their friends onwards too. It warms my heart to see them responding to my hard work.

Besides art, teaching is another activity which I truly enjoy. It's really satisfying when students messaged me out of the blue to thank me or seek advice.

I remember writing a poem - Anything can be - on a little Post-it paper after reading it to a student and asking him for his opinions on it. He stuck that little sheet on the wall as a constant reminder for himself to strive on.

When that paper was dislodged and gently floated downwards, he quickly grabbed it and exclaimed, 'wah, precious paper, cannot lose.'

This is the reason, above all, why I enjoy teaching.