A Reminder On Why We Teach

Sometimes, it's easy to forget why we teach. There are exams to set, students to counsel, stacks to mark, meetings to attend, parents to call... There's a litany of activities, one after another, a frantic rush.

The key point, of course, isn't grades. It isn't about the number of passes, the percentage of distinctions, the mean subject grade.

It's about sitting down and talking to students and explaining your point and raising your voice when you have to and softening your voice when you have to and trying to grow with them, beside them, alongside them. It's a balance that's impossible, given the sheer number of individuals we try to help.

It's easy to be swallowed by the rush, to forget.

Today, during assembly, the principal shared about a call she received. Usually, these calls are complaints about students not moving to the back of buses on their morning trips. I was ready to nudge students into paying attention.

"A seventy-five year old uncle called me last week," she said. "He was on his bicycle when he made a turn and fell off. Two of our students went past, paused and offered help. He told them that he would be fine, just let him rest on the ground. Our students said, "We cannot leave you in the rain." This was the line which touched him: "We cannot leave you in the rain." They helped him to the bus stop and wanted to call for an ambulance. But the uncle said that his wife was waiting for him at home. So they helped him home and even called him regularly to ensure that he is well. Turns out that the fall had caused a fracture and he needed a surgery to insert a metal plate into his hip. Our students help were invaluable."

It's incidents like this, that reminds us of why we teach.

The warmth, it's akin to swallowing a mug of hot chocolate.

(Monkeys seen in Bako National Park)


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