Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Well, that was the Facebook ranting that I came across today as I was fuming and turned to Facebook for emotional support. Some idiot sprayed my properties with printer ink.

Back to the issue at hand, luckily the District Education Office in my district did not stipulate such rules. We are free to celebrate Teachers' Day as we fancy. Since my school only has one session, so there is no problem of celebrating DDay without having to consider morning and afternoon session. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the education system in Malaysia, some schools has one session only, in the morning but for other schools with not enough space to accommodate all the students at any given time, will need to separate the students into upper and lower form; usually lower form in the afternoon session and the upper form in the morning session.

As for the woes expressed by the teacher, I have to admit the celebration being a teacher myself now and the celebration that I used to enjoy back in my schooling days as a student are far apart. Back then, we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with our teachers and the gifts that we gave to our teachers are were just a small token of appreciation of what the teachers had done for us. Or that was because I used to go to a premier school, an all girls school where even the meanest of students were just the ones who had forgotten to wear Badan Beruniform T-shirts on Wednesday.

However, when I became a teacher myself, teaching at the farthest school in the district, almost an hour drive from my home at the capital of Kelantan, with my car tyre being punctured for admonishing students on their less than civilized manner,  any hope for a enjoyable Teachers' Day has been out of the questions ever since I got posted. The truth is, I had better fun teaching in Johor Bahru, in one of the top three shcools there, where the amount of gifts given to me was enough to start a small sundry shop on my own.

Sure, some of you said, "Oh, so you segregated the students according to the amount of presents you received on Teachers' Day?" That sounded so hollow and baseless to define your worth and professionalism of a teacher, is it? But deep down inside, which idiot doesn't like receiving something, may it be a pen or a personally written poem, especially made/bought for them? And of course as cliche as it may sound, it's the thought that counts.

And if my school were to take 'Cuti Peristiwa' just to celebrate Teachers' Day and so not interrupt 'Masa Instruktional', I'd say let's not celebrate the day if it were just some means of formality, without any meaningful sentiment to it. If Teachers' Day was just a day when students get to laugh at the idiocy of the teachers playing stupid games, then let's not celebrate it. If Teachers' Day was just a routine and annual event when teachers half-assed dragged their butts to school to sing "Kami Guru Malaysia" and pronounce this 'ikrar' with no feeling or sense of ownership to the vows they have just said, then let's not celebrate Teachers' Day.

We're underpaid, over-worked and burdened with more than just our core business which is teaching. Sure, the lot of you would say, "Oh, be grateful that you have a job!", well, of course I'm grateful with the responsibilities entrusted to me. But every now and then, we self-gratify to balance the stress that we endure in our working life. It's bad enough that we worked 24/7 (I even dreamed about it sometimes and shouted in my sleep at the students in my dream), with our weekend not being exclusively ours because we have to teach students who are about to sit for PMR and SPM who don't even care whether they passed or failed, with our afternoons taken for chasing students who don't want to stay for extra class or what about those nights when you have to brave the lonely and dark roads so you could drive all the way to school to teach students who had their parents paid hundreds of ringgit for night tuition but they ended up smoking in the bathroom instead of showing up in the classroom.

And parents, jangan nak berkira sangat la kalau anak nak buat/beli hadiah Hari Guru. Your children's attitude mirror yours too. Teachers who educated your babies, and mind you not just educate, but nurture, counsel, and some other verbs that don't come into my head at the moment deserve something, right? How do you feel when you children made a simple card on your birthday or Mothers' Day or Fathers' Day? You feel on cloud nine, don't you? So don't deny the teachers the same ecstatic feeling just because you feel that it is a waste of money, time and energy.

Again, the point comes back to 'jangan nak berkira sangat'. If were to count the amount of money I had to fork out for the kids in the classroom, I could easily swap that amount of money for a decent holiday in any destination in Malaysia. But do I grovel and ask for something in return? All I ever asked is for the kids to do well and think about their own future. And even that is a hard enough to do.

And one last thing, tak bodoh pun kalau budak-budak sekolah tak belajar sehari untuk sambutan Hari Guru.

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