I hated my teacher. She forced me to stay back after school and sat with me to make me finish my homework. Yes, that kid used to be me.
When I was in P4, I had a form teacher who literally spent 2 hours everyday from Monday to Friday, sitting beside me in the “homework room” after school just to help me catch up on my horrendous studies.
This went on for months. Boy did I resent her!
But today, I can’t thank her enough.
That year, for the first time in my life, I went from one of the last students in class to 7th best.
My teacher didn’t have to do what she did. She could have given up on me. She could have labeled me “dumb”. She could have striked me off as a delinquent, much like the many teachers I had before her.
But she didn’t.
Her sacrifice of time and her persistence changed my life. She taught me hard work and discipline. She taught me that I was not a destined to fail. Most significantly, she helped me believe in myself.
And only today, I see what she gave up for me.
MOE teachers are not required to give private consultations to their students.
When they do, they give up what very little time they have left – after working hard to plan and run classes, mark your homework, organize CCAs, and make your school experience better.
It is time that they can use for personal relaxation. Time that they could hang out with their own circle of friends. Time that they could take their old parents at home out for a good meal.
In case you forgot, time that they could tutor their own kid at home.
Time is money. Singaporeans know this. How much do you value 2 hours of your time? Here’s how the market values 2 hours of an MOE teacher’s time:
All they need to do is register at a tuition agency website, and then easily find students who wish to be tutored privately. MOE teachers are in high demand.
Yet, they offer their time to us for free. Our teachers give up time and money because they want to help us. It’s something extra that is not required of them, but they care about us and want us to do well.
As students ourselves, we should be encouraged and seek to do well to make our teachers proud and not let them down. So next time, if you are offered a private consultation with your teacher, please appreciate it and value it.
Because now you see what your teachers are giving up for you.