Stay calm and teach

Dear diary,

Today, I saw a diary entry from one of students that got me thinking about what I’ve been doing here.

“Teacher, I want to read more English books so I can speak with you in English. I’m sure I can do it”

I just need to say this. Everything that I’ve done for the past almost one year is so freaking worth it.

From that moment in March when I made the random decision to apply for Teach For Malaysia, from when I decided to accept and sign the offer letter despite resistance from my parents, from when I took weeks to ponder on my decision and to convince everyone that it’ll be worth it, from when I decided to challenge myself even more and choose the most rural school on the list, from the first nerve-wrecking day of school, from the fatigue of 5-hour sleep everyday the first few months of teaching, from the tears I’ve shed after exiting classrooms, from the tears I’ve shed while IN the classrooms, from the many sleepless nights worrying about everyone’s progress, from that moment I heard my illiterate student read flawlessly..

Everything about teaching is so worth it. I don’t know how to articulate this better but if you want the most rewarding job in the world, one that will challenge you beyond your capabilities, one that will teach you humility and kindness, one that will give you as much as you’ve given, do teach.

Teach your siblings, teach your family members, teach your neighbour, volunteer to teach at an orphanage, seriously just teach your heart out!! Teachers are not born, they’re made. I really never thought I could teach ever before because I’ve always been impatient and arrogant, but teaching has taught me the value of patience, selflessness and humility. Teaching has taught me so many things I never thought I could still learn.

I think what I’m about to say will be super cliched, but teaching has taught me the value of life, the meaning of my existence and most importantly, it has taught me to be a much better person.