I think, I have developed a passion for teaching ever since I was a small kid. Although I dreamed of becoming a cardiac surgeon to be specific, seeing mom as a good example of a very hardworking teacher influenced me to have that innate (cheh setahu) desire to teach as well. It’s in the blood, people! You see. Allah’s plan is so organised and unexpected, that all the path that I took did not lead me to be what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a surgeon. So I almost got into a science school with my PCE result. Guess what? I was not a citizen, so I got rejected. I did not give up. All the streams that I took during high school were the sciences. I took Chemistry and Biology so I could enter medical school. And I did, for just a few months because it was a just a conditional offer and I scored triple Cs for my A level, so I was redirected to take Biomedical Sciences instead (thinking that I with that degree I could still enter medical school right after). I did so-so for 4 years, and what Allah has planned for me did not lead me into becoming a medical student anyway. That burning desire to be a surgeon died for a while. I took Masters in Biomedical Sciences, thinking that I could still contribute in saving lives by conducting a physiology-related research. Once again, that path did not really go well. Instead of finishing in 2 years or less, that project took about 5 years to finish. Why? Because I lost it. I have lost the interest in that project because of all those technical issues faced. I was not strong enough to withstand the trials and tribulations. I did finish the degree anyway, along with another degree as well. Meanwhile, I got a job at a private school, teaching primary school kids. Straight away, I fell in love with that job. However, not knowing anything about the education arena made me decide to apply for a Master of Teaching, and yes, I got in. It felt easier, as in the path that I diverted to then felt easier and smoother, as if teaching offers a brighter future ahead. So I tried my best to learn and practice teaching in the Primary level – it was indeed a fantabulous experience. My love for teaching grew even more.
I listened to Nouman Ali Khan’s Pursuit of Happiness the other day, when he categorized people according to their pursuits. The lowest is the Pursuit of Happiness (whereby the pursuers are us, worrying only about being happy or not) and he defined happy as simple as eating a burger. Pursuers of happiness are easily satisfied with things that can make them feel nice inside. A pursuit just above that is the Pursuit of Cool. People who put in an extra effort just so they could fit in. Next is the Pursuit of Popularity, another extra effort to be popular. They have got to know the latest trend, get the latest gadgets and all just so they could be popular. Next is the Pursuit of Prestige, where material is the basis. They have got possess the best branded wear, vehicle, house, etc so they could appear to the public with prestige (even when they did not have that much money). A higher level of pursuit is money, and these people don’t really care how they dress or appear to people as long as they are rich. Even though they don’t wear Gucci nor Prada, their bank account is filled with lots and lots of money and they work really hard to get more. The pursuit of excellence is beyond money, and these people will only be satisfied if they could be the best of the best in academic, sports, you name it. And these people will always make themselves as someone they have to beat everyday. I can say these people are those kiasu types. Always want to be at the top. The cream of crops. And lastly, the pursuit of impact. These people are already excellent people, but they only aim for leaving an impact to the world. They are the world-changers. They only feel satisfied if they could help those in need and make a change.
So what was I trying to say again? Oh yes. Teaching made me feel that I could leave an impact to the world. It made me feel that the salary part is not as satisfying as getting the children to learn something successfully. It makes me feel… human. And so now after finishing both Masters (Biomedical Sciences and Teaching) at the same time, and graduating for those Masters at the same time as well, alhamdulillah, Allah blessed me with another blessing of being a local contract teacher, teaching Year 5 Literacy. So far so good, so far so blessed. In my head, it’s the impact I am for, so whatever glitches the program has encountered, nothing could beat the feeling of satisfaction when my kids finally spell a word correctly, or produce a grammatical-error-free writing. Nothing could beat the feeling of seeing my kids grow, with a good akhlaq and with a positive outlook in life. Nothing could make me happier than having kids who their ultimate goal is to go to Paradise (and that motivation leads them to do their best in all aspects of their life). Hopefully, this path… is still filled with ease (though ease comes with difficulty), and that I could leave an impact on this world so that when I am gone, these kids grow up to be those pursuers of impact as well. (and yes, my ‘amal will then increase even after I die, yasss!).
Off to teaching.
P/S: Lesson planning is hard. Lol.