20 November 2007

Punctuality & Life's Directions

“T’cher, how do you stay motivated when the rest don’t want to study?” my good student asked me this question this morning. This boy was one of those rare ones who come on time each week, at about 8:10am (for the 8 o’clock class), and wait in class. A few of his classmates were hanging around outside, waiting for one another, refusing to go in, despite my appeals (We are toothless teachers, what can we do? Punish them? Scold them?)

Naturally it is very easy for him to lose his motivation to study in the sea of ‘bad’ students. Why be the odd ball and be laughed at by others? Why wake up early while the teacher will have to wait for at least a few students to come 1st to form a “minimum” number to make his teaching more useful? And what can I the teacher do in the midst of such overwhelming truancy?

Is it only my class that they come late? No, as I asked them. In fact at 8 am when I walked past the other classes, it is the same sorry picture. A handful at most in each class – and here we are talking about the core subjects, not like mine, the ‘pass/fail’ ungraded module. Hey our kids are not stupid, they know which classes you just have to come.

For this boy, I told him to be clear about his purposes in the institute. Why does he come here and study in the 1st place? Keep that in mind. Continue to remind himself and press on in that. Hmm, maybe, that’s a good advice for me too as I wonder sometimes, what on earth am I doing here, surrounded by all these academia mess.

While it is true for him, it is true for me too. What on earth am I here (this institute) for? For the monthly paycheck? Because I got no where else to go (this was my original fear)? Or to make a small difference in the lives of the students and teachers?

I believe God has a plan for my life. Even though I cannot see how it all link up, I know I am not here by accident and that it would eventually made sense later on (Reminder: Steve Jobs’ Commencement speech – connecting the dots).

Hang in here. Press on. Do His will. Love the kids. Share with my colleagues. Give thanks!

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