Sunday, January 26, 2014

5 Things I Have Learned in Teach For Malaysia Journey

1.      Diversity
I actually love the diversity we have in the fellowship. We are all from diverse background and expertise. We are not only different in terms of gender, race, religion and academic background; we are also have different perspective in life. My upbringing and cultural setting affects my perception to the world and people surrounding me. Everyone has their own perception in viewing the world and themselves and this contribute to the diversity.

Each individual see things in different ways. For example, “LIFEISNOWHERE” can be interpreted as “Life Is Now Here” or “Life Is No Where”. It really depends on individuals to look at it as positive or negative view.

Another example, there’s one old lady on the roadside who wants to cross the road. She is holding a walking stick and looking unsure to cross the busy road. You as a citizen with big heart helped her to cross the road, walked with in every step until both of you reach the other side of the road. You can see the lady here as ‘ A blind old Chinese lady’ or ‘ A Lady Who Need My Help’.

I met a friend here who is cheerful and his presence always brightens up the room. He seems to be the happiest person on earth. We assume he has no trouble in his life and had it easy. Little that we know he came from a struggling family, her mother only earned RM600 a month to support the family. His mom did terrific job making sure all her children go to university and lead a good life.

Each people have different perspectives and life maps. Our first impressions are not necessarily true. We could have never assumed what each people had gone through because we did not walk miles in their moccasins. That is the beauty of life that we can treasure.

2. Hope

Why Do I Teach For Malaysia?

I probably have this quest coming my way hundreds time already.

Here it goes:

I Teach For Malaysia because I want to give sustainable impact to the unfortunate children and create a better life trajectory for them. I teach because I CARE. I am in the fellowship because I want to challenge myself and grow personally & professionally. I chose the road less traveled. 

I believe there is hope for every child to attain excellent education. I hope there’s no more 16-year-old who is illiterate and no one telling her she can be a better version of herself.

3.      Humanity and Forgiveness

We had a-day visit to Kajang Prison School. Despite of knowing they must have different life stories on how they end up in the facility, to chat with them personally still causes a heartbreak moment. I salute their optimism. Some of them are sitting for SPM and will have a Majlis Restu Ilmu the next day. The young offenders I talked to are very passionate in the class sessions. They absolutely love the teachers who put so much trust and haven't lose hope on them. Thus, they appreciate the second chance given which might have been better than the situation they have gone through outside. They've come to the realizations that no matter what their peers are doing/asking them to do, they have the final say to decide. Watch what you're doing and know the CONSEQUENCES of their actions. Some wish their family/teachers have told them that.
 To live is to love, to serve, to forgive. Love the One, love and serve humanity. To learn to love oneself and to love is to learn to forgive.

4.      Moving Out of Comfort Zone

So we actually went to Pasar Besar Bentong this morning recruiting for kem SKORlah. It is a FREE Math & English tuition class for Form1-Form4 students during this coming school holiday. The classes will be held in SMK Ketari and SMK Kuala Repas. I have no idea where the schools are but it will be like 20-30mins away from our resort. I really enjoyed it. I never imagined I have to be a salesperson promoting to random people in the weekend market.  I always hate the salesgirl promoting products when I am trying to buy my favorites in a supermarket. It is a new experience to find your random-but-highly-potential customers. I tried to introduce myself in the friendliest way possible (shake hand/salam with the aunties). How did they responded to it? Pretty good. I think they liked me. *haha* Pitch for several minutes, Stress on the keywords( FREE and breakfast/lunch provided etc.) and able to get 3 signatures from the parents. I aim to get 10 *too ambitious, I know*, talked to about 15 people (parents and teenagers), and managed to get 3 successful registration for the tuition classes. Some of them already registered,some of them only have small kids and some have limited access to the tuition schools.

5.      Learn by Doing

We have a chance to meet Dato’ Seri Idris Jala. He told us inspiring stories about special teachers who made a difference in his life. He is from rural are in Sarawak and one of few successful people to go to university from his clan. I still remember his words about making a difference in the most difficult situation. Imagine you are holding torchlight and shed some light into the darkest room.  The light give others hope when they think there is none. Similarly, if we want to be a transformational leader, go to the most difficult situation and make a difference there. It will be a blessing to touch the hearts of others in need.

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