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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Lessons from a Brother

I AM in college now, but to me, it was a teacher in secondary school who defined what good teaching and leadership was all about.

Brother John had always been a person with values and integrity and the most patient teacher I’ve known.

In class, he never stopped explaining until his students were clear of all doubts, even if it meant going over the same topic over and over again.

While physics to many of us was a dull and boring subject then as we had just been streamed into the science classs, Brother John made his lessons lively and interesting simply because of his unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.

Taking us to the lab, showing its equipment and demonstrating experiments, or even letting us carry out the experiments ourselves, had me captivated.

Soon, physics wasn’t merely my favourite subject, it was, thanks to Brother John, an area I was truly passionate about.

As a matter of fact, I was a tad taken aback to find out that at college now, many students had never seen lab equipment such as cathode ray oscilloscope or Van de Graff generator, let alone the experiments involving such apparatus.

I consider myself lucky indeed as had it not been for Brother John, I would never have been exposed to the apparatus and the experiments.

And I’m proud to say that with Brother John’s dedication and patience combined with his knowledge, I obtained an A+ for physics in my SPM.

Some schoolmates had a way of poking fun at our teacher by singing the popular lullaby Are You Sleeping, Brother John, but he took it in his stride knowing that the boys were being playful and doing it in jest.

Over time, the boys stopped their antics realising that Brother John was no ordinary teacher. I supposed they too, like me, were touched by his patience and dedication.

Brother John had his unique way of teaching. He kept us on our toes by throwing questions at us, especially at times when we least expected it!

Hence, we as students could see that he really did put his heart and soul into the subject and his students.

We knew for certain that his knowledge of Physics was far beyond what he taught us at upper secondary level.

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Indeed, my teacher-student relationship with Brother John ended after I left SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya.

Brother John had inspired and helped me a lot through the years. He was an erudite person and helped shape the individual that I have become, after leaving secondary school.

He is indeed my true mentor and although he may not know this, he had been my pillar during the times when I faced difficulties.

Thank you Brother John, you are my Star Teacher.

More letters:

Teaching and touching lives

Tribute to a terrific teacher

Richness in deed and spirit

Tags / Keywords: Education , education


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