ALOR SETAR: Norizah Zakaria’s world almost fell apart in November 2011 when she was told that both her kidneys were not functioning.
Despite the devastating news, the 56-year-old teacher of SMK Simpang Kuala persevered and her passion for her job has not abated.
“I was so down when I heard the news, to the point of feeling helpless and not knowing if I could carry on with my daily activities, especially teaching,” she recalled.
It was her job that motivated her to deal with the ordeal and continue to do her best for her students.
“I realised then that as a teacher, it was my responsibility to educate all my students, who were like my own children.
“My Form Three students were also preparing for their PMR then,” she said when met at the school yesterday.
The mother of two said she was also inspired by the kind words of a colleague who told her: “Trust yourself and you can do it.”
“My health condition has not slowed me down,” said Norizah, who is on dialysis.
The Bahasa Melayu teacher spends about one-and-a-half hours daily commuting between Kuala Nerang and her school in Simpang Kuala.
“I’ve been a teacher for 26 years, and the journey has had its ups and downs.
“The job is tough but it is also one of those things that keeps you going as it is rewarding, knowing that we play an important role in the growth and development of a child,” she added.
Prior to being posted to SMK Simpang Kuala, Norizah taught at St John’s Institution in Kuala Lumpur for nine years. Her former students included astronaut Major Dr Faiz Khaleed and singer-cum-celebrity chef Datuk Fazley Yaacob.