SCHOOL’S out! And a group of lucky teachers started their holidays with a bang, all thanks to their students.
This group of teachers were treated to a two-day, one-night getaway to Genting Highlands. The indulgent holiday, which included decadent meal spreads, a spa massage session as well as sightseeing, was sponsored by Resorts World Genting.
How did these teachers clinch such a fantastic trip, you might ask? Earlier this year, The Star held a Teachers Day contest where students had to write in and tell us why their teachers deserved a break in Genting Highlands. The most convincing entries had their wishes granted.
All teachers who went on this trip were from different schools across the country and had never met before. Perhaps it was because they shared the same profession or they were simply on the same frequency; the teachers were already good friends by the time they checked into the hotel.
Teacher Ng Wee Gwek, 55, from SJK(C) Keh Seng, Melaka, said that getting along with the other teachers was a breeze.
“The luxury of having delicious food and spa treatment is the icing on the cake. The spa massage was a new experience for me. I would recommend it to other teachers as it is a good way to destress. This is the most unforgettable teachers day trip for me!” she shared.
Agreeing, Tan Guat Suan, 56, from SMK Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, said: “We clicked so well! It’s unbelievable that I’m getting such an awesome experience just before my retirement this coming January. A very big thank you to my dear student Gabrielle Ann Jeremiah for this trip!”
“This special getaway from Star-NiE has been a dream-come-true after 33 years of service as a teacher. I feel very grateful and I hope more teachers will get a chance like this.”
When teachers go on holidays, one would think that once the school is out of sight, it is out of mind. For these group of vibrant and passionate teachers, their students are clearly still close to their hearts as they shared memorable teaching experiences over tea at the Parisian-inspired atmosphere of Cafés Richard located in SkyAvenue.
There, they were feted to delicious bite-sized treats as well as authentic hand-crafted coffee and tea.
“This trip is a meaningful reward for educators,” said one of the teachers G. Thavamani, 50, from SK Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh, Selangor.
“Other than bringing us together to enjoy this treat, we also get to share our views and ideas on how to make a difference in our students’ lives.
“In my 28 years of teaching, this is the best Teachers Day gift ever! Best of all, memories during this trip will last a lifetime and will keep us going in our task to educate the future generation.”
Beatrice Grace Jayasingh, 26, from Sri Sempurna International School, Kuala Lumpur, said that the most memorable thing was meeting the other teachers. “Being a novice teacher with only three years of experience, I appreciate the life lessons I learnt from them.
“The rest of the teachers were from government schools while I am from an international school setup. However, the challenges we face, though in different degrees, are the same. They made me realise that whatever we contribute to the students should be given without stinting or holding back, for the reward comes from our own self-satisfaction,” she added.
Dubbed the “young man” in the group was Moses Chung, 25, from SJK(C) Kuen Cheng 2 in Kuala Lumpur. He felt lucky to be on the trip where he could meet with so many experienced teachers.
“I find them very passionate about teaching. Although they have been teaching for so many years, they genuinely still care about their students. Throughout this trip, I’ve learnt much from them. They are very generous with advice and guidance,” he said.
Possibly the highlight of the trip was the therapeutic spa session at M Spa, Genting Grand. The tranquil and serene atmosphere here perfectly complemented the rejuvenating session where the teachers enjoyed a foot bath and massage.
“I feel so much lighter!” said teacher Siraj Bivi Asan Gany when she came out of the session.
“I never expected to be rewarded with a holiday for being a teacher. It feels great to be able to touch students’ hearts and to have made some changes in their lives,” said the teacher from SMK Hamid Khan, Penang.
She also applauded The Star for organising the Teachers Day contest. “The contest has given students the opportunity to express their appreciation towards their teachers. This will surely inspire more young writers to speak up about their favourite heroes and heroines in school.”
Sobha Rani Dev from Sekolah Bersepadu Kemayan, Negri Sembilan, loved the fact that they were “pampered like celebrities”.
“What a luxurious way to begin our holidays!” she said. “We teachers needed to destress, feel revitalised and rejuvenated. And that was precisely what we got.”
“The timing was perfect, the location was heavenly and the pampering was superb. Teachers perform their noble task with dedication and selfless contribution. For The Star to reward us in such a glamorous manner was indeed beyond our expectations.”
The teachers also had the chance to catch the largest LED screen show at the SkyAvenue concourse. The LED display spans across 1,400 square metres and is fitted with 1,000 LED bulbs.
Oohs and aahs ensued when the extravagant display started. The mammoth screens wrapping the walls are coupled with colourful glowing orbs that descend from the ceiling, all choreographed to display a visually stunning feast for senses.
“Definitely a memorable and remarkable trip for us after a hectic year of work!” said Chan Yook Lean, formerly from SK Taman Maluri.
“I made new friends, laughed and enjoyed the pampering session tailored for us. Glad to be part of it!” said Chan who is now teaching in SK TTDI 1.
Teacher Parameswari Nadarajah from SMK Seri Kembangan in Selangor said that the terrific bond she shared with the other teachers transcended age, colour and religion.
“In my 32 years of teaching, this is the best gift any of my students have given me. Thank you to The Star for organising a competition where students can show their appreciation to a clan called TEACHERS!”