CONTRIBUTIONS of teachers should never be ignored.
They are a friend and mentor to children - guiding, impacting, and instilling good values in them.
While many deem Teachers Day as a special day to show their appreciation and gratitude towards teachers, Sekolah Sri UCSI principal Tan See Min sees the day as something more meaningful.
“Teachers Day is the day teachers retake our pledge to remind ourselves why we are here and what we are supposed to do,” said the passionate educator who has been in the field for 25 years.
The 52-year-old who has had experience in schools and higher learning institutions, believes that teachers are students’ proxy parents.
She pointed out being a teacher is very different from being a lecturer as teachers carry a big responsibility in ensuring each child they teach grows up to become a decent person.
“As a lecturer I had to make sure I delivered my lectures and that students did well for the exam. But as a teacher, I had to worry about their mannerisms, character,” said the bespectacled principal who often calls students her children.
On a lighter note, Tan said it was nice when teachers were treated like A-list celebrities on Teachers Day, which Sekolah Sri UCSI celebrated on May 4.
The annual event was organised by a committee made up of the school’s prefects under the watchful eye of a teacher adviser.
Teachers were treated to performances and an assortment of cuisine prepared by students and parents.
Describing it as a joyous occasion, Tan said the “VIPs” of the day were welcomed by the students amid a frenzy of bright camera flashes while they walked down the red carpet in the assembly hall that was beautifully decorated.
“The students made us feel like superstars. It is a very nice feeling because teachers are usually the organisers of any school event,” she said.
She noted that Teachers Day is the only day out of a year where teachers get to celebrate for the whole day.
Besides appreciating the immense sacrifices teachers have made for their “children”, student Andre Tristan Ho Sze Lek, 16, said Teachers Day was also to treasure the memories teachers have given to students.
“Cracking jokes in class, writing the wrong thing on the board and discussions on lessons. These are all the things we can reminisce about.
“There is the laughter and advice they have given us whether it is on studies or everyday life that we appreciate.
“They do not only they teach us about skills we need later in life, they also educate and prepare us for the future,” said Andre Tristan who was the emcee and photographer at the event.
Organising committee chairperson Ethan Soo Kah Heen, 16, said the committee was intent on making Teachers Day is hit.
“Everybody put in so much effort in getting it right. It is time to show appreciation for everything they have done for us since the beginning of our schooling life,” said the prefect.
Despite having to sit for an IGCSE exam paper that day, Chai Koon Hoe, 17, delivered a speech on behalf the students before the celebrations began.
The head prefect said teachers do so much besides guiding students on their studies.
“They share information beyond our books and play an important role in building our character. They also counsel and give us advice to counter problems to help us become better individuals,” he said.
Koon Hoe believes Teachers Day is a day of bonding between teachers and students.
“It is also a day where teachers should not have to life a finger,” he added.