Teacher spares the rod and shows them the way instead

PETALING JAYA: When she started teaching years ago, primary school teacher Rani, 50, did not expect to encounter bullying and extortion cases.

She thought school would be a decent and pleasant place to be in. But she was wrong.

“I was astounded! There was an 11-year-old boy extorting money from his friends after being influenced by other troublemakers,” she said, adding that the boy lived with his struggling single mother.

“Primary school should be filled with fun and innocence, so this particular case stuck with me. The boy just wanted attention but had no one to turn to,” she said.

Rani tried to befriend the problematic child, and put him in leadership positions like that of a cleanliness monitor.

“I rewarded him with praise and small gifts so that he felt appreciated in the classroom,”she added.

Rani’s story comes in the wake of news about a teacher who, facing a charge of causing hurt to his student, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by a magistrate’s court in Seremban on Tuesday morning.

English teacher Puan Puteri, 43, has dealt with students who engaged in teen sex in the past.

“Two girls from my school were caught on video in an illicit act with a few boys at a nearby park,” she said.

Asked what steps were taken, she said: “I brought the matter to the disciplinary committee and they spoke to the students and their parents to come up with a solution.

“It is difficult to let go of these cases because you feel upset for the future generation. Even talking about this gives me a cold sweat.”

Similarly, Suneeta, 43, a secondary school teacher for 19 years, has been on the receiving end of vulgarity and aggression from her students.

“Every time a child acts negatively, there is a reason. I do not take these cases personally. Instead, I show care towards the student as that is more effective,” she said.

Secondary school teacher S.J. Chang, 54, is one of many teachers who opt out of physical punishment but tries to give her students hope through learning.

“My former students keep me informed on how they are doing and show appreciation for my help,” she said.