Thursday, September 01, 2016

teacher’s day

I ask a teacher in the kid’s school: What do you like to get on Teacher’s Day?

He told me, “Cards with meaningful words in it.”

Not gifts and such?

No, he said, very diplomatically with a smile. Sometimes, he said, we get repeat gifts and we don’t know what to do with it.

He didn’t have to say, but I have seen what Mum gets. It’s all really, really sweet, but she sometimes struggles to utilize her stuff. This year she gets a ton of cookies for some reason. She doesn’t like cookies.

So at my advice, Jo carefully types and prints out personal letters to her teachers.

At first she didn’t know what to say, and three words - Happy Teacher’s Day – is hardly meaningful. I give her guiding questions which miraculously do the trick in helping her to make out very sweet detailed letters:
  1. How long has this teacher been teaching you?
  2. Do you remember the first time you met this teacher? How did you feel then? How about now? (When I first saw you, I remember I felt scared because you... But now I feel that you are...)
  3. What do you like best about this teacher? (I like it when you….or I like you because you are patient/understanding/caring/kind/encouraging etc)
  4. Any specific example which you remember of what this teacher did with or for you? (I remember when I…., you really helped me to…)
  5. Three words to describe this teacher?
  6. What do you hope to achieve because of what this teacher has taught you? (Because of what you taught me, I want to…) 

From the above, Jo came with letters like these:

Dear XXX,
I would like to wish you a happy teacher’s day! You have been teaching me for almost two years already! You know, you are one of my favourite teachers! It is because you explain things, and make sure we know what we are doing. Before we do a composition, you will show us news reports, or videos, to give us ideas on what to write. You also make us copy down the complicated tables, for example changing passive sentences to active sentences. I would like to thank you for teaching me. Happy teacher’s day!

Lulu preferred to paint small cards on A5-sized canvases, showing sunsets and houses on mountains and whatnot.

While Day, who by rights should feel the most gratitude toward the teachers who have been slogging to guide him over the past six years, did not do a thing!

It’s never too late, though, to thank them after the exams are over and he has time to sit back and reflect. Teachers don’t always have to be thanked on Teacher’s Day.

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