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Thelma for a day

September 30, 2012

After reading Sweat Lee’s recent password-protected post , i couldn’t help but did quite some thinking.

What is the role of a teacher? To what extent do we allow ourselves to be involved in our students’ lives?

and my conclusion was simple.

There is a reason why i am placed right here, in this school, with this group of kids.

I am an adult (well technically so), and I could be a role model, someone they could approach if they need some adult help.

.

My rapport with the kids have been quite pleasant i would say.. we joke around a lot, they tell me about the scandals of their peers, and sometimes they too share about their lil relationships.

But, i felt that i need to be more supportive in a whole different, and probably a more personal level.

.

So, today i went into my class… (i had only single periods with my Form 5 classes)..and i told them today will be an honest session.

I sat down in front of the class, and i shared about a personal struggle of mine, of when i was in high school.

I told them how i toyed with suicidal thoughts, which rendered quite some response from them.

.

Then i explained that i wasn’t there to judge them, rather, i want to be someone they could talk to if they have any problems at all, because i don’t want them to do anything stupid due to lack of guidance and understanding.

With a piece of paper, and a time limit of 15 minutes, the task was to write a letter to me, sharing what they felt they could tell me, and i would later reply their letters, with my thoughts, advice or even just words of encouragement.

The girls needed no urging, as they went straight into writing. The boys however were giving me the ‘i have no problems in the world type of attitude.’ But seeing how everyone else got so serious into writing, with even a few girls sobbing in the process, the boys stopped joking around, and asked for papers.

When the 15 minutes were up, one by one they came giving me their letters. Some of them had the letter stapled in so many directions @_@ Again i reassured them that the contents are for my own eyes only, before i sent them off.

.

When i read the letters, i had a whole lot of emotions overpowering me. I felt like hugging some of them so tight, and telling them that things will be alright. Not giving out names, but basically some wrote about violent fathers, having to work to support the family, living with evil step family, living with more than 10 siblings!, trying to quit drugs and alcohol, or simply crying out in desperation of not wanting to be useless in the future.

and most of them ended with (along the lines of) “thank you teacher for being willing to listen to my problems. i feel thankful that you care.”

and of course, i teared.

.

.

Behind that exterior of cheekiness, being annoying or being ‘gung ho’, some of these kids are facing real problems, and probably some too big for them to handle at their age.

It really pains me to know what they are going through and i keep asking myself, ‘what else can i do for them?’

It is not for me to go and intervene in family matters, but the least that i need to do is to give them a different perspective of things, to offer them an alternative, or even a new purpose to work towards.

Lord, give me wisdom to be a better teacher to these kids, to say the right words, to offer consolation and help in their situations…

.

Gotta go,

i have 58 letters to reply to.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sabrina permalink
    September 30, 2012 7:58 pm

    bravo felicia, such a thoughtful (yet still fulfilling the teaching objectives hehe) thing to do. You’re a role model of a teacher, keep it up sweets. x

    • October 10, 2012 5:10 pm

      awwww thanks babe… you are always filled with sweet words.. and this is the first time you leave a non-‘dirty’ comment for me. hahahaha.. we should meet up!

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