My English teaching career spans more than 20 years to date, including my initial years lecturing in local and private universities, to conducting corporate training and operating my own language learning centre presently.
I first read about President Ikeda’s thoughts on humanistic education during my undergraduate years. This particular sentence impressed and made me ponder for a long time, “I consider education to be the culminating undertaking of my life.” Some years later, I vowed to follow President Ikeda’s footsteps. And today, I am proud to say that I am an educator who engraves President Ikeda’s teaching in my heart and actualise his humanistic education ideals, every single day!
I regard every student I encounter as my own child, ensuring not only their subject mastery but also their positive character and emotional growth. I also grab every opportunity to engage in heart-to-heart dialogue with each parent I meet, sharing with them my thoughts on education and fostering children. Hence, I am proud to say that I have earned many parents’ trust over the years; they know me as the friendly teacher who not only teaches English, but really cares and educates!
During the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia, frankly speaking, I wasn’t caught off-guard at all. In fact, I was well-prepared that I even prepped with most of my students on how to use online learning platforms in anticipation of the imminent restrictions before it happened.
The smooth transition to online teaching was to me, a great protection. As much as I was touched by all the support given by parents and students during this unprecedented period, they were also very pleased with my immediate action which had ensured minimal disruption in their children’s learning. Many parents have expressed their appreciation to me that I sprang into action immediately and the only classes that they children had during the initial MCO weeks were mine. Some children were really looking forward to meeting me via Zoom as my classes had given them some sort of consolation after being confined at home without any learning or interaction with their friends. As some students had left their textbooks with me, I had the books sent to their homes, much to their surprise.
I am also aware that many private education providers’ incomes have been affected severely due to the MCO, however, I am glad to say that many of my parents paid for the students’ learning fee through online banking without being asked to at all. Not only was my regular income not affected, I even received additional requests from parents and companies for more online teaching.
I believe I didn’t do anything special at all during the MCO as this is what I would have done each day in my usual daily teaching routine. This I believe, is the result of President Ikeda’s teaching and the organisation’s training that I have received since my youth. As President Toda often said, “In faith, do the work of one person; in your job, do the work of three.” Gaining trust from everyone around me is one of my greatest treasures in life. I vow to continue actualising President Ikeda’s humanistic education, imparting hope and inspiring young minds. As President Ikeda’s said too, “That is because the victory of education means the victory of the people.”
Updated from an article published in the June 2020 issue of COSMIC