Back in high school, I was a very quiet student. Not studious, not well-behaved; just quiet. I was also a very small person but that didn’t stopped me from playing with the big boys. I had a lot of great teachers in high school but my most memorable teacher was Miss Teo.
Miss Teo was a dark-skinned, curly hair, and sarcastic English teacher. She was a great teacher despite being unorthodox in her methods. My favourite memory of her was when she overheard a friend mumbling, “Bloody hell!” under his breath. She just replied coldly, “That’s some colourful language.” I was the only one who laughed. I guess we shared a similar sense of humour.
At the end of the year, she decided to hand over the reins to her students to run an entire week of activities. To me that showed that she respected her students and in turn we too respected her. My team took the opportunity and organized a treasure hunt around the entire school, complete with water guns, charades, and a good-old fashioned game of cat and mouse. Eight years out of high school and I still remember that day fondly.
Miss Teo passed away in August 2011 after battling with Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. But if I could meet her again, this is what I would say:
Being a teacher is a thankless profession. Students will misbehave and parents will be dissatisfied. But thank you for your perseverance and for your passion in educating us – rebellious, ignorant, privileged youths. Thank you for preparing us for life after high school and showing us that there is more to learning that just ‘A’s in a report card.
Do you have a teacher that you admire or look up to? Share your story with us.
In this week’s video, we asked a few university students to spill the beans on their high school experiences and their relationships with their teachers. Listen to their stories here: