When my nephew suddenly said he wanted to write a book on his experiences meeting many taxi drivers, he thought it would be an endless story to tell. But when I told him that I should write on my students, we all had a good laugh when I said the story is not just endless but with many parts, chapters and volumes that it is going to beat even Harry Potter. Indeed how true that is.
My students have colourful characters and they have coloured my life throughout my teaching career which is almost coming to an end now. For 30 years in the profession, I have the privilege of meeting numerous students of whom some of them have already have their own grandchildren. From the first batch of students to the present one, they are just like holding the baton to stay on my path a litlle while before passing it to the next one in line.
I could still recall my first batch of students when I was posted to the SRJK(C) Rasa, Hulu Selangor, after completing my teacher training. In my attempt to teach my students English, I learned numerous words of Mandarin from them and could understand string of sentences in their mother tongue. Unfortunately, I was there only for a year and therefore I did not manage to grasp the language. What a loss on my part! But I carried with me some good memories of the batch I taught, especially the Standard 4 students who behaved very well and responded enthusiastically to my lesson when I was observed by a lecturer from the Sultan Idris Teacher Training College (now known as UPSI). And all that happened without me requesting them to do so, prior to the visit.
On the first day of Syawal that year, about 20 of my students came to my kampung house and at first I thought it would disastrous for me. However, they were well-behaved, enjoyed all the food and drinks I served and hung around for almost three hours in my house. I did not have to entertain them throughout their stay because after eating, they went down to the house compound and played among themselves. After having a second round of drinks, they finally excused themselves and as they shook my hand I offered each one of them a RM1 angpow. To my surprised, they unanimously refused to accept my angpow because I was not married. According to the Chinese, only married people can give angpows away. Even when I told them I am not Chinese and it's all right for me to give away angpows, they still would not accept my money. And they were all just between 10-12 years old. How different they were from the children today.
Another incident which I cannot forget till today is about a flasher who stalked and flashed at these young children during their Physical Education lesson. The school was located next to a road and anyone can come as close as possible to the school compound which was surrounded by a fence. After a few times witnessing the children screamed and scrambled towards the staff room because of the flasher, I decided to put a stop to the flasher's visit. I convinced the students to not run away the next time the flasher came. Instead, everyone should crowd together and stare at the flasher while chanting the word flasher. It worked and the flasher never did come again.
And these are just a few incidents with my students in my first year of teaching...