“Something about teaching makes me feel more alive. Maybe it’s because I’m dealing with younger boys in whom I see a little of a younger and more playful me. Maybe it’s just the informal atmosphere.”
8 years ago, I started out as a wide-eyed Sec 1 kid, both intrigued and intimidated by the enormity of Raffles Institution. I would never have guessed that 8 years on, I would walk into Raffles Institution apprehensively once again, but this time anointed as a teacher.
I got recommended to the job by accident. Heard of the vacancy from a friend without giving it much thought at first. After my last internship with UOB I was barely 2 months away from college. Like most of my peers, I was hoping to go wild and enjoy my last days of unshackled fun.
And for a while, I did. I caught up with friends over lunch, found time to hang out at malls and spend some of that hard earned money from my summer job. Yet just 2 weeks into my newfound freedom, the emotional void of joblessness caught up with me. Life didn’t feel like an endless roller coaster of fun; it merely felt empty as hours stretched into days of twiddling my thumbs.
Coming back to RI to teach reminds me so much about myself. Around school, I see the same teachers, same buildings, and same classrooms. In class, I spy the same old tricks that I once used to circumvent school rules. Pulling on a jacket to get away with a missing school badge. Secretly unfastening the top button under the school tie for air. Sneaking into the Raja Block lift when it looks like there are no teachers around.
Something about teaching makes me feel more alive. Maybe it’s because I’m dealing with younger boys in whom I see a little of a younger and more playful me. Maybe it’s just the informal atmosphere. I was never too fond of stuffy, professional settings.
I don’t know how much you learnt from me in the short few weeks I’ve been with your class. It certainly was nowhere near long enough to let me boast about making a difference to your grades during PTM. But I know that the past few weeks been the most meaningful days in my working life. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I’ll be missed by all of you (I hope). Especially 1B boys who invited me down for soccer and basketball on my last day!
There are neither beginnings nor endings in a circle. I don’t want to think of this as an ending, but I simply can’t imagine teaching such a fun bunch of students again. This — what we had — was golden.
Circle or no circle, I’ll never be 21 again. I can never go back to being a prospective undergrad (who ORDed a year ago) with nothing on my hands except my classes, to whom I can devote all my time and energy; to whom I can relate because… hey I’m not that much older after all!
So thank you for being an extraordinary part of the fabric of my memories — my final memories of the carefree and awesome blast I’ve had before embarking on my studies in New York all over again after a 3 year hiatus.
Yet another circle. Albeit one I’d gladly not have to go through ><