Friday, November 21, 2008

Teaching Brings Joy to These Women

Figured I'd best blog this for my archives since the article is no longer up on the Star website. This was published sometime in May 2006, if I remember correctly.


PETALING JAYA: You could say teaching is in Gayle Barbosa’s blood. Her parents and grandmother were also teachers.

That could explain why Gayle, at the age of 29, decided to quit as a copywriter and pursue an education degree instead.

Her grandmother Anna Capel, 84, was a teacher for 33 years, starting her career before World War II. Gayle's mother Marion Barbosa, 64, taught at SM Convent Green Lane in Penang for 34 years.

Gayle, who is in her foundation year, recalled how she once told herself she would never become a teacher. But after venturing into advertising, she realised her real passion was in fact in education.

“Teaching is what I enjoy and I look up to my mother and grandmother as model teachers,” said Gayle.

Anna said she started teaching after secondary school. That was before the war. During the Japanese Occupation, she stopped teaching on the advice of her husband.

“When I went to the Penang Convent after the war, it was a total mess, because it had been used by the Japanese as a base,” said Anna, adding that she enrolled as a teacher again as soon as the occupation was over.

Anna felt that there was more respect and appreciation for teachers before, noting that many new teachers were indifferent towards their students.

“It’s very sad, as the students want to learn but often can’t find the right teachers,” said Anna, who still has her former students visiting and sending her greeting cards.

Her daughter Marion initially got into teaching because she was not sure what she wanted to do.

“My parents basically decided for me, but I don’t regret it for one minute, because teaching was extremely rewarding,” said the retired teacher.

Marion felt that the decline in students’ behaviour nowadays was due to teachers and parents as well.

“I was a very firm teacher, and manners were very important to me. My students even used to call me the ‘dragon’! With the right techniques, positive values can be imparted in every lesson, not just during moral class.” she said.

“It is extremely gratifying to see a diamond in the rough emerge to be something wonderful!”

With Teachers Day on May 16, this is a good time for everyone to express their appreciation for their old or current teachers.

Just send in an SMS and see that message in the print or electronic media. The SMS campaign, conducted by the Education Ministry together with Sdn Bhd, will continue until May 31.

Each message costs 30 sen. Just type GURU, space, followed by the message and send to 32020.

Source : The Star Online