Songs about teachers I can recall too and offered them every year to this blog's readers. 'To Sir With Love' from Lulu, 'Teacher's Pet' by Doris Day and 'Teach Me Tonight' with sexy lines like, 'if a shooting star goes by, I'll use that star to write I love you...'. Sung by the imitable Nat King Cole, these songs bring back lots of blackboard memories (yes, school boards were black once, not white like today and the writing on the board was mostly white, not colourful).
So for this post the focus will be on the children. Because there are at least a dozen or two students who still remember. And they are still in touch, even until today. I am sure it's happening to other teachers/lecturers as well.
One amazing former student organised a lunch lately at the Jewel with a few of her school mates; another provided a huge buffet get-together at his condominium with a dozen other classmates and another cheered us on during a 60's music concert, bringing an entourage to support me while I was singing on stage at the Kallang Theatre. You guys know who you are. I won't mention names. But thank you all so much. And that Raffles Country Club meet; we must get together...
Grateful to the classroom monitors who looked after every aspect of the daily affairs in class; carrying heavy Audio Visual Aids, arranging desks and chairs, the immaculate cleaning of blackboard filled with chalk dust, the pinning of time-table and posters on the walls, etc and most importantly, looking after the class register, without which lessons will never begin. One lady monitor I shan't forget; she's the best ever. She did everything in class. Like a secretary.
Another student: a mother now who writes so well on her Facebook pages: I stole her articles and posted them on my blog. She writes better than me; that's for sure. She writes about life's challenges.
Lately while I was lost in a hawker's center looking for the best Chee Cheong Fun, I heard my name called. The sweetest young lady remembered me after 25 years. We chatted the morning away about school days...One works in a far-off land, near where the vast deserts lie. *She still remembers me and we keep in touch but missed each other when my family stepped on Arabic sands. (*A happy birthday to your mum on 4 Sep.)
Another young lady became a scientist, a doctor in bio-chemistry who came from another land, visited me one day while I was teaching at the university. She kept in touch while studying in England, came back and said she still owed a lunch. I told her, if she called me, Sir, I would call her, Doctor!
I'm still in contact with most of them today, with their numbers on my phone. I should present mugs for BEST STUDENTS EVER to these heart-breakers.
'Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry. So just look at them and sigh, and know they love you...'
Thanks to all my students who have been with me for so many years.
A Happy Teachers' Day but remember our students.
Images from Google and A Personal Collection.
Original Article: Andy Lim.
The only photos I have. Please excuse me if I don't mention you by name. Also to the others; unless you send me your pictures and allow publication.