Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Teachers' Day 2020: Dedicated To My Students

Every school teacher would have received a mug like the above or other souvenirs that describes him or her as the perfect classroom mentor. Taken with a smile the recipient would have accepted it and then kept it away in a cupboard or drawer till the next year comes, when the teacher receives another souvenir. And so it goes...

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...

I  have students who touched my life more than I touched theirs.

It's been going on for many years and as I remember, one young lady brought her two children and we met at Novena Square for a wonderful lunch. I still have to return her lunch. Another lady got married and sent photographs of her new born, happily together with her handsome hubby. At another 60's music show, a student brought friends to watch our band perform at the main National Library open hall along North Bridge Road. She's the same student who took us to Jewel and always kept in touch.

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.)

Performing on stage both as a Mandarin MC and pop singer, another student has made a name for herself in the SG Chinese community as versatile, pleasant and effective as a variety show hostess!

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...'

You who are on the road, Must have a code that you can live by, And so become yourself, Because the past is just goodbye. Teach your children well. (Crosby, Stills & Nash: TEACH YOUR CHILDREN. Video: Mofromusic.

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.


YEN CHOW said...

Andy, thank you so much for posting about us!
This is one of the sweetest gift I have and the only from my teacher!!!

DAVE said...

Hope to catch up with you again!

CHEN HUI SI said...

Oki! Thanks Andy !
Happy teachers' day !!:)
Really appreciate your thought! 😘😘
Actually I never thought I will be an emcee n singer..
Cos in class I really am the quiet one...
I remember when I go up stage to receive presents,
I will get the shivers hehe!

ROY CHEW said...

So, you need my handsome picture is it?
So, you will take from my WhatsApp profile
or from the picture in facebook (for the condo buffet)?

CARINE LEE said...

Thank you...
we are supposed to make you tear, not the other way round!
Alamak... should have your face in the photo too!

SITA I. said...

you are too kind Andy 🙏🙏🙏😇😇😇
You are toooo sweet Andy !!
Thank you so much for your gift .....
Yen Chow wrote me on FB about your story .
I really do hope to meet you one day with my children in Singapore 🙏🙏
Please stay healthy and safe.

MAY said...

Thank you. Glad you're well.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks again guys for the compliments.
One of my better Teachers Day moments.
It’s like going back to school during assembly morning
And getting the mug again.
But this time I’m giving out the mugs instead.
Enjoy the song.

SL said...

I found this on Pinterest (where else !?😄)
and after reading your essay, I feel it nicely
encapsulates the successful and well loved
teacher that you are.
“Happy Teachers' Day*, Andrew!

chakap chakap said...

The song TEACH YOUR CHILDREN is by Graham Nash.
First appeared on album DEJA by CSNY in 1970.
It was never recorded in a studio but live in 1983.
Canada 8th pop song.
Billboard Hot 100 was 16th.
Atlantic Label
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young.


The song NEVER gets old.
Love it as much today,
as when I first heard it
on the vinyl album.

Joyce said...

Thank you Andy!
I am proud to be your student too!
Do take care and really hope to catch up with you soon.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to SL, a lecturer and Joyce whom I finally met again in the bus.
If I have you out, excuse me, but it's really been great to have students who acknowledge you on the streets and in the cafes or public transport.

(Been a great Teachers' Day spending it with a Nutritionist at SGH who told me to drink lots of water and to cut down on the sugar (heavy pound cakes) for a healthier me.

Also more walking and less blogging.
Thanks to Tiffany.)