Last week, Malaysia celebrated Teacher’s Day.
And it was a big deal.
The best way I can think of describing it is a formal pep rally. Students and teachers get really excited about it, there are games and performances and instead of school shirts, teachers get matching baju kurungs.
My favorite parts of Teacher’s Day:
+ How it made me reminisce about my own amazing teachers. I had so many teachers who were passionate and knowledgeable and they literally changed the course of my life. They taught me how to think and how to care about our world. And I didn’t know how hard that is to do until I tried (with little to no success) to do the same with my students. So, yeah. Teachers are amazing.
+ My school recognizing not only the teachers, but also the school staff, including the janitors and gardeners. Major props. Sidenote: one of our janitors wears a Bass Pro Shop shirt from time to time, and it never fails to make me smile and think of going to the mall in college.
+ Seeing my students in their element. I only see the majority of my students for forty minutes a week in the classroom. All I know about them is their ability to speak, read or write English, and for a lot of my students (and me), that’s a frustrating experience. So seeing them sing, dance and do whatever it is they’re good at helped me recognize them as people and not just English students.
+ My principal unfurling a banner while The Final Countdown played in the background. Because why not?
So, get on it, America. I expect to see a Teacher’s Day complete with tiger dances and karaoke by the time I get home.