I want to tell you 1 story; a touching one. This story happens to me. Yes, I stressed it, it happens to me. Not to my father-in-laws friend laaaa, nor my neighbours; not even Mrs. Thompson. Please clear out your mind first before you read this story because I want to be as transparent as I can. And, I also hope that you are transparent as well. Tqvm....
There's one boy in my class, 1 Balau of SMKDJ. His name is Daryl Tam. He is a quite handsome boy, tall and friendly. But his problem is only 1, being talkative. He received many complaints from all the teachers, mainly bad remark, saying that he always talk in class and not finishing work. I said to myself,"Whatlaa happen to this boy? Not that he is not intelligent nor comes from a broken family; and Mr. Tam has a good background; a well-to do; financially and manner. How I know? He gave a good support by coming over the Open Day. Do you guys know what is Open Day? Open Day is the day when the parents come to school to sign their childrens' report card and have discussion over the childrens' performance. Harshly to say, sometimes it's a time where teachers pouring up everything to the parents, as well as the parents. Understand now? Come back to the main point....
I remember that day, Mr. Tam came a bit late, maybe of a traffic jam or finishing some matters (which I don't think of to ask why) but for me, his attendance is enough as a strong support to the school. Without complaining, he sat down and introduced politely ,"Teacher, I'm Alan (without bothering of any title nor status-conscious). I'm Daryl's father. Do you have any complaint of him?"
I, like having black heart; thought that this is the time for me to 'take revenge' because Daryl was always talk during my lesson. "Well, Mr. Tam. Honestly speaking, Daryl is a good and smart boy. In fact, today he helped me a lot. But his main problem is always talk in my lesson. Not only my lesson but the other teachers as well. The other teachers also complained that he didn't finish his work and a bit lazy. So, I kindly ask for your concern and action towards this matter." Nah! I felt satisfied after pouring that. Mr. Tam was so quiet and paid attention to my words. Without saying anything but I felt that Mr. Tam was a bit dissapointed over my complaint. Suddenly, I felt the guilt. What am I saying? Did I say the right thing? Do I have a right to say that? So many questions came lingering in my mind. And, in fact.... I bear the guilt, until now....(crying...)
Then, calmly Mr. Tam said,"I'm so sorry on behalf of Daryl. Please guide him, teacher". I can see that he really meant of what he was saying. He looked so honest and the words were so real. Yeah, words that come from a noble and good heart always touch the other heart. After that, he signed the report card and bring it back home ( so I assumed that Mr. Tam wanted to show Mrs. Tam ;Daryl's report card....that's normal to do). End that case....
Today, when I came to 1 Balau, Daryl came approached me and handed over his letter of absence; written by Mr. Tam. It says," To the class teacher of 1 Balau, Pn. Roshidayu... I'm sorry to inform that Daryl was absent on 6/10/2010 (which falls on last Wednesday) because his mother passed away." I, reading that, suddenly 'terduduk' on the chair. Speechless.... Ya Allah, what have I done?? Then, the letter continues,"Kindly contact me of the above number for any clarification." Signed by Alan Tham. My hand was shaking as I took my hp. I 'collect'ed my strength and start sms'ing'
"Hi, Mr. Tam. I'm Pn. Ros. I just sms to tell you that I received Daryl's letter of absence. My deepest condolence goes to you and your family."
Then, I walked to Daryl and have some conversation with him:
Me : Daryl, your mother is suffering of what?
Daryl: Lung cancer, teacher.
Me: I'm sorry I didn't know. I'm very sorry. (Guilt...)
Daryl: It's ok, teacher...(paused..)
Me: Since when she was dignosed with that illness?
Daryl: 2001, teacher.....
Me: Are sure you are ok, Daryl?
Daryl: Yes, I'm ok.
I walked from Daryl but my mind can't stop thinking. Mr. Tam replied my sms...
"Thank you so much for your guidance too. He's been trying hard at home to catch up on his revisions for the coming exams because he was looking after his mom when she's in the hospital. Pls help me to guide him for the coming exams. Thank you so much"
The sms made me even sadder. I'm about to cry knowing that this noble 13-year-old teen is the one who takes care of his beloved mom on her deathbed. This is why he always missed his homework and all I' have proudly done was 'awarded' him with such bad remarks! Shamed on me! Then, I replied,"Yesterday, I brought them (1 Balau students) to the library. I was walking to make sure that they are doing their work. I stopped by to see what books that Daryl's taking. I saw he took two books on Christianity and explaining the content to 1 of his friend. I felt so touched. He is indeed a good and pious* boy. I promise to you that I will do my best to guide him. Both of you raised him very well. I'm sure that our beloved late Mrs. Tam is very proud to see this".
Then, Mr. Tam replied, "Thank you so much for your kind words. Understand the exams round the corner. Could you please keep an eye on Daryl for me.Pls keep me inform on his progress in school. Thanks again."
My last sms to the kind-hearted Mr. Tam," I promise you I will try my best. Do take care yea, Mr. Tam?"
I still feel the guilt. In my car just now, on the way back, I cried. Why? Because I have sinned Daryl and Mr. Tam so much, in fact; too much! I don't take an effort to come personally to Daryl that time but instead just asking,"Daryl, what happen to you? Please change!" Then, I walked away. I should go to Daryl and asked," Daryl, do you have any problem?"
Adding more to my guilt, I 'rewarded' Daryl with a 'borang prestasi murid'. The form is not actually a 'good' form, nor a good remark for the students. The form is used for the teachers to write on all the student's bad behaviour/complaints for further action. My superior will call up the parents, come sit down in her room to discuss the solution for that particular problems. It's not the end of the day/story. Once the form is issued, the discipline teacher will write the student's name in a long book as a record which means the student will have bad reputation for the rest of his/her years in the school. He/she cannot 'erase' the name. But, if he/she transfers, the record will be deminished. Now, am I a good teacher? Or do I deserved to be called a teacher? When all I had learnt now is from Daryl and Mr. Tam?
Now, there's nothing to be said or regretted but I still have the feeling. Let it be. But the burden is lighter now. Why? Because I have you guys as my readers. I wanna ask/beg/urge you to give strong support, love and care towards Daryl and Mr. Tam. I know they don't ask for these nor beg for sympathy but I strongly believe that our tender and deep from heart words will soothe Daryl and Mr. Tam's heart. Pls add 'Daryl Tam' in FB. It is him when you see a photo of a sad-looking boy with his handsome dad. That is Mr. Tam. Yeah, he is really handsome physically and in heart just like the actor Alan Tham. Do add him.
To DARYL AND MR. TAM, I DEDICATED THIS ENTRY TO BOTH OF YOU. AND I PRAY HARD THAT OUR BELOVED LATE MRS. TAM WILL BE REST PEACEFULLY THERE WITH THE ALMIGHTY.AMIN3!! TO MRS. THAM, I DON'T HAVE CHANCE TO MEET YOU PERSONALLY, BUT BY LOOKING TO PITY DARYL, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A WONDERFUL LADY THAT EDUCATE DARYL VERY WELL.
deep from my little heart,
the cruel-heart 1 Balau class teacher,
roshidayu binti che mat.