Teachers play a big part in our lives—some have left an impact on us by going beyond their teaching duties. The life lessons they have taught also stay with us, even after we graduate.
To show their appreciation this Teachers' Day, these youths share their stories of teachers who have left an impact on their lives.
Receiving care and support during tough times
"Ms Chang was my Class Mentor and English teacher from secondary one to secondary two. She's a caring teacher who always looked out for me to make sure I was doing fine in class and often gave me leadership opportunities to grow my potential.
"She also goes the extra mile to care for her students. I still remember what she said to me: 'I don't think you know, but I can tell something about you is different.' That was when I was going through a tough time and often had suicidal thoughts. Her care and concern certainly sets her apart from other teachers.
Ms Chang's (top row, middle) encouragement made all the difference in Abigail's (bottom row, middle) life when she was struggling with difficult issues.
PHOTO CREDIT: ABIGAIL CHUA
"When she noticed that I was going through a lot of stress, she would call me after class and give me counselling sessions. She would often liaise with my family to make things easier for me. That made my secondary school life a lot more bearable.
"One day, she approached me and asked if I would be interested to join a writing programme. She observed how I often chose to write narratives during my English composition exams and thought that this would be a great opportunity to grow my writing interest. This eventually led me to enter mass communication to pursue my passion for writing.
"Ms Chang, thanks for being my Class Mentor during my secondary school years. I am so grateful that you asked me to be a part of the writing programme because without you, I wouldn't be able to find my passion in mass communication. Hope all is well for you!" - Abigail Chua, 19, Polytechnic student
Looking up to her teacher as a mentor and a friend
"Mr Yap was my form teacher and biology teacher in secondary four. I first met him in secondary three when he was still a part-time teacher.
"I really look up to him because it's tough for a teacher to be both a friend and mentor, but he has achieved both. I can see that he tries his best in everything he does, including not giving up on his students.
Joveen (second from right) and her classmate (extreme right) with their teacher Mr Yap (front).
PHOTO CREDIT: JOVEEN LEOW
"During his time as our form teacher, Mr Yap tried to discipline us by making our class go for assembly early and be the first class to have everyone present for assembly on time. As we treated him more like a friend than a teacher, we took his words lightly. The late cases in our class began to increase, but we did not change despite his constant stern warnings.
"One day, he had a serious talk with the entire class and that was when I realised he was tired of trying so hard to discipline us when we didn't take him seriously. My classmates started to change and treat him with respect. Even so, we were still able to treat him as a friend and a teacher.
"He taught me to try my best in everything I do so that I'll know I've done my best and have no regrets.
"We just met up in March this year. He still checks up on us once in a while and even asked those who went to junior college about their 'A' Level results." - Joveen Leow, 19, Polytechnic student
Turning over a new leaf with her teacher's help
"Lin Laoshi didn't teach me any subjects. I knew her because I used to get in a lot of trouble and she was one of the teachers in-charge of disciplinary issues.
"She was a fierce teacher who hardly smiled, but she showed me a new side of her. Her words were really important to me.
"She always told me she has faith in me. My principal even told me she was one of the teachers who pleaded for my punishment to be more lenient.
"I felt that there was a difference between her and the other teachers. She really cared for me and would go out of her way to check on me even though she didn't have to do all that since she wasn't one of my subject teachers.
"Whenever she sees me along the corridor, she'd always check up on me. Even though I have a bad temper, she would always know how to use her words when talking to me.
Lin Laoshi (Chinese teacher)'s faith in Chloe pushed her to become a better student.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOU X VENTURES VIA UNSPLASH
"The faith she had in me kept me going, even when I was struggling. Until now, it's still etched in my mind and I almost cry when I think about it.
"Lin Laoshi, you're really one of the few teachers who made an impact in my secondary school life. Thank you for believing in me and I'm sure you'll continue to inspire many other students like me!" - Chloe Chong, 19, Polytechnic student
More than just an educator to her students
"Ms Amalina was my Year 2 producing teacher in 2017, and my school internship supervisor from 2018 to 2019.
"She was one of the few teachers who tolerated my nonsense. Jokes aside, she never failed to help me every time I asked for help, be it about school, work or just life. I still remember jamming to old Coldplay songs together in the TV studio.
Ms Amalina (left) got along with her students, including Fawaz (right), because she was friendly and open to having conversations with them.
PHOTO CREDIT: FAWAZ AHMAD
"Besides being an educator, she is also my friend and the older sister that I never had. She has taught me to see things from all points of views such as a student, teacher, producer, film crew and human being. It allowed me to make better judgments in my life.
"Even after I graduated, we still keep in contact. We are supposed to meet soon at Jalan Kayu for a meal with another buddy of mine, but we are still waiting for our schedules to align!" - Fawaz Ahmad, 21, NSF
If you remember a teacher who has inspired you as a student, Teachers' Day is a great chance to send them a message of appreciation. Leave them a note to make their day!
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: ABIGAIL CHUA AND FAWAZ AHMAD
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