That's me in my Punjabi suit. 🙂

Let me introduce myself:

My name is Lisa and I am currently a final-year education student majoring in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) in the National University of Malaysia (UKM), Bangi.

I come from a small family of three siblings, with me being the eldest, and the only girl. The relatively small gap in our ages could possibly be the reason why I am rather close to my brothers. I never really thought so until I came across a few friends of mine who rarely talk to their brothers or sisters at all! I do not wish to compare, but it has made me grateful for the close relationship I have with my brothers. I hope that we can continue to be this close even when we have all left the home and are on our own.

My parents are born teachers, I would say. However, my mum stopped teaching in 1997 because she wanted to “take care of the kids.” She has been a stay-at-home-mum ever since. When my mum was teaching, she taught Biology and Additional Mathematics for Upper Secondary in two schools – one in Lenggeng, and the other SMK Seri Ampangan. I do not think she ever regretted her decision to stop teaching, but I know that if she had continued, she would have been a great teacher. 🙂

My dad, on the other hand, teaches Form 6 Chemistry in SMK King George V, Seremban, where I did my Form 6 as well. In case you were wondering, yes, my dad actually taught me Chemistry. It was rather strange to have to call your dad “Sir” in school, but call him “Pa” the moment you enter the car. xD

I had always known my dad as a father. But my Form 6 years were when I really knew him as a teacher. In many ways, he further strengthened my will to be a teacher myself. He knew his subject well, he had a clear way of explaining so as to help students better understand a concept, and he really cared about his students’ welfare. My interest in Chemistry was piqued when he was my Chemistry teacher.

No, I did not get any tips for examinations, or special tutoring when he taught me. If anything, he was harder on me than the rest of my classmates. When I asked him why, he said that because I was his daughter, he had to be harder on me than the rest. Which was pretty unfair, if you ask me >.<

Maybe it was in my genes, but I loved Chemistry and I did well in it.

I got an A for STPM Chemistry 🙂

However, my good results in STPM were not due solely to my dad’s teaching. I had been blessed with wonderful teachers during my Form 1 to Form 5 years as well. Some of whom set the firm foundation and basics for subjects that I later excelled in.

One of them was English – my first love. 🙂

In Form 4, Mrs Lim Pek Leng taught me English. I did not expect much, just any ordinary lesson, ordinary teacher. But she made us start a journal (which I now know is called a ‘written dialogue journal’) in which we were required to write anything we wanted – certain events, our feelings, thoughts and reactions.

Again, I did not expect anything. Imagine my surprise when I saw written comments on the sides and corners of the pages in her handwriting – encouraging, praising and advising. I was touched by her comments and ever since then, looked forward to when our journals would be returned to us every week, anxiously awaiting her words of praise (I hoped) or her thoughts on certain things. It really felt like a secret dialogue that only she and I shared.

Most importantly, it felt like she really cared 🙂

My Chemistry teacher was another person who inspired me. Pn. Siti Halijah was relatively young as compared to my other teachers (she was only 34 then) or should I say, “young at heart”. She was this bubbly, jovial, ‘crazy’ (if you don’t mind me saying so) person who was good at what she did. I loved her classes. We always had fun studying Chemistry. But when it came to teaching her subject, I have never seen a more serious face.

She was the kind of teacher who would not mind a bunch of noisy, boisterous, nothing-better-to-do sixteen-year-old girls hanging around in her Chemistry lab, even when we had no Chemistry periods that day. We would sit around and chat and talk about everything and sometimes nothing significant at all. She was someone I could share my problems with, and could effortlessly cheer me up 🙂

I wanted to be exactly like that.

I want to be a teacher whom students will remember as someone who not only taught them the syllabus, but also someone who cared about each of them. Someone they could turn to for advice, even just to chat. I want my future students to look back and remember me as a good teacher, a great teacher. And I will surely have everything if one day, one of my students comes up to me and says, “Teacher, you were the person who inspired me to be who I am today.”

I do not know if this is too idealistic. I do not know if I will feel the same way ten years down the line. But as for the moment, I want to be a teacher, an educator.

This is what I feel is my “calling” – to be a teacher. Hence, my blog title is “The Call”. I have finally answered the call that I now realize has always been there, and here I am today, a student of the Faculty of Education, UKM, on my way to making my dream a reality.

I hope I can be a really great teacher some day, because my future students deserve the best. 🙂