Teachers are the ones who help shape a child besides the parents. They play such an important role in a child's life!
I remember one particular teacher, Mr L, in my primary school. He was such a caring and doting teacher who welcomed everyone to to home. And it helped that it was a neighbourhood school and he stayed nearby. He was my mother tongue (Mandarin) teacher and I still remember vividly his appearance. He was tall (or maybe not? 'coz when you are 9 yo, everything looks pretty huge to you... not?), plump and always wearing a smile. He had kind words for everybody and even called us his "anak anak" (malay term for children).
Mr L was the person who introduced me to kiwis. I still remembered the 1st time I held a kiwi in my hands, not knowing what it was. His daughter was studying in NZ at that time and was back for a holiday. She brought the kiwis back and somehow 3 kiwis landed in my bag. I brought the kiwis home, and showed them to my mother... and she also had no idea what fruit it was except it's "that hairy thing" she called it. However, I can't seem to recall eating it. Maybe she tot it was an alien and got rid of it? I really dunno....
OK, back to my story....
I graduated from primary school and still occasionally will meet up with Mr L. He was just living in the next block to me at that time! We talked abt school, life and everything under the sun.
Fast forward to when I was in secondary 3, it suddenly dawned onto me that Mr L had not contacted me for the longest time. (don't call me heartless, but when you're a 15 yo, there seems to be never-ending activities/events/places to go to!). I picked up the phone and called him. In what seemed to be the longest wait, someone finally picked up the phone. I asked for Mr L.... the man over at the line asked me which Mr L I'm looking for? Turned out that he is the son of Mr L... so he's also Mr L.... anyway, I made myself clear and then I was told the bad news.... Mr L had passed away 3 mths ago! At that moment, I really did not know how to react. I was SHOCKED and put down the phone. It took me nearly 2 hours to recover from that shock and I decided I shd call again to find out the details. Eventually, I got to know everything that was.
Till today, my heart is full of regret. Why didn't I call sooner? If I had done that, I'll probably got to talk to my dear Mr L before he left this world. At least I'll get to hear his voice before he goes. Mr L had touched my heart and till today, he's still in that special place in my heart. He was truly a great teacher who taught me to give unconditionally and look at life from a different perspective. That I believe is more important than just learning academically. Lessons in life are not found in books, you have to experience it.
So as a tribute to teachers, I decided to bake some macarons for my kiddo's teachers.
I wish all teachers a very Happy Teacher's Day! To all the teachers who have touched the hearts of every child......