I will run…

It’s been a very hectic week for everybody. Running from lessons to lessons….one conversation with colleagues to another….one meeting to another…and one set of marking to another set of marking….finally the work week comes to an end and praise the Lord we all survived. Gosh! The very fact that we are still standing is a miracle itself. The week started with about 11 teachers on MC and ended with many planning to have MC the following week. Many times, that’s how teachers survive in the system. So I am always grateful to my Lord that I survived each week by His grace and mercy.
At times, especially during the mid week, it is really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it always seems like leading to another darker tunnel ahead. You walk, and you walk….you try to feel something along the way, but there’s always this sense of uncertainty and fear as we try to feel our way out of the dungeon. The more we move on, the more uncertain we become. This is how I feel throughout the week. I really couldn’t see my weekends and for a moment I tot the next day after Friday is a Monday…another working week. Of course, I am sure that not everyone in this profession feel that way I am feeling but I am sure there are people who feel the same as me. How can I not thank the Lord Jesus Christ for seeing me through.
Finally, when Friday comes, I can smell and even see my weekends approaching…and my spirit is lifted up. I can finally see that light at the end of the dungeon and I quickly run towards it. I can finally see….and I can breathe at last. I suddenly I feel like I have seen the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant….running towards it. As a matter of fact, I thank God that I can have this confidence, according to His grace, to approach His throne of mercy. It’s there I can be myself…it’s there that I can truly have the strength to stand up again. It’s there that I can sing and dance before Him…rejoicing in His goodness and the beauty of His holiness. I ask God for a song in my heart….I want Him to put a song in my heart…that I can sing in the night…the deepest night of my journey. I want to sing a song of gratefulness for His salvation and love….I want to sing a song of repentance from my unbelief and lack of faith…I want to sing a song of forgiveness from my wrongdoings…I want to sing a song of hope to the hopeless…a song of peace to the troubled…a song of strength for the weak…and a song of faithfulness, proclaiming His everlasting love for us! Put a song in my heart, Lord! I want to sing till the world knows….I want to sing till they join me in my singing!
the gatekeeper07

Reflection at Starbuck

I am not too sure since when I frequent Starbuck and do my blogging there. It’s becoming my favourite hideout and a place that I try to regain my sanity after a day’s work. I guess I am influenced by the young people who would bring their laptops and laze their times there, surfing the net and sharing their ideas with one another. I actually prefer to do this alone and really shut myself off and consolidate my thoughts. I think this is my way of releasing one whole day’s of tension and trying to be myself. I really don’t know how much I have contributed to the success of the American’s Starbuck. I love my ice brewed Zen tea…my all time favourite. Well, actually, I started with this tea because there’s basically nothing much in Starbuck that I can drink. Everything else is so sweet and is deadly for a diabetic patient like myself. But as times went by, I have grown to like this tea and it has become my favourite. I don’t know if this is the same for my stay with my school? It may not be as nice as drinks like cafe mocha or ice cafe latte, but as times go by, I will learn to appreciate the taste of Zen tea. Let me stretch further…it doesn’t matter whether I appreciate Zen tea or not….I can only drink this. That sounds rather tragic actually.
I had the chance of sharing with one of my colleagues on what I have been doing in Vietnam with the kids in Cai Be Province. I was telling him how visiting these kids have helped to maintain my sanity as a teacher. How each time I visit them, I rediscover the purpose of education and what it means to me as a teacher. As a matter of fact, they have helped me more than I have helped them. Education for many of them there is a priviledge and not a given. Over here, education has become a given. Once you have reached a certain age, your parents will just enrolled you with a primary school and there you begin your journey as a student. However, over in Cai Be, education does not come easy. For many, they may not even have taste how education is like. It is this thought of bring education closer to these kids that helps to rekindle the fire in me. Everytime when I know that someone gets to continue his or her education because of our contribution, it makes me once again a teacher.
I don’t understand why I don’t feel the same over here. I don’t feel that education has such deep meaning here in Singapore. No matter how we try to package our own Singapore’s brand of education, Still in our action, very few are bringing out the meaning of education. Perhaps, we are too concern with our own grading and making sure that we don’t make any mistake in our daily dealings. Perhaps, we are just too concern about meeting quotas and compromise with the quality of our lesson and times with the students. Perhaps, we have compromised with too many things. Indeed, we have given up alot of things while trying to be ‘professional’.
This morning, I took time to pray to God. I prayed that God will make me the teacher He wants me to be. I asked God to give me the strength and ability to do my work as a teacher well. I know I am not a good teacher but I want to strive to do my best. I know that my best may not be the best for some other…but I will just keep trying. I know that I cannot do all these with my own strength. God is my Enabler and my very present help in times of needs. Every Sunday, when I am in service partaking of the Holy Communion, I will pray that God will allow me to share in His suffering and His glory. I also pray that God will make me a broken bread and a poured out wine to the people around me. I know I am not good at doing all these. But I am striving to be good and towards this goal that the Lord has set for me. I see this as my own Christian manifesto. It is my very personal profession of faith.
I guess that’s all for now….I pray that God will give me a better day of lessons tomorrow, a good day of learning and teaching together with the kids in my school. God be my helper!
the gatekeeper07

Feeling down and lousy about lots of things….

I have been feeling down and lousy for the past few days. Alot of things in school and at home have contributed to the down feeling. I have been praying to God to help me to control my emotion and allow me to learn from all these experiences. At this point of time I am still rather confused about the recent so many happenings. But I know that the Holy Spirit of God will help me to keep everything in order and allow me to see the light at the end of this tunnel. I really thank Almighty God for giving me good friends around me and they are able to share my sentiments and confusion. I really thank God for their encouragement and their willingness to listen to my problems. Sometimes, a good listening ear is all that we need.
In addition to all these confusions, I am presently serving my LOA. I received the instruction to serve my LOA on Thursday…the day that I was quite confused. BB HQ called me to inform me that someone at the Founder’s Award Presentation Ceremony contacted H1N1 and when I called K*** K*** he said that I have to serve my LOA on Friday and I cannot come back to school until Monday. However, I thank the Lord that I am rather well physically, no fever, no cough and no flu. Its better to be careful then to be regretful later. However this morning I received information that a student’s mum has developed flu like symtoms after attending the above-mentioned event and is not at the hospital waiting to see the doctor. I really pray that she will be alright and of course the rest of the family members. God will watch over us.
These few weeks pressure has been building up, especially with the N Level Prelim approaching and the O Level Prelim. Beginning to feel very worried for my students. I know that I have not been the most hardworking teacher to them but still I really hope that my students will do well for their coming exams and bring glory to God the Father. Time really flies and I can still remember at the beginning of the year when I just took over the class and they were still very sloppy. Today I find them more proactive and they are more serious with their works. Still I am praying that God will watch over each one of them and allow them to perform to the best of their ability.
This week, in the course of talking to my P, I realised something very deep within me. I realised that my calling as a Teacher still matters alot to me. The calling to be a Teacher is so sacred and so personal, and this is more so as a Christian educator. We have additional commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ to be a good rabbi to our students. In fact it is a covenantal commitment. I remembered when a few years ago my calling was marred by a few unfortunate events and incidents, I was really affected. All these years I have been trying to hide the fact that these incidents have affected me. But I was really wrong. As a matter of fact, I am hurt and to a certain extent angry over the fact that my covenantal calling as a Teacher is now tainted and scarred. In alot of ways, I have de-valued teaching as a vocation. I need to re-look at this whole issue again. I don’t know how but I know I need to re-examine my role as a Christian educator. God will have to help me with this.
the gatekeeper07

First Week of School

First week of school has been very tiring for me. I must say that indeed the grace of God is more than enough…if not I would have fallen. Looking at my back to back time-table and the amount of admin to do everyday, gosh…it will take a superhuman to do so many things. I must be really crazy to be a teacher. I have so many things in my mind, waiting for me to put a tick beside them to indicate that i have finished with them. Unfortunately, I have not been able to put those ticks against them. How tragic! I must really spend my long weekends to clear off some marking and do some class admin. It is just the first week of school but I feel that I have been teaching for 7 or 8 weeks. Gosh, I really need the grace of God to cover me and His mercy to renew me everyday.
I must keep telling myself that I must stay very focussed in accomplishing all the list of things that I need to finish. My tiredness and weariness have easily allow me to slip into a state of dormant and I tend to hibernate myself after one whole day of lessons. This is really no good. I must press on and press on and press on. And get myself up the momentum again.
One thing good is that my class seems to be more motivated this time round. There’s still sloppiness but I feel less of it this term. I hope they will continue to sustain their momentum and continue to move onwards towards their N Level Exams. I thank God for everyone of them. I think despite being very passive and not proactive, they are very nice people and my prayer goes out to them. Of course I really hope that all of them go up to Sec 5 and do their O Level, but I know realistically it is not quite possible. I think it is not a matter of faith but just statistic. Well, but maybe God can change the statistic? Pardon me for my lack of faith then….hahahaha….but seriously, I want them to do well and I will try my very best to help them. I know I may not be the best but I will strive to give my best to them….
Perhaps my passion is not all lost….perhaps that little that was ignited 6 years ago is still burning…though not as bright but it is still giving out that light that will break the darkness away. Will need the Holy Spirit to fan the flame and give me oil in my lamp…to keep me burning.