One of five recipients of the President’s Award for Teachers this year, Miss Rezia Rahumathullah shares about believing in students. The award recognises caring and nurturing teachers dedicated to the holistic development of students.
Teachers are a special breed of people. They believe in their students and see great potential in them.
Feeling lousy about his academic studies, primary school student, Sean, was demoralised that he “could not even speak English well”.
But his English Language teacher, Miss Rezia Rahumathullah, saw a fighting spirit in Sean – one who had the perseverance and patience to keep on trying.
To help Sean, Miss Rezia worked with him after school, and kept his parents updated on Sean’s significant improvements in grammar and vocabulary exercises. Soon, Sean became one of the students whom Miss Rezia would fondly call, her “English Warriors”.
“I called them my English Warriors as I wanted them to realise they had the strength to overcome the challenges they faced,” said Miss Rezia, Head of Department (Character and Citizenship Education) at Da Qiao Primary School.
For Miss Rezia, her personal life experience was a huge influence on her perspective and beliefs. At 14 years old, she came to Singapore to attend secondary school, after completing her primary education in Penang.
Recalling her first days at school, Miss Rezia shared: “I remember seeing the word 'compulsory' on the whiteboard; it was totally foreign to me… That was the lowest moment of my life because I felt that I could not achieve anything.”
With the support of her teachers, Miss Rezia overcame her sense of helplessness. Till today, she still remembers how her Form Teacher in Secondary Five injected fun elements into English lessons and took time to reply to every journal entry that she wrote. When Miss Rezia was first posted out as a full-fledged teacher, she wrote to thank this teacher for being such an inspiration.
Just as Miss Rezia’s teacher did not give up on her as a student, she now does the same for her students.
Are there teachers who have made an impact in your life? Share them with us in the comment box below!
Read the other inspiring stories of winners and finalists of the President Award for Teachers.