Educate, teach and love from the Heart

By Yeap Ming Liong
University lecturer and the highest academic post he has held is Adjunct Senior Lecturer.

It is the smaller things in life that tug on our heartstrings at times. Most local government universities have come to the end of the teaching semester, meaning classes for the semester would have wrapped up sometime last week.

It is during the last class of the current semester that a few male students walked up to me, shook my hand, and kissed it. In the Malay tradition, it is known as Salam Hormat, usually given to someone you respect and honour. I am aware of this tradition or adat. However, what moved me is the sincerity and respect these students have in their hearts while they performed the gesture.

Universities are sacred to me as they house what would be individuals who will be among the nation’s leaders. I find myself asking myself a few recurring questions. Have I done enough for the students and have I imparted enough knowledge? Will it be adequate for my students to tackle the working world, which at times can be unforgiving.

The answer, which I have derived, is a resounding and confident, yes. Educators today face many challenges in the classroom and outside of it. Now, delivering lectures is one thing. In a perfect world, one would expect perfect comprehension and understanding of what is taught. However, the comprehension and understanding of students vary from one another.

It is in this sense that educators must never give up. Remember why you were appointed to the post in the first place. Remember your duty to teach and educate. It is not in our position to give up on any students. They are all gems in their own right.

I must have had hundreds of students along the way since I started delivering university lectures back in 2017. Some I recall and some I have forgotten. However, upon looking back, I know that each and everyone of them got the same care and love towards their academic progress.

It does not matter if those students are now Captains of Industries, successful individuals, or even regular Joes. Always remember your duty as educators, is to teach, to impart knowledge and to treat every student with the same amount of care, love and dedication. Past, Present or Future.

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