DARE TO CHANGE
To change in my age is not an easy thing, especially when everybody has an opinion that teachers, my profession, never make mistakes. People consider teachers as rightful people and know many things. So, when a teacher makes a mistake, it will be very embarrassing. That is why most teachers rarely apologize when they make mistakes. They remain in silence and do nothing.
In my opinion, I was one of those teachers. When I made mistakes, I did nothing. I didn’t say I was wrong and I didn’t apologize. Moreover, it was about me and my students. For me, they were kids whom I am not suppose to apologize. Many times I reacted emotionally to cover my mistakes so nobody would complain about it. Maybe, that was because they were afraid of asking me to apologize.
It happened until one day when I had an unforgettable experience with one of my students in my previous school. I learned how to apologize from my student and I am very happy to experience it.
His name is Evan (not the real name) was not a nice student. He was a kind of lazy and annoying student. I was not the only teacher who had got mad in classroom because of his naughtiness. Many teachers had done the same thing like I did.
On that day, I taught Evan’s class on the first lesson. I knew at that time many students used to feel sleepy and not ready to start the lesson. Some of them fell asleep and Evan did too. Usually I just woke them up and asked them to go to the toilet to wash their face. I did it twice to Evan. However, he never stayed awake although I had asked him to go to the toilet twice. The last time he got sleep again, I asked his friend to shake his body and we needed five minutes to wake him up and to tell to wash his face again.
I was very angry when I realized Evan spent more than fifteen minutes in the toilet. Then I took him to the teachers’ room and I yelled at him, shouted at him and many teachers in the room watched us. I knew Evan didn’t feel comfortable with this situation but I didn’t care. In my opinion these all were because of him.
Since that day, Evan never was Evan whom I knew before the incident. He avoid meeting me and in the classroom he never did anything wrong and good things as well. I mean, though Evan was not a trouble maker anymore but his score on lesson was getting worse. Again, I didn’t care about it. Still, I though it was his mistake.
On grade twelve, I taught Evan again. He still treated me like he did when he was in grade ten. He never made trouble but still his score was bad. Slowly, I felt uncomfortable with this situation. I wanted to have a good relationship with my students especially Evan but I didn’t know how to start good relationship with Evan.
I still remember that I had a questioner to my students in grade twelve. I told them to fill it and I wanted them to critize me and write all those critiques on that questioner. Actually, I was not surprised to see Evan did nothing to the questioner. However, I wanted to know his opinion about me, so I approached him and asked him why he didn’t fill the questioner. He said he didn’t want to write anything but he wanted to say his critique directly to me in front of his friends.
I let Evan say it in front of the classroom. He came forward and say, “ I hate you when you embarrassed me in the teachers’ room. I know that I made mistake but you humiliate me. Now I want you to apologize to me in front of my friends.”
As a teacher, I might think that Evan was impolite and what he said was really mean. I could get angry at that time but I remembered that my purpose making the questioner was to know why I and Evan couldn’t have a good relationship so I did. I apologize to him in front of his friends. I shook his hand and surprisingly, Evan cried. He never thought that I would do it. He thought that I would get mad, as usual, to him.
Since that day, Evan has become my favorite student. In his year book, he mentioned my name as his role model teacher. That’s the best award for me. I have learned that teachers can make mistakes. Teachers need to apologize because we, the teachers, are not angels who never make mistakes. Students, as well, are not rocks. They have feeling and many time we, the teachers break their heart and we leave it without any intention to fix it.