It’s that time of the year again! Nope, not Christmas, we’re still a long way off you guys. I meant Teacher’s Day! It’s that time of the year where our only gift to our educators is utter disappointment. Fun fact—this date varies from country to country, and May 16th was chosen as Malaysia’s teacher appreciation day to coincide with the introduction of the Razak Report, an education report that was first endorsed in 1956.

A few days ago, I was mulling over how the days of celebrating this day with food brought from home, potluck style with our classmates and teachers in primary school are now long past us. And yeah, as a kid, the main attraction of this day was the food and games, but it also served as a constant reminder every year in primary school to celebrate and appreciate our teachers. But what of now?

When was the last time you spoke to your high school teachers in person? Or teachers from way back? (unless your teachers bring only bad memories to you, which I hope not!)

Not everyone gets to stumble upon teachers like Miss Honey from Matilda (I mean, lady with a heart of gold rescues + adopts you? do they even exist in real life anymore?) but I’m sure you’ve had teachers who made you fall in love with a subject you never thought you ever would in a million years?

Or have you had teachers who continue to educate and fuel your potential, even outside of the classroom?

Fortunately, I’ve had the privilege of coming across a few of these kind souls in my life. (damn, who upped the cheese in this article?)

Back in high school, I had a Chemistry teacher whose dedication to teaching blew my mind (still blows my mind today). She’s probably one of the most hardworking teachers I know out there. I don’t think she ever took a sick leave once in the two years that she taught us, even on days where you can clearly see that she was very much under the weather. I remember how she took the liberty of wrapping each and every one of our workbooks. (She knew us rascals would wreck ’em soon enough lol) Dude, all of us were so taken aback by this small yet important detail. A week before SPM (our school leaving exam here in Malaysia), she gifted us with bookmarks written with personal notes for every single one of us. Some of us might have teared up. She too.

And there are a lot more teachers that I can go on and on about how amazing they are, but this article would go on and on too.

Who are these teachers who impacted you and shaped you into who are today?

Our unsung heroes. Cheesy, I know, but it’s true. Teachers’ efforts are often overlooked (especially public school teachers) today. It’s not easy being an educator in such a demanding age (I’m looking at chu, unreasonable parents) so I think they deserve a clap on the back, especially on this day, amirite?

So this Teacher’s Day (and for many more to come) fish out some time to talk to them, let them know that what they’re doing as an educator is right and they should continue excelling at their job for many more years. Even a simple text is enough, trust me. (Unless you want to take the classic route—red pens as a gift? I never really asked any of my teachers if they actually found red pens good gifts???? so maybe not lol) Heck, even if you feel like a friend or a family member of yours is a great teacher to you, let them know.

Happy Teacher’s Day! Have a good one and don’t forget to spread the kindness <3

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