Studies

Teachers’ Day: Heartfelt tributes to those who moulded our minds

by Gabriel Ong // September 3, 2020, 1:18 pm

Teacher's day tribute

This Teachers’ Day, we’ve only gone and picked up the sweetest stories about your favourite ‘chers! From tough talks to terrific teaching, we’ve collated a little series of stories that celebrate the noble work our teachers do.  


1. YOU CHANGED MY TRAJECTORY (Azaria Sih)

In junior college, my biology teacher, Mrs Tay, taught me for a short period in JC1 before going on maternity and then no-pay leave. She only came back a few months prior to my A-Level examinations in JC2.

Even in the short period she taught me in JC1, she impressed me with her passion for the subject and her exacting standards on her students to do well. However what profoundly impacted me was those short few months before the A-Levels.

When she came back, I approached her for help as I was struggling with the subject. We spent many one-on-one sessions just ironing out what the questions were looking for and how to answer them. She gave her time, presence and patience.

The best lessons I learnt in school

But the greater gift that Mrs Tay gave was her interest in my life and my future. She asked what I wanted to do in life, talking squarely and maturely to someone on the brink of young adulthood without dumbing down the realities of life.

Having helped me in my studies, she then shared about life and faith seamlessly and with such ease. She pointed me back to God and spoke of the importance of pursuing and being grounded in Him. 

As I look back, I am grateful for how her questions and encouragement changed the trajectory of my life. As a nominal Christian then, I was definitely inspired to explore how faith could be real in my life.

Today, I am gladly rooted in a local church and involved in marketplace ministry. Though our interaction was brief, the impact was long-lasting. A great teacher creates ripples of impact beyond the initial interaction.

2. YOU WERE MY CONFIDANT (Neriah Tan)

When I came to Millenia Institute in 2017, I met a friend who brought me to Christ. Still, I was someone who had grown up bottling my emotions and was very guarded towards everyone – even God.

By that age, I started skipping events I previously loved such as outdoor camps at the end of the year. Yet, dragging my feet, I still decided to go for the leadership camp despite feeling down. To my surprise, it would be the turning point for the closed heart that I had.

During the camp, I opened up to Ms M about my struggles as I was unable to understand them myself. Eventually, after a few months of conversations and a trip to the doctor’s, I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2018.

Ms M and Ms G were the first teachers to be aware of my condition, and both took time and effort to talk to me and walk me through the seasons where I wanted to commit suicide. They encouraged me to take heart in the faith in God I held close to my heart.

The love and kindness you have shown to your students will always be remembered. You can never imagine how much impact you have made in their lives.

In 2019, I had to take an extra year as I did not pass the promotion criteria. That meant that I would be having new home tutors and new classmates. I came under the care of a new home tutor, Mrs L. She was aware of my situation and in the midst of my struggles, she provided new and hopeful perspectives for situations which seemed bleak to me.

Then in 2020, I met Ms T who spent time talking to me and advised me whenever I needed help. Knowing the struggles I face, she was empathetic about it in class and would always ask whether I was okay – that really comforted me when I was feeling down.

On tough days, little things like these really kept me going.

What I learnt as a young teacher: The tender-hearted discipline master who made a difference

Notably, most of the teachers I confided in were also Christians. I’ve really come to see that God has always been with me in this journey through my teachers. After all, in my 4 years at Millenia Institute, I have been showered with so much love, care and support from them.

Thank you teachers for always loving me in your own ways, and being a beacon of hope for students like me. Please know that the love and kindness you have shown to your students will always be remembered.

You can never imagine how much impact you have made in their lives. Happy Teachers’ Day!

3. YOU RAISE ME UP (Beatrice Reyala)

My spiritual teachers have influenced me the most in life. I was raised by 4 of them in my Christian walk. 

Annalise* was my Sunday School teacher in my old church. She taught me about love. I tear up thinking about how she influenced me, a shy and quiet kid in Sunday school, by displaying kindness and love to me and others.

I enjoyed Sunday School because there was someone who wanted to hang out with me. I cried when she was leaving Singapore because she was the kindest teacher I met. She was one of the few people who influenced me to be kind and compassionate to others.

Jacob* is my youth leader in church who taught me to be rooted in the Word. My first impression of him was that he was very well versed with the Bible. He knew about things in Scripture that I didn’t, and if there was a question of mine he could answer, he would do so patiently.

Amelia* is a dear sister in Christ and she taught me the value of a rebuke. At the start of the year, she invited me to her house to talk. She told me gently that I had done bad things that I was not aware of.

Hearing her speak, I was shocked to realise the things I did. I’m thankful for the rebuke because I wouldn’t have known about my wrongs if it weren’t for her.

God remains the greatest teacher of all.

Finally, the last Teacher and the most influential one is God. He teaches me how to seek Him. 

Through His Word, He shows me what the gospel means and all the things I could learn. He softens my heart to empathise and love others. And He admonishes me through His Word to change my old ways. He is patient and loving to me as I grow in Christlikeness.

It was God who placed those 3 teachers in my life. Yet He remains the greatest teacher of all. He leads me in the paths of righteousness and changes how I live.

It will take time for me to be a doer of the Word, but I know that as I go through life under His tutelage, I will in turn become somebody who points the next generation to Christ.

Names have been changed for confidentiality.

THINK + TALK

  1. Who is one teacher who impacted your life? How?
  2. Who might you be a teacher of? How might you make a difference in their lives?
  3. Know someone who’s a teacher? Reach out today with a kind message and prayer.
About the author

Gabriel Ong

Gabriel isn't a hipster, but he loves his beard and coffee. In his spare time, he'd rather be on a mountain.