To SM Teknik Klang with Love

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I was in my hometown when a friend of mine called me up and informed me that the list of practicum schools had been issued. My mouth immediately went dry. I dropped whatever that I had been doing up to that moment. I took a big gulp before I spoke again.

“Which school have I been assigned to?”, I asked.
“Let me see. It’s a technical school, mate. SM Teknik Klang”.

My heart stopped beating. In that instant, my mind was inundated with perpetual negative thoughts: naughty, problematic male students, underperforming students, students with technical inclinations etc. And there I would be sent to, assigned as a trainee English teacher. A trainee ENGLISH teacher. I thought to myself “How on earth am I supposed to be teaching English to a class of students who is so much into machines and tools?”. For me, it was as if I had been asked to teach ballet to a bunch of buffed, football-playing boys. That was how daunting and terrifying it seemed to me at that time.

Quite naturally, I lost my appetite for the next few days.

But all these unfounded, preconceived opinions were entirely swept away on my first day at SM Teknik Klang. I had never seen so many smiling faces in my whole life until I came to the school. The first astonishing impression that I attained was from the school’s HEP senior assistant, Puan Maimumah Bador. Terrified and clueless on my first day, I was greeted by her with a broad smile on her face she immediately made me feel like home. It was as if she just met her son who had been away for so many years. Then I met Puan Siti Maimumah, a fine, well-dressed lady who was also the head of English department.

But the highlight of the day was when I met my mentor for the first time; Madam Wu Fuen Fang. She was a petite Chinese lady with vast teaching experience. A wonderful, wonderful person - heck, it is actually an understatement because she was beyond wonderful. For me, she was more like a mother than a mentor. I was once asked by one of my trainee teacher friends "How come you have never complained about your school?". But ponder upon this: how could I ever be in a bad mood when the first things I saw when I arrived at the school were beaming smiles from everyone? Yes, teachers and staff alike. 

Therefore, when I was conferred the Best Practicum Student Award (TESL) last night during our Pre-Graduation Dinner, I knew I could not have been there without my supportive team, especially my two biggest teachers, mum and dad.

There are so many people that I would like to thank personally, but I know the list would be endless. But to everyone at SM Teknik Klang, particularly my mentor, Madam Wu Fuen Fang, you know I can never, ever thank you enough. You are one of my biggest inspirations in life, and you have taught me that nothing beats passion in everything you do. Your words were magical and just pure wisdom. I could not have attained a better mentor, and how I wish everyone had a mentor like you in their lives. The last day of practicum was the hardest, as I knew that I would be away from you. But now I know, you might not be here for me physically, but your pure wisdom lives on in me. That's the best legacy of all.

To Puan Siti Mai, I can never forget the help you offered me while I was there, the stories you shared that never ceased to inspire me and the enormous belief you had in me. And to every single person at the school: Puan Hajah Fuziah, the supportive principal of SM Teknik Klang, Puan Hajah Kamariah and her witty demeanour, Puan Hjh Anis Hasanah,  Tuan Haji for your great wisdom (you're one of the most quotable persons I have ever met), Puan Chau (I miss you so much and our little stories! Hehe), Ustazah Aisyah, Ustazah Hasnah, Ustaz Abu Bakar, Cikgu Shofinaz, Cik Tutie Dahlia (Remember the crossword puzzles we were working on and the help from Google? Hehe!) Puan Hany for trusting me to educate the wonderful 4PEE1 kids, Cik Siti Alviah, Puan Chan, Cikgu Suria, Cikgu Raziah (you have gorgeous smile! Hehe), Cikgu Hidayah, Cikgu Azman, Cikgu Ramana, Kak Norliza, Cikgu Firdaus (I liked it when you came over to Bilik Guru 1 and disturbed us there! Hehe. You were funny and light hearted), Encik Osman who never failed to greet me every single day, Encik Mior who constantly teased me! Hahaha! Alif from the school café (thanks for the wonderful food at affordable price, Alif! Hehe) and just absolutely EVERYONE. I can’t possibly mention each of you, but you know you made my practicum days as colourful and full of happiness as they were. I will never, ever forget the memories that we once shared.

To my most revered supervisor, Prof. Madya Dr. Abu Bakar (Dr. Burn, as we fondly call him) for your guidance and belief in me. By God, I could not have asked for a better supervisor. I am honoured to have been your supervisee, something that most people could only dream of, yet I had you for real. Thank you for every recognition and correction, Dr. Your assurance when I wasn't so sure myself, your positive nods when I thought I had been talking nonsense in front of the classroom and just for being there whenever I was clueless and in need for an enlightenment. For all these reasons, I am eternally grateful. Thank you so much, Dr.

And of course, to my practicum partner, Fatin Sabrina! Remember how many times we told ourselves how lucky we were those days? I had countless good times with you, and yes, I could not have asked for a better partner. We pushed each other to do better with each and every supervision. And actually, practicum really made us close. I didn’t know you that much previously, but we really got along well, didn’t we? And thank your for having faith in me to drive your car when you knew perfectly well that I had not driven any cars for almost four years! :D

And lastly to my amazing 4KA2, wonderful 4PEE1 and hilarious 4ABM kids! I might have never said this to you kids in class, but you were the reason I came to the school each and every single day (apart from my obligation, of course. Hehe). I know the first few weeks were rough, I rarely beamed and was pretty much uncrackable at first, but as the days passed by, I realized I could not afford to not seeing you kids even for a day! Remember how I used to stand outside your door as you guys made your way out once the lesson was over every Friday to wish you good weekends? Well, that was because I knew I was going to miss you lots for the next two days! Hehehe! We certainly had good moments together, and please don't forget me, because I won't, and I wish all each and everyone nothing but the best the world can offer.

Lead a good life, kids :')


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Aziz,
I am teaching English in Smt kuala krai, kelantan, i love my school too as all the teachers and stuff are kind and loving. However, i am moving to Klang soon, thinking of getting a transfer to smt klang, even more inspired to go there and teach after reading your blog. Do you have any contact of the teacher who wants to go back to Kelantan? Or anyone I can ask her or him to check it out. I really need your help. Thank u Aziz.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I am Jenna. My email add is youngjenn1219@yahoo.com
Please contact me if you have any phone numbers. Thanks a lot