Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A crab? - Tough exterior, soft and tender inside

The teacher I heard most about from my daughter during the first couple of weeks of school was her English teacher, Mrs T. She kept telling me that she was very strict, fierce and demanding. She had class rules, she laid out her expectations from day 1 and kept reminding them.

So, when the day of the parents' briefing rolled around, I kept a look out for Mrs T. Though I have had 2 other children go to that school, I have not heard of this teacher before.

Just my luck, she did the briefing for English for the whole standard even though that is usually done by the Head of Department. A small petite teacher. She has very clear in covering what was expected of the students and the changes to the syllabus.

When we broke up into our class groups, I took the opportunity to engage her about my daughter, and she came across as very business-like. Other mums whom I spoke to that morning too confirmed that their children had mentioned that she was very fierce and strict.

The day before D went in for her infusion, I e-mailed her teachers regarding her absence from school, and requested for D to be briefed on the school and homework she would miss.

Mrs T was the only teacher who replied to my email. She replied to say that she hoped that it was nothing serious. That alerted me to the fact that D's form teacher had not briefed the other teachers of D's condition. I briefly replied explaining D's medical condition to her.  She then came back with a barrage of questions including how she could help and her concern. I then responded and outlined to her my requests that I had forwarded to the form teacher previously regarding D's condition and what needed to be done.

She did not reply to my last email to her.

Yesterday, after school when D came out, the first thing she told me was: Mrs T carried my bags for me to class this morning!!

She had searched D out before assembly and helped her out with her heavy school bag. (One of my requests was for the school to allow me to help D with bringing her school bag to class when it was heavy, but I did not get approval for that as classroom areas are restricted to students and school staff only for security reasons.)

Many of D's classmates were shocked. The fiercest teacher carrying D's school bag for her. They even shared this piece of information with those who did not witness it!! It was class news!!

I then reminded D that she had to  thank Mrs T every time she helped her out. I further reminded her that Mrs T needed to be strict in order to maintain order in class. She laid out her best expectations as she wanted her students to do well. She was a tough teacher with a soft heart. The best kind, I must say!

I tell you, Mrs T must be a Cancerian - one with a tough exterior but are really soft and tender inside.

I must say, what she did really touched me. I feel more at ease now, as I know that there is someone looking out for my D's safety whilst in school!

Thanks Mrs T. You are a GEM!!

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