A few months ago, a movie was recommended to me. My friend BR told me that this movie reminded her so much of me. I suddenly was drawn to it out of curiosity and wanted to get hold of this movie. The other day, I found it on the bottom shelf of a video store in the previously viewed section, so I bought it. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to watch it until yesterday. To most people, I am this one tough cookie, tough to chew on and very guarded. Unless you are extremely close to me, you will not understand how sentimental I could be sometimes. Yesterday, however, I cried... and cried… through the whole movie. The movie was based on a true story, but it is SO too real to me and too dear to my heart.
I am no Erin Gruwell, the real life teacher in this story. The movie, however, brought back some bits and pieces I had personally encountered and dear to my heart. What Ms. Gruwell had been through was not unusual in our modern society, but what she had done for her students was exceptional. How many teachers out there would go extra miles to work two more part-time jobs in order to earn money to purchase classroom reading materials for the kids? She did. Most people would probably give in easily to save the marriage and keep a more balanced family life instead. But, she struggled.
It hurts to my stomach because I know how she felt! I don’t want to make it sound like I am blowing my own horn here. I know for a fact that many teachers, including myself, spent their own money on their classroom materials. I am not stingy on spending money on my kids. (They are my kids for 7 hours a day!) In fact, I quite enjoy doing that for them because some of these children in this community don’t have much either. The faces of those children, who were evicted or neglected in the past, came to my mind throughout the whole movie. I just want to tell the world that there are many teachers out there who really care about what they are doing in the little corners of every school in our community around the world!
Teaching is never just a job to me. It is my passion but now sometimes it becomes my charity work as well. (See Note 1) Years ago before I started working with children (Note 2), two books changed my view on professional teaching, The Essential 55 by Ron Clark and There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith. After reading these two books, I pondered whether I would like to become an ordinary teacher or an extra-ordinary one who could make an impact on some children, even just one child at a time. You probably have figured out what my decision was but, let me tell you, it is not easy though! I am trying my best to make a difference every day against so many obstacles and red tapes. Maybe one day, just the day before I expire, I can honestly look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I have made it, guilt free.
Note1: To those friends who are laughing reading this one:
Many of you think I don’t have a life. Hahaha…. I do! We each make our life fulfilled in our own way. BTW, I just started my lessons on water colour painting, not an easy task for a clumsy person like me. Acrylic is way more forgiving in my view! I also quite enjoy my Tai Chi Boot Camp on Saturday. The instructor is trying to break me, but I will not give in. I will definitely hang in there no matter how many Don Yu Squats I have to do! Hahaha. 

Note 2: I used to teach adults ESL in Taiwan.

My Corner for Education

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