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The art of teaching

Popularity 1Viewed 3381 times 2017-1-3 03:20 |System category:Life| teacher, teaching, school, university, internet

I shall start the new year exploring the topic of teaching. Is it an art form, or a matter of science?

As an artist and a creative soul, I believe most things in life is an art form. Even scientific roles and practices such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, designing sculptures or even computer software programming etc.

Yes, the items I just mentioned above commonly have to abide by their own unique language. Computer programming utilizes the binary code, or simply 1 and 0 and a set of 'IF' logic flow in its decision making process. From this simple 2 digits, they create the most sophisticated computer tools and softwares for laymen to use, like us.

Doctors generally diagnose patients with the most accurate illness or treatment. It is a matter of inferencing, almost like a decision tree as well. If the symptoms displayed is such and such, then the patient ought to be suffering from x illness and y treatment is recommended.

Accountants go by the rule of debit and credit, where at the end of the day balancing the books is the ultimate goal.

In the larger scheme of things, doctors, accountants, engineers, IT programmers etc. are subject matter experts. They adhere to a set of 'rules' and if the standard deviation is kept to a tolerable minimum, then their job is considered well done. They don't have to be visionaries, creative thespians, lateral thinkers or even good communicators. They just need to know the 'rules' and keep human mistakes to a minimum. Asians, by far and large are well known in the global marketplace for possessing these exact traits.

I beg the question then, of the future of outliers in Asia? There are bound to be outliers or those that are different in each home, school, city, country and region. They exist. Often labelled as rebels, trouble-makers, rule breakers and dreamers......they are cast aside or even ostracized for simply being different.

I am one of these outliers. Luckily for me, my mother was an outlier herself and she nurtured me in the best way possible in my tiny hometown of Ipoh. She exposed me to different kinds of experiences available from swimming, horse riding, camping, dancing, painting, cooking, sewing, craft making, leadership, squash, piano playing, bowling, girl guides etc. She wanted me to be an all rounder. Her dream was to have us excel not only within the confines of my own city but overseas as well. Such was my mother's dream for me. And I shall be eternally grateful for her, a debt which can never be repaid in a lifetime but over many lifetimes on earth and heaven.

After my mom's passing, I felt lost for almost 20 years. I drifted from cities to cities and jobs to jobs. I know I am intelligent and talented, but I just didn't know which path to take.

Now I understand where this loss came from. I lost one of the greatest teachers in my life. I was naive to think I didn't need a teacher once I graduated from university. How silly was my thinking. For now I know I will never stop growing and actualizing the talents given by god. And for my unique talents to be fully actualized, I need the right teachers in my life. A teacher and student shares an intimate relationship together. For a student to truly excel, he or she must be totally honest with the teacher so to be taught the best way and be corrected when necessary. It is not about rote learning, memorizing facts, mimicking the teacher or even going to the best school. If teachers are sincere, their role is to simply find out the best way the student learns and to show them how best to do it on their own with their guidance.

For all learning is in the student, not the teacher. The teacher can only open the door, but the student must enter through it.

Teaching, I feel, has become a long lost art form in this frantic globalized digital economy. True, I am a Youtuber myself and an comfortable learning on my own pace. I also miss the old methods of teaching, I miss forming a relationship with my teacher and building a camaraderie from there.

Realistically in this 21st century which we live in now, perhaps the best teaching method is combining the Internet with ancient pedagogy. Virtual classroom and face-to-face meetups for friendly discussions.

Here is an ode to all the good teachers that have taught me, thank you. I hope I have made you proud.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (2 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2017-1-3 08:56
we have highlighted your blog. thanks for sharing it here.
Reply Report jaseminsibo 2017-1-3 22:16
voice_cd: we have highlighted your blog. thanks for sharing it here.
Thx Voice_CD. It has been a while. Happy new year to everyone at CD :)

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