“Why do you want to teach when you can enjoy the luxury of having good food and wine for free every day?”
That is a question I often get when I share with students my short stint as a food and wine journalist. Prior to the days in which I had the privilege of tasting gourmet food and drinking fine wine for a living, I worked in numerous kitchens both as a wait staff and as a cook and wrote for several publications as a journalist since I was a mass communication graduate and journalism major. I also dabbled in photography and often wielded both camera and pen, doubling as a photographer and journalist. Yet, all these exciting endeavours left me unsatisfied. To be honest, I was rather lost… until I decided to teach.
I started out teaching my first official batch of students circa 2010 and like all new experiences, it was slightly scary, extremely demanding and certainly unfamiliar territory. Armed with a sense of conviction and purpose, I went with what I felt would be best for students as if they were my friends and my own children. Well, not only did that work some magic, it also cemented the realisation that teaching is my calling. In 2012, I wrote my first (but certainly not the last) academic guide- “Score the A* You Deserve in PSLE Writing” with the purpose of sharing my favourite form of expression. I may not be a journalist now but I really do enjoy expressing myself in written word, other than presenting the world to my beloved students through the pleasure of meeting them for our weekly sessions and with a signature oratory flamboyance that I get pretty drunk on. Yet another year of teaching flew past as my son became one year old and I found myself setting up an English specialist centre in the heart of Upper Thomson Road.
Now, things seem to be moving on at the speed of light, particularly with the fast-paced syllabus in Singapore. I must say that I’m enjoying the ride and the desire to reach out to students– instilling them with a hunger for curiosity and a zest for life, inculcating them with a strong foundation in personal values and igniting young minds– has never been stronger. I’ve also found a passion for research in education, leading to my completion of a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Young Learners. Back to the question aforementioned– “Why do you want to teach when you can enjoy the luxury of having good food and wine for free every day?”What could be more luxurious than the joy of engaging and touching youths, knowing that they’ve been kindled with a sense of zeal and fervour to become people of greatness? People who will love this world as it has loved them and people who will go on to spread the spirit of learning and sharing among others. There is nothing more I love than to spread the perpetual yearning for knowledge and to have the honour of engaging in compelling conversations with cohorts of youths whom I regard as my life-long friends. My heart is in teaching and till the day I cease to exist, I will always be a teacher in some way or another.