It was late Sunday night when I decided that I'd take my life in my hands and made up my mind that I do NOT like to be unhappy.
Ironically, at the same time, I hate the thought of giving up easily, and allowing others to sense some kind of failure or helplessness in me. Maybe all I ever intended is to jaga my air muka but I strongly suspect that I just want other people to like me and to praise me, as conceited as that sounds. I felt that I couldn't bear to taint my name.
But I made up my mind.
And the next morning, after getting permission from my father, I told the principal that I wanted out. That I can only work til Tuesday.
I sensed hostility. And I was right. Hostility came right at me, like splintered knives that carved at will. Words are indeed sharper than swords. For a split second I doubted my decision. I imagined myself being ostracized and destroying years of good relationship with them. And I hated the thought that she would think lowly of me.
I imagined that I would meet them somewhere and they'd brush me off.
I imagined that the whole world would somehow get some drift that I was bad and useless and all that.
Somehow, I wasn't as bad a shape as I could be.
She told me I need only work til today.
Am I being selfish?
Went to meet her later, told her I'm sorry for any trouble caused, took full responsibility for the lack of discipline in the students and the incidents that occured due to that. Told her I've tried my best and that it probably isn't good enough.
Accepted the criticisms with an open heart and listened. Good thing that I held my tongue. Respect is key.
All the kids were quite unwilling to let me go. One particular naughty girl was almost in tears. Wished them all the best. Gave them all a bug hug. They're forever etched in me.
Later, when I was about to go home, her husband had a talk with me. He was unexpectedly friendly and understanding. Totally grateful to him for making me feel so much better. Said that he could see I was trying my best and that he knew how difficult the primary children can get. Told me that I shouldn't take to heart whatever that's happened. And that I'm always free to visit. Had a friendly chat about results and studies and applying for U. The thing that made my day was when he said he received good comments from parents about me. And from the staff. Children, being who they are, report everything they do there. At the very least I know that I've managed to be the kind of teacher that I want to be. The ones who made a difference.
I know I have faults and I'm willing to admit that.
I could do some things in a better way than what I've done.
I know I have rooms to improve.
I've learnt much from this experience. I've learnt that nothing's quite like what it seems and that you must never judge someone without walking two moons in their shoes. I've learnt that you gotta learn to let things blow over and not be disheartened by whatever hardships that come your way. I understand children more and probably more patient than before.
Most of all, I've learnt that you can't please everyone.
At least my conscience is clear, I know I've done my best and I have no regrets whatsoever. That much I'm certain.
On a lighter note, I'm blissful.
In the words of Franz Ferdinand:
Take me out !