Over dinner tonight, I asked Principal Lam what gave her all that infinite passion for education. Among her reflection and explication, the following remark stood out:
“When I see that I can make a difference in my students’ lives, it gives me a great sense of reward.”
In a world which is becoming more and more materialistic and individualistic, it is tempting for people, whatever endeavour they embark on, to ask: “What’s in it for me?” But I do believe that education, in its truest sense, requires its practitioners to be altruistic to some extent. We become teachers because we want to do good, however small, to others.
But this is the exact question that has been puzzling me for years. As a teacher educator, besides training education students with the pedagogy, say in my case, TESOL methodology, what can I do to nurture in teachers a spirit of service and commitment? For what is education if we have no intention of making a difference in our students’ lives?