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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00

Teachers Presented with Tea and Card at Graduation Ceremony

Written by  Koh Poo Leng, Klang / Translated by Lim Sai Ho

At the Graduation Ceremony held at SJK(C) Kong Hoe on November 20, 2014, the students bowed 90 degrees to serve tea to the teachers to show their gratitude. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Eight years ago, the “Great Love Mothers” programme was introduced to SJK(C) Kong Hoe. The Great Love Mothers’ cheerful and delightful teaching method has cultivated the right values in the students, and gained recognition and appreciation after many years of interactions. For the third time, the Great Love Mothers of Tzu Chi Klang were invited to jointly plan for the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony.


 
In her speech at the Graduation Ceremony, Great Love Mother, Cheah Beng Yeok said, “We are very grateful to the school for arranging and allowing Great Love Mothers to participate in the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony once again. Pupils, we must be grateful to our parents for bringing us up, and repay them by showing our filial piety. While we are filial to our parents, we need to respect and be grateful to our teachers, as they have taught us a lot of knowledge.” She also quoted this Jing Si Aphorism: “Parents give us a healthy body and teachers enlighten our wisdom, hence, we need to be filial to our parents and be respectful of the teachers”.
 
Deepest blessing – emotional bond between teachers and pupils
 
On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the atmosphere at SJK(C) Kong Hoe was sentimental. Although the Year 6 pupils looked happy wearing their graduation gowns, they felt sad at the same time as they had to bid farewell to their school, teachers and friends, as well as, end their memorable childhood years that day. Six years of primary school life, with many moments of tears and sweat, sweetness and bitterness, would become a lovely memory in their life.
 
The Great Love Mothers meticulously planned a “Teacher Appreciation” session, where the graduands presented tea, greeting cards and a sign language performance. This touching scene moved all 60 teachers and 236 students to tears.
 
The song, “Eternal Starlight”, can well-describe the relationship between teachers and pupils:
Chalks whiten the blackboard, time slips through
The traces on the writing table, the past is like a drawing
The flamboyant blossoms in the school field, sending off the graduates
My dearest teachers, have your tears dried up?
 
During the tea presentation, the graduands suppressed their tearful feelings as they slowly brought tea to their teachers. However, when serving tea, they expressed their appreciation loudly, “To our beloved teachers, we are grateful for your teaching, transforming us from naïve children to educated teenagers. We are grateful to you, we love you.”
 
The appreciative voices filled the hall. The usually naughty and rebellious students also behaved earnestly at this moment. All teachers were very touched when drinking the tea served by the students. A cup of tea with wordless appreciation made the atmosphere very solemn and loving. “Through the tea-serving ceremony, we hope the students had warmed their teachers’ hearts,” shared Great Love Mother, Beng Yeok, on the true meaning of the tea-serving ceremony.
 
“When they were serving tea and presenting the card to us, I could see my students suddenly feeling shy, but they took it seriously,” said Teacher Cheah Siew Fun, who wept while expressing her feelings. She has worked in SJK(C) Kong Hoe for about four years, and was thankful to Great Love Mothers for their contributions during the Graduation Day. She was even happier to see that the students had really grown up and were ready to shine.
 
Teacher Cheah also felt relieved to find the active and noisy students so earnest in following instructions from the Great Love Mothers. She hoped all graduands would remember to return to their alma mater when they grow up and be thankful to their teachers and the Great Love Mothers, who had helped them.
 
Teacher Cheah was also deeply touched when she saw a card written by a student with these words: “Thank you for your coaching and hard work. The past six years must have been tiring for you. I will study hard and achieve good results to thank you.” She expressed that, “Seeing the students studying hard, I am thankful to the Great Love Mothers and Fathers. Thank you to all of you!”
 
Sunflower card – far-reaching significance and meaning
 
Besides having to leave the school that cultivated him for the past six years, student Shen Li Xiang also felt very reluctant to leave his teachers and fellow classmates. During the Graduation Ceremony, he was very emotional when he presented his hand-made card to his teachers. The Great Love Mothers had taught him how to make the card as he did not know how to express his feelings in writing.
 
Upon noticing his worrying look, Great Love Mother, Lee Lay Kuan proactively went over to hug him. She told him that “Love is not to be kept in our heart, but to express in writing.” With her encouragement, a very touched Li Xiang finally understood what “love” is, and successfully expressed his love in writing: “Dear teacher, I love you, and thank you for your teaching.” And, in front of the camera, he expressed his gratitude loudly to the teachers. The loving hug from Lay Kuan had encouraged Li Xiang to express his feelings in action. He can now look forward to a bright future.
 
Student Chen Fang Xin presented his greeting card to his teacher with full respect. “When I presented the card to my teacher, I really wanted to hug and thank her…,” said a shy, but smiling Fang Xin, who did not have the courage to hug his teacher in the end.
 
Fang Xin had always felt curious about the presence of Great Love Mothers in school. But after interacting with them and accepting their guidance, he realized the greatest learning from them is to love the people around him. That day, despite feeling sad and reluctant to leave his primary school, he managed to express his gratitude, “I want to thank my form teacher, Teacher Chen Qiu Mei, because she taught me Chinese. My Chinese has improved tremendously.” Everyone was moved.
 
A simple greeting card with a sunflower on it means a lot. Great Love Mothers had chosen to design such a card mainly to enable the students to understand that wherever there is sunshine, the sunflowers will face toward the sun. Teachers are just like the sun, and students are the sunflowers. “The teachers can guide the students from darkness toward bright sunshine. Therefore, when the students look at the sun, they can feel that the love and warmth from the teachers is everywhere,” said Beng Yeok.
 
Honoured retirement – the value of every present moment
 
The Graduation Day was a special moment for Senior Assistant Lin Qiu Luan, as it was also her retirement day. She had served the teaching profession for 32 years. Looking at the students on and around the stage, she felt deeply touched. She had worked in SJK(C) Kong Hoe for 18 years and known Tzu Chi for more than a decade.
 
“The ‘Teacher Appreciation’ session is very touching. Only Tzu Chi’s Great Love Fathers and Mothers can organize and present such a grand and meaningful Graduation Ceremony. Truly speaking, teachers alone cannot make it. All these are precious, and teachers feel honoured while students feel delighted. This will become a remarkable memory in their life,” expressed Senior Assistant Lin in gratitude.
 
Senior Assistant Lin said that, in 2006, when she became a form teacher, Great Love Mothers were already active in the school. She had witnessed the positive and gradual changes in the students. The teachers had also learnt a lot from the Great Love Mothers through their interactions and coordination.
 
She continued, “I wish all the graduands a great prospect and smooth sailing in their life. Of course, I also want to wish myself good health, and hope to meet up with all of you in future.” She had gone through an unexpected illness that made her treasure every single present moment. Upon her retirement, she will allocate her time for body healing and participate in charitable organizations, including Tzu Chi Teachers’ Association.
 
“Today, I am very touched. I hope the teachers and students felt the same too in this one-hour ‘Teacher Appreciation’ session that took two months to prepare,” said Great Love Mother, Beng Yeok.
 
Beng Yeok hoped that with a grateful heart, all students will be thankful to their teachers for their teaching in the past six years. Through the “Teacher Appreciation” session, teachers discovered that even naughty students have the loving and caring side of them. They also know how to be grateful, but at times do not know how to express their feelings. During the process of making the greeting cards and learning the sign language in the past two months, she realized that the students’ hearts were full of love and gratitude for their teachers. 
 
Beng Yeok sincerely expressed that, “Hopefully this one-hour ‘Teacher Appreciation’ session and the teachers’ relentless contributions that had been deeply felt by the students, will awaken the teachers’ passion in teaching.”
 
 
While students were performing for the graduands the sign language of “Walk Your Own Path” that say: “One day, I will let go because you have to walk your own path. When you are lost, look up to the clear sky…”, some students wept. The song was also meant to motivate the graduands to continue walking on the righteous path although the teachers would no longer be with them in their future endeavours.
 
 
Great Love Mothers guided the students into the hall for the tea-serving ceremony. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   Some pupils performed the sign language of “Walk Your Own Path” to motivate the graduands to continue walking on the righteous path in their future endeavours. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Great Love Mothers guided the students into the hall for the tea-serving ceremony. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Some pupils performed the sign language of “Walk Your Own Path” to motivate the graduands to continue walking on the righteous path in their future endeavours. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Teacher Cheah (right) stared at the card written by a student, and was deeply touched. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]   The Graduation Day was a special moment for Senior Assistant Lin Qiu Luan, as it was also her retirement day. She thanked Great Love Mothers for the well-planned event. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

Teacher Cheah (right) stared at the card written by a student, and was deeply touched. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
 
The Graduation Day was a special moment for Senior Assistant Lin Qiu Luan, as it was also her retirement day. She thanked Great Love Mothers for the well-planned event. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Students were seen weeping as they bid farewell to their school, teachers and friends. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]   With encouragement from a Great Love Mother, Shen Li Xiang successfully expressed his love to the teachers in writing. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Students were seen weeping as they bid farewell to their school, teachers and friends. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]
 
 
With encouragement from a Great Love Mother, Shen Li Xiang successfully expressed his love to the teachers in writing. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]