Teachers’ Day was celebrated all over
In our line of work at myHarapan, while we may not be ‘teachers’ in the traditional sense, we are often regarded as the abangs and kakaks (or aunties and uncles!) to our youth beneficiaries.
However, the gargantuan effort of developing our youths is a journey that we’ve not undertaken alone. Working with partners and friends, we take pride in supporting the youths we work with. We share knowledge, experience, and feedback. We mentor, guide and coach.
But “teaching” is never a one-way street. You give, you get. True teaching happens when you too, learn.
This Teachers’ Day, we asked the our team members, including some partners and friends a simple two-part question:
What do you (want to) teach our youths? What do we learn from our youths?
“I want to share my passion; in contributing back to the community. I want to share my experiences as well, so they won’t make the mistakes I did,” said Khairul Azri who is on the Youth Engagement team at myHarapan, the frontliners in working with the youths.
“Working with youths from all walks of life, one of the most valuable lessons I gained was understanding that we are all capable and have the power to change things – regardless of our social and economic backgrounds,” he added.
“I subscribe to Socrates’ thinking that we cannot teach our youths anything as the world is changing so fast. What we can teach them is to think, question the status quo, understand context, empathize and have compassion for others. What did I learn from them? Patience. Patience to hold back my fears and anxieties to truly let them be – in exploring their potential,” said Assc. Prof. Dr. Foo Yin Fah, Sunway University.
In an era where information is so readily available, some might think – what else is there to teach?
“We need to teach our youths to feel good in their own skins, experience life to their fullest and always remembering to play- so that they can fall, learn and be merry. We learn from them the value of keeping to your inner child, uninhibited by the unknown, always dreaming, and not knowing any ‘better’,” said Nini Daing, our resident Mother Hen. “Unless you prefer… we spank them?”
“The young ones need to learn how to respect opinions and people they may or may not understand, like or accept. In turn, they are teaching us imagination, and ‘play’,” said Ellynita Lamin of RTI International, who’s no stranger in the third sector and has in her field of work, engaged with thousands and thousands of youths all over the world.
We also asked an old friend, someone who’s worked with us since the early days of myHarapan, and Zam Nayan of Huri.Co has this to say: “Definitely to encourage more creative thinking in our youths. That and less self-censorship. Working with young people has taught me to always remind myself why I do what I do.”
There seems to be a recurring and similar theme here, don’t you think?
Check out what the others have to say:
“To teach our youths that it’s not just about ideas. It’s about making things happen. If you want your idea to succeed you need to be brave enough to test it, before you can get other people onboard. And in turn, I have learned to never under-estimate someone based on their perceived lack of experience. Our youths are already leaders.” – Yusuf Jaffar, myHarapan Social Enterprise Ventures.
“Youths should know that it’s OK to make mistakes! But it’s not OK if you don’t learn from it. The youths I’ve worked with have kept my passion alive with their determination. It’s allowed me to believe and trust again!” – Syarina Hisham, myHarapan
“Teaching isn’t just about transfer of textbook or academic knowledge. What I want our youths to know is that the pursuit of knowledge has to also come with other soft skills: EQ, empathy, attitude, and many more! Engaging with young people has further taught me that the thing that makes one stand out, is really one’s personality and attitude.” -Nur Atheera Veslee, myHarapan
Thank you to the youths who’ve made us better teachers!