Friday, June 17, 2011

A Proud TESLian

Ten years back, oblivious to what I was getting myself into, I entered a fully residential school or SBP. During the first few weeks there, I was called by the school counselor to discuss some issues. He told me to sit in front of him and the first question he asked me was,

"What's your ambition, 'Azieyati?"
"I want to be a teacher."
"A teacher? And teaching what?"

"English. I want to be an English teacher."
And what came out of his mouth afterwards was so simple yet so significant to me for it to be remembered till now. He asked,
"Then why are you here? Why are you in a Science school? You should go to a normal school."
I remember looking at his face and say, "Well, I'm here already. I'll do my best."

I have always wanted to be an English teacher. For as long as I remember. I think it was when I was still in primary school that my mom introduced me to the word, TESL. And ever since, TESL has been my aim. I've never imagined myself wanting to do anything else than teach. It was in that Science school where I realized I was different. First, the counselor made it obvious. Then, in class when my friends and I were told to introduce ourselves and tell our ambitions, I realized that most of them wanted to be doctors or engineers. And me, as usual, with a surprise face, the teachers would ask the same question, "English teacher?"

My school days were okay. I was never on the top list. But as much as I was surrounded with amazingly brilliant friends who I have always admired for owning the ability to solve equations like it was a fun crossword puzzle and actually like learning chemistry, I was.. well, different. I cringed at the thought of having to endure three hours of chemistry and physics (I actually liked biology). And add maths? Let's not even go there. But, English. Well, English made me smile. I love everything about it. And Allah being as fair as He always is, made me have that specialty. I could offer no academic assistance whatsoever to my genius friends except for English. And I loved doing it. I loved checking their essays and explaining to them how they could improve. I loved being the walking dictionary. I loved being good at something I love. I loved being special. Teaching English made me feel that way.

And so when I left the Science school and was actually given the chance by UiTM to pursue my studies in TESL, it actually felt like I was dreaming. I remember back in UiTM Melaka where I did my pre-degree in TESL and it was writing class, we got our writing text book. And flipping through the pages, I was actually beaming with excitement. "I am going to learn writing. Writing!" And then, there was speaking class, reading class, and my friends actually spoke in English with me! I get to present in English! I get to read novels, poems and even write them myself! No more science and maths! It was, for the past five years, an amazing experience.

Looking at my description here on the right, "Final year B.Ed TESL student who could write for hours as long as it's from her heart." I feel sad and relieved at the same time. Although classes have ended back in April, I've been reluctant to change it as I was afraid that my results wouldn't allow me to graduate. But alhamdulillah, Thank You Allah, last night UiTM sent good news and I must say the speedy email method is very impressive! Although it does feel sad to leave UiTM Shah Alam and my life as an undergraduate behind, life goes on. And so will the description of me.

Studying English and teaching has always been my dream and though there were ups and downs throughout the years, there has not been one second that I regret doing it. Day by day, the lecturers and the classes that I go through, not to forget the friends who have always been my side, have made me fallen deeper and deeper in love with teaching English. The knowledge, experiences and hardship have shaped me to be the English educator that I am today. I'm not sure if I'm good at it yet, since it's all so new. But am I happy? Yes, passionately happy. I'm living my dream. How could I not?



  1. i read it all, i could feel it too and see ur love in what u r doing now and Alhamdulillah.


    nice entry..

  2. I need to share this with my sister. May I?
    She isn't taking TESL but she just started her foundation for Bach. in English, and I know that it doesn't really involve teaching, but hopefully it'll give her a boost to do her best. :)

  3. I thought I was the only one who experienceD this kind of thing, being questioned on my decision to do TESL. PK1 was not satisfied for I did pre degree TESL in uitm, and not matriculation. He expected me to do medical or engineering :(

    but now I'm doing my degree in UPM, still have one more year to go and definitely sure with the path that I'm taking. TESL is cool and fun :)

    This is very inspiring, thank you for sharing! :)

  4. Subahanallah, I'm surprised to find new people here. Where did you guys come from?? :P And for saying such nice words. Thank you.

    Aman Ibrahim: Thank you for spending your time reading my babblings. Best of luck to you! May Allah bless you.

    Nurul: Use my words to give a boost to your sister? Oh my, what an honour. Send her my good wishes. Hope she's doing what she likes. You're a good sister. :)

    Anish: Good to know that someone experienced the same road. But I'm guessing you're actually good at maths and science while I'm just not. haha.
    Yes, TESL is, isnt it? :) Best of luck for your final year to and your future. Thank you for your kind words.

  5. Azie,
    Welcome to the world of English teaching. Its fun as fun it could be...
    Could you dance,sing,play games in other lessons..
    Hope you become an excellent Eng teacher,well loved by your pupils.I know you would.

  6. Alhamdulillah, u r doing something that u do really love. Love + passion + dedication= Great Teacher 'Azieyati (GTA).. =)

  7. "Well, I'm here already. I'll do my best."

    I love english too but I'm not sure about teaching, but "I'm here already. I'll do my best" too.

    goodluck Azie. your students are going to love you like I do. hehe

  8. Sa'diyah: You have a blog!!

    Auntie from mokjadeandell: Exactly! That's the same thing I told my mom who is a Maths teacher :P Am trying my best to make my students enjoy English as much as I do. Thank you for your kind words, Auntie. :)

    Habib: InsyaAllah. I hope I have all that. Thanks so much. :)

    Azila: You're one of the best teachers we have among us. I've always loved your clear explanations. I know you would be an excellent lecturer and.. our future dean. ;)
    Best of luck to you as well!

  9. I felt so touched by your story..I happen to be a very passionate English subject lover too.I always want to be a teacher.But, we don't always get what we want in life right..Yes, things happen for a reason..I didn't get the chance to pursue my studies in TESL.huhu..You're so lucky...Though, I don't know you at all but deep inside my heart I know that you're going to be an awesome teacher..=)May Allah bless you.

  10. Tika: Thank you so much for your kind words. Im sure you're doing amazing in whatever it is that you're doing now. Your love towards teaching could always be channeled to your children later on. ;) And yes, though I dont know you either, Im certain you're a very nice person. May Allah bless you too. :)

  11. Thank you so much akak for posting this on your blog. I was Googling for TESL and found your article. I read every single of words written. And what can I say, we have a lot in common especially the part where you dislike subjects that involve with calculations and formulae lyk Addmaths and Chemistry.

    I've been through the experience back when I was in high school,I had a rough time with Addmaths, Chemistry and Physics.Yep, I was in a Science stream class but my exam results every semester didn't show what a Science stream students should be.

    Well I guess I have no luck with my left brain. I'm more into writing and reading.And that's why I scored well in English subject every exam. And now, I can proudly say that all my passions and efforts towards English language has paid off as I now got the offer from Uitm Shah Alam to further my studies in Asasi TESL.

    Alhamdulillah. My parents are so proud of me as I'm able to achieve my dream to be a lecturer.. And I will never stop trying until I reach my dream. And that's a promise.

    Thank you akak for inspiring me :)

  12. Another question sister Azie,

    are you a licensed English teacher?


    if someone is interested to teach at any school in Malaysia, do they need a teacher's license like in many of the schools here in Philippines do?

    my blog:

    wasalaam :)

  13. Ain: Thank YOU for inspiring me! May you enjoy your passion successfully as I'm pretty sure you very well deserve it. Good luck with TESL in UiTM Shah Alam! You'll have so much fun. :D

    Mariam: In Malaysia, we don't need a license, but a degree in Education and we go through several interviews. Are you interested to come teach here, sister Mariam? You should! It's such a lovely country :)

  14. Dear god, I literally taste the love you hold for teaching and English. Such passion. Your students are lucky to have you and I wish you good luck in your future endeavours. May the minds you mould succeed, for they are the future. :)

    Not to mention, thank you. I am one of the SPM leavers for the year 2012, currently waiting for the dreaded UPU. This cemented my doubts about what I am going to choose later on.

    May Allah bless.


  15. Dear Kak Azie, thank you for inspiring me.
    Your posting says exactly what I feel about English. I love being a walking dictionary! I never feel useless when it comes to English. It saddens me sometimes, when i look at my friends and think " How can they be so good in Chemisty/ Add maths / Physics? " But then i realized that people think of me the same way. " How can you be so good in English? " Wow, i never thought i'd be good at something :b But i guess the odds arent exactly in my favour, i never got the chance to pursue foundation for English. I went to matriculation instead and learned new things like business, accountancy and economy. I have zero interest in those subjects. I only felt joy when it comes to English class! And now, Im waiting for the opportunity to pursue my study in TESL. Do pray for me. Hihi.
    I wish you all the best!