“Terima kasih, Cikgu!” – SmartParents

“Terima kasih, Cikgu!”

Every May 16, teachers all over the country are being celebrated on Teachers’ Day. Students shared their appreciations to the teachers through cards and small gifts.


However, there is also a growing concern. “Teachers’ Day – a day for a teacher to exchange gifts with each other,” lamented a teacher via his Facebook wall. His friends agreed, “Many “Happy Teachers’ Day” greetings also come from the teachers.”


Teaching profession is one of the noblest jobs in the world. A teacher’s job is not just to finish the syllabus; it’s about planting the seeds of knowledge at an early age. Teachers’ responsibilities are not just about maintaining discipline in school; they are about showing the right from wrong. Teachers do not deliver books, they deliver knowledge. They don’t send home just another student; they send home a much better and improved person. Don’t these sound noble to you?


Unfortunately, the trend is fast changing where teachers are not really being put at the proper place in the society. Parents have a big and influencing role to change this trend.




Yes, many times parents may disagree with the teachers. However, berating them openly in front of the kids is about the most damaging thing we can do for their reputations. What signals are we sending to our kids by criticizing the teachers in front of them? How can we expect the students to respect the teachers if a lot of unsuitable words are used by adults to utter their disappointments?


Disagreeing is okay as long as it’s done in a civil manner and via proper channels. Parents need to be more involved with the schools, preferably via the Parents-Teachers Associations.


That is the perfect avenue to air any suggestions, ideas, feedback and even criticisms. If done with sincerity, everyone will benefit. School authorities will get new ideas and perspectives which they may have overlooked before.


Parents get to share their expertise and latest knowledge they may acquire at work. Teachers will feel appreciated when feedback are done with the win-win attitude. Most importantly, our kids will be the ultimate benefactors of that winning collaboration.




Another effective way to instill respect to teachers is to drill into our kids that teachers are the parents at schools. As much as they respect us at home, our kids must do the same to the teachers there. I still remember my father’s advice; “at school, teachers are the parents. They deserve your utmost respect and obedience”. When I followed his advice, I realized that it was absolutely true. One thing that I remember clearly is that by treating teachers with love and respect, it is so much easier to focus while they teach.


When you were in schools yourself, I’m sure you’d still recall how much your parents respect and trust the teachers. If you get into trouble at school, did you dare to tell it to our parents?


Probably not! Chances are, instead of getting their sympathies, you may get another smack to complement the teacher’s punishment. Only after that, your parents would ask what happened. That’s how much they trust the schools.

We need to refresh that trust by passing this wisdom to our kids today. Yes, times have changed but the respect to teachers should remain.




When our kids respect the teachers, many good things will follow. One, they would pay more attention in class. This is simply the most effective way to learn. This is when the real learning process happens. It is almost impossible to catch up once the lesson is taught. You can argue that one may catch up by reading on their own, but why take the risk when they can simply sit back and listen to what the teachers are saying.


This is the reason why many people learn more effectively during a seminar than reading the same material in a book. The same logic also explains why students will still need to attend lectures even if they can read and learn the stuff on their own.


Secondly, students who respect the teachers would usually behave better. They become friends and help each other.


Fortunately, it is still very common to see this. It always warms my heart whenever I see students politely wish their teachers well whenever they bump into each other. Others would be quick to offer their help when they see such an opportunity. I am sure these students would grow into responsible and valuable adults in the society later on.


As always, respect to teachers begins at home and continues into schools. After all, teachers had a big part in shaping our good lives today. They will continue to do so for our kids.


So, today, let’s all of us stand up once again and together we say, “Terima Kasih, Cikgu!”

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