Inspiring Teachers Awards: Our N-Level results shocked Ms Faekah till she was in tears

Jannah still fondly remembers her teacher from Serangoon Garden Secondary School, Ms Faekah, whose wise words she has kept close to her heart even till today.

Ms Faekah was an Allied Educator who taught English at the school from 2012 to 2014. She is currently 29 years old and a part-time student care teacher.

The two still keep in contact, with Ms Faekah also joining her former students for outings and celebrations.

Here is Jannah's entry for the Samsung-Stomp Inspiring Teachers Awards:

"This is a story from many years ago of a secondary school teacher who I am still in contact with. Her name is Ms Faekah.

"As she stood in front of her Normal Technical class on the very first day of school, she said to us:

'I am a teacher. It's how I define myself. A good teacher isn't someone who gives the answers out to his or her students, but one who is understanding of their needs and challenges, and who gives tools to help his or her students succeed.'

"Ms Faekah is not a judgemental person and she loves listening to our life stories. She would always provide a listening ear and tries to put herself in our shoes. Not all teachers are willing to share their life stories with their students but she is different.

"Ms Faekah would always motivate us and never fails to nag at us so that we would wake up from our bad attitude.

"I still recall her always saying: 'No matter how difficult life is, never abandon your studies as it is the key to your future.'

"We will always remember those words no matter where we are.

"It got to the point where Ms Faekah would actually spot our mistakes instantly when we did our Comprehension exercises.

"She would spend quality time just to review each of our past work and sacrifice all her free time just to focus on our class. She also tried her best to mark a lot of our assignments and provide extra classes just to prepare all of us for our exams.

"In addition, she also used Information and Communications Technology (ICT) when teaching the English Language. I will never forget the time she let us use audio tools to practice our oral skills and listen to ourselves reading.

"During our N-Level results, she came down and looked at our results. She was so shocked that she was in tears. She did not expect that her class of Normal Technical students would graduate with flying colours."

When contacted by Stomp, Ms Faekah said being a teacher has been her childhood dream ever since the day her mother bought her a toy chalkboard.

She said: "I find that teaching is one of my purposes in life.

"For my students to still remember me after many years have passed, that itself encourages me to pursue teaching as a career further.

"I also get a feeling of immense satisfaction whenever my students improves."

Ms Faekah also feels that teaching allows her to "experience life as a kid or teenager in the eyes of the students again."

Asked what was the most challenging aspect of her career, she told Stomp it was to listen with empathy.

"In the beginning, when I first started out, I had a hard time understanding the Normal Technical students. I had to think of ways to engage them and I finally did when I put myself in their shoes," she added.

"I started using ICT tools such as audio recorder for Oral Reading and Edmodo for them to practise picture discussion with their friends online.

"I also had to understand the reason for their actions. Sometimes they have probably had a really bad day. We have to be patient with them because they are after all, our nation’s future.

"Till this day, I am still learning to be a better teacher through experiences and sharing sessions with other teachers like myself."

Have a teacher you want to nominate? Find out how to join the Samsung-Stomp Inspiring Teachers Awards here.

Read all entries for the contest here.​