2011 News A Touching and Inspiring Moment on Teachers’ Day

A Touching and Inspiring Moment on Teachers’ Day

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Teachers’ Day falls on the first of September in Singapore, and on that day all schools on the island conduct activities to express gratitude to teachers in appreciation of their hard work. This year, for the first time in the history of Maha Bodhi School, Tzu Chi's Great Love mummies were invited to help conduct an appreciation tea ceremony for the children to show their gratitude and express their well wishes to their educators.
Organizing the appreciation tea ceremony for the third year, Mr Gau Poh Teck (right), principal of Mee Toh School, feels that it is imperative to inculcate values such as respect for the elders and reciprocity in the students. (Photo: Lim Chwee Lian)

A last minute practice under the guidance of Great Love mummies to ease the students’ nervousness and get ready for a heartwarming and solemn ceremony later on. (Photo: Huang Po-han)
Great Love mummies lead the students to dance and hand-sign to the Tzu Chi song “A Lifelong Gratitude to Teachers”, a lighthearted tune with interesting lyrics that narrates students’ gratitude to their teachers. (Photo: Huang Po-han)
Students of the Maha Bodhi School put up interesting performances that comprise singing, dancing and drama to express their gratitude to teachers. (Photo: Huang Po-han)
Led by Great Love mummies, the students hold their teacups painstakingly while walking slowly to the rhythm of the music into the hall, getting ready to present their gratitude to the teachers. (Photo: Huang Po-han)

In Singapore, Teachers’ Day is celebrated on the first of September. All schools in Singapore will conduct activities for students to express their gratitude to the teachers.  Of the three schools that engage Tzu Chi Great Love mummies as volunteers, this is the third year that Mee Toh School conducted the appreciation tea ceremony for the teachers and the first time for Maha Bodhi primary school to do so, giving the students an opportunity to express their gratitude, well wishes and respect for their teachers.

Early in the morning, the school hall in Maha Bodhi School was bustling with joy. For the celebration of Teachers’ Day, the school granted permission for all students to come in costumes with different themes. The school also prepared an interesting programme that comprised singing, dancing and drama to thank its educators.

What was unique about this year's celebration at Maha Bodhi School was the appreciation tea ceremony. The ceremony consisted of three sessions, involving the lower, middle and upper primary students respectively. As it was the first time the school conducted such a ceremony, the Great Love mummies specially conducted an intensive training session for 84 students a few days prior to the Teachers’ Day.

The students felt uneasy at the beginning, as was evidenced by their nervous expressions and poorly coordinated hand and leg movements. However, they got the hang of it gradually and were able to perform the ritual eventually. The Great Love mummies were very much gratified and moved by the students’ progress.  

The appreciation tea ceremony commenced after the bubbly performance of the Tzu Chi song, “A Lifelong Gratitude to Teachers”. Holding teacups in their hands painstakingly while walking slowly in synchronization to the beats of the background music, the energetic children became very serious and focused; and with a deep bow, they offered the tea to their teachers. The light aroma of tea signified their deepest gratitude to their teachers. 

Being served tea by the students for the first time, the teachers were very touched.  Some had their eyes turn red with emotion, while some others said happily, “We can feel the respect coming from the children.” With gratitude, yet some of them declared, “The children have inspired us to put in even more efforts while teaching them.”

Mrs Lim Bee Lay, the principal of Maha Bodhi School, commented, “Children are gifts from heaven and it is very important to inculcate moral values in them. Today, being served tea by the students for the first time, I can feel deeply how respectful and sweet they are and I am very touched by that. The significance of drinking the triple-good tea is to remind one to harbour good thoughts, utter good words and do good deeds. Not only do we expect that of the students, we ourselves as teachers have to do likewise. The education offered by the Great Love mummies as well as Master Cheng Yen's Jing Si aphorisms is simply great!”

Great Love mummies from Tzu Chi Singapore are entering their fourth year of volunteering at Maha Bodhi School. The mummies visit the school on every Wednesday and, during the short recess time, educate the school children with Jing Si aphorisms through drama, songs and stories. The school highly recognizes the efforts of the Great Love mummies as the programme they designed have helped the students develop positive characters.

Yan Qing Yang, a Primary 6 student, mentioned, “Great Love mummies have taught us to be filial to our parents and be respectful to our teachers, as well as taking care of our classmates and protecting planet Earth.

"We also learnt that many things can be recycled for reuse to protect the environment.”

The 12-year-old added that he also shared the knowledge he learnt from Great Love mummies with his mother. “Once, when my mother let the tap run while washing the dishes, I reminded her that we should not waste water and my mother quickly turned off the tap.”

It delights one to see that efforts in molding the children’s characters have paid off with time. Tzu Chi's humanistic values enhance the moral education the students receive during their formative years and help them understand that reading about moral values in books alone is not enough. It is important to practice them in daily lives too.

Attending the appreciation tea ceremony for the first time, Mrs Lim Bee Lay (right), principal of Maha Bodhi School, is very touched by the students. She feels that both teachers and students need to practice what the “triple-good tea” signifies—harbour good thoughts, utter good words and do good deeds. (Photo: Huang Po-han)
Primary 6 student, Yan Qing Yang, always shares knowledge he learns from the Great Love mummies with his mother. (Photo: Huang Po-han)

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