[Originally posted September 23, 2009]
I was from a teaching college called Kent Teaching College, in Tuaran. When I was there, it was in the English and Chinese medium, later it switched to Malay. We were taught the techniques of teaching, but most people who graduate from teaching college don’t go out and practise it, because they don’t believe in the theory.
Later, I attended so many seminars, dialogue sessions, I met so many people. I’m the type of person – I don’t care what method you are doing, I only care the results. The effectiveness. That the learner is happy, and he is learning.
In the 70s, I met up with my former Principal from Kent College, Mr. O. He came back for a visit. He’s a British but he has a US wife. We (all his ex-students) bought him a dinner, the old restaurant at the Jesselton Hotel, not the Italian one now.
He had travelled to Africa, and the US, and so many different countries to give talks. In Africa, he said, there is no classroom – the so-called classroom is under the Big Tree. The children sit on the grass, a blackboard is nailed to the tree. When he goes to the US, it is very advanced – visual, video, all the teaching aids are very advanced. Big rooms with air-con, sit very comfortably, everything.
BUT – for him – there is no difference. They are all facing one problem, Every corner of the world, there is a shortage of GOOD teachers! They have enough teachers, but a bad shortage of GOOD teachers.
At the dinner, he said: “I hope you haven’t forgotten the definition of a good teacher: Good teaching is the ability to impart knowledge effectively. If you can do that, you will give a student the chance to experience the joy of learning.” This is applicable to teaching in any subject, in any country.
Mr. Loud is a pseudonym for a music educator in Kota Kinabalu. He has strong opinions which I enjoyed listening to, and I got as many interviews as I could before it wasn’t convenient for him to meet anymore. He is Chinese educated, from Sabah, and I only edit for clarity. I don’t want to correct grammar. It’s his voice, so you can read it the way he tells it. His views do not represent Sabah Songs.