What would you say is one important life lesson that your students have taught you?
Teaching kids with special needs has taught me a lot. The most important lesson is that I should always be understanding of one’s situation. Not everybody thinks and feels the same way or with the same intensity as you do; all of us have different mental and emotional capacities, which is why we should all be empathetic and more kind towards one another, and especially ourselves.
What do you think is an untrue stereotype about the teaching profession that you often hear?
I often hear people say that if they cannot get any other jobs, they will just be teachers. People often think that teaching is an easy job which anyone can do, so they usually view it as a back-up plan. I don’t really think being a teacher is for everyone—it takes patience, understanding, and lots and lots and lots of tolerance.
If you could change something about the society that we live in, what would it be?
I’d really love to make society more compassionate and inclusive, especially towards people with special needs and disabilities. Stigma and discrimination towards special needs people makes people feel alone and afraid to reach out for help. It’s important to recognise that they’re more than their disabilities and we should treat them as such.
With the year coming to an end, how do you think 2020 has changed you as a person?
I think this year changed me a lot mentally and emotionally. I’ve become more aware that there are a lot of situations or incidences that are out of my control—and that’s okay. I know now that I can control my emotions towards those situations, and this mindset that I have adopted this year has made me a more positive person.
What’s one book that you’ve greatly enjoyed this past year?
I recently revisited one of an old favourite book of mine—Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I caught the play last month and it really got me crying my heart out in my seat. There are a lot of essential life lessons in the story, from teaching about forgiveness to learning how to lead a meaningful life. This book just makes me feel some sort of way and I think everyone should read it at least once in their life.
You’ve got a unique and really fun fashion sense—what’s something that influences how you dress?
I feel that my fashion sense is influenced by the people around me, mainly my friends. All of my friends have very different styles from each other and I often feel that my style is a mix of a little bit of each and everyone of them.