“My results are not as good since schooling days; I am worried that if I joined Yelaoshr as a teacher I may lead children down the wrong path….” Did you ever have such concerns? Then you would have to listen to Penny’s story.
Penny is the joint partner of Seremban’s Yelaoshr and she has taught in Alam Damai and Semenyih branches. Prior to joining Yelaoshr, she had an immense interest towards bakery and worked in the baking industry for over three years.
“During my secondary school years, my results were not remarkable. I felt that I was interested in arts and craft and technical skills, hence I made my decision to become a baker in the future.” – Penny
Upon completing her SPM, Penny worked for a year to earn some savings and then enrolled in The Chef Academy’s Professional Bakery Course to have professional qualifications in this sector. Once she obtained her certificate, Penny devoted herself to the bakery business. In the beginning, she learnt many things and gained loads of experience and skills from a Japanese bakery master. With more than three years of honing and refining of skills enabled her to master the art of all kinds of bread and cakes.
An accident with her right hand left her injured leaving her unable to step into the bakery industry again.
“The doctor advised me to stop my work so that I would not aggravate my injury.” – Penny
Feeling lost and confused, Penny had to face the harsh reality of unemployment because her only qualification can never bring her any income again.
Some moments later, Penny’s brother saw a recruitment advertisement by Yelaoshr on the internet. He knew that Penny loves children thus encouraging her to apply. Penny’s first thoughts were that her results were not good enough and she would not want to lead children astray. Her brother encouraged her to just give it a try and not to stop in her tracks before she even started.
“When I went to apply for a job, the interviewer did not ask me about my educational background but is more focused on if a teacher has love and a diligent heart to learn. This made me felt relieved.” – Penny
Penny started off training at a learning centre near Alam Damai and also worked at the Semenyih branch sometime later. After five years of work, Penny became a partner of the Yelaoshr franchise and opened a Yelaoshr Learning Centre in Seremban. She began to handle the administrative work at the centre and sometimes even meet up with parents to offer consultation services.
“Some people may feel that children are very naughty and mischievous, but to me, they are like angels. I felt that it’s worth it even though it is tiring while teaching them.” – Penny
Identifying children’s unique talent – and light them up
Through the teaching process, Penny once taught a primary 6 dyslexic student. The one thing that both Penny and the student have in common is that they did not really excel in studies but have other talents – making origamis and assembling models.
“The foundation of this student is rather weak, hence he only attends classes of the primary 1 level at Yelaoshr just to enable him to recognise more words and to strengthen his foundation.” – Penny
Penny noted that when this student started coming for classes, he was always in a frightened state and did not want to mix with anyone else.
“He comes to the centre five days per week. At first, he was always quietly doing his homework and does not talk at all.” – Penny
Penny then decided to let go of her status as a teacher and chat with him freely as a child (This primary 6 boy is already taller than Penny). Because he was always in a situation where he felt pressurised in school, by coming to Yelaoshr we hope to give him a break.
Penny realised that actually, his studies are not as bad as she thinks. It is just that when he encounters words that are more difficult he tends to resist learning.
“At moments like this, we would sometimes let him rest and play some other activities he likes.” – Penny
While resting and playing, Penny realised his interest and talent in origami and model assembling and these are the hobbies that are channels of his relaxation. We tried to unintentionally show him flash cards while he is playing to let him learn in a less stressful environment whereas not just by sitting quietly in front of a teacher to learn in class.
“Sometimes he would tell us teachers that he is useless and I would encourage him by saying: Look, you can make origamis and assemble Lego blocks very well, some of them we teachers can’t even do it; you are excellent!” – Penny
Half a year later during Teacher’s Day, this student suddenly said he wanted to gift Penny – “I want to gift you my results.” Penny revealed that before studying at Yelaoshr, he failed all his subjects; but today, he passed many of his subjects, even with a C in mathematics. This shocked Penny, and she felt comforted.
Penny wondered in thoughts, “Every child can be taught well, even dyslexic children are not excluded. As long as the right methods are used, children still can have the ability to absorb new information.”
Besides noticing the children’s improvement in studies, their confidence is boosted even in the smallest things in everyday life. Looking back five years at her lost self, today she can participate in the administrative work of the centre, communicate with confidence with parents and teach the children. This joy in her growth is priceless.
“Through all these years, I think that it does not necessarily require a person with higher education level to do something you love. There are a lot of things which requires us to start from zero and learn one step at a time. With that, when faced with challenges, even if you are afraid or that you do not know how, you have to grasp the opportunity to try. You will not succeed if you do not try.” – Penny