Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sha Laoshi and Fu Laoshi

Laoshi means teacher in Mandarin. Sha Laoshi and Fu Laoshi are both teachers who came from China to teach Mandarin lessons here in Singapore. They are both pretty, fair skinned, tall and think highly of their originated place.The similarities end there. Friends they may be, they are poles apart.

Sha Laoshi never stops to make me analyze. She is a person in contrast with her own self. She is very authoritative and fierce but I know deep inside, she hides a very low self esteem. She treats the children as if she owns them. She treats them as if they are lowly creatures, wild young animals who know nothing and that she is the only person around who can tame them. Her projected philosophy is that "I am your teacher, my words are to be followed, what for I became your teacher? " The big problem is that her students are merely three year olds. My God, I can feel the pain of every harsh words she inflicted on the children. True, she defies everything I valued about early childhood education and theories of child psychology.
But before you hate her, let me tell you that she is hurting. She came here as a study mama. A study mama is either a mother or a grandmother of a student from China who is allowed by the Ministry of Education to study in government schools here in Singapore.( In Singapore, government schools are highly accredited than private schools) She is then given a visa to stay and work here as long as the child is allowed to stay and study. Therefore, Sha laoshi's chance to work and stay here was due to her son. That is why she served him like a king, for in him lies the bright future for him and the family in China. You see, if the child finished his tertiary here, it will be very very easy for him to take permanent residency.
Sha Laoshi is in emotional pain. She left her family,relatives and husband in China just to be with her jewel son. She endured 3 years of homesickness to be with her precious child, only to be treated like a servant. For a mother, it is really painful and insulting.
As a defense mechanism, she projected a fierce image. An image which I know will be ebbed in many a children's heart. I am saddenned.

Fu Laoshi is a dependant pass holder. Her husband is an employment pass holder. As his wife, she is an automatic dependent, thus the dependant pass. With a letter of consent, she is allowed to work here.
She is very loving to the children and speaks softly. She likes to teach them a lot of Chinese songs and rhymes. She likes to hug the children especially the younger ones. She portrays a happy disposition in life. But beneath that smile, lies a hidden pain. Yes, she too is hurting. She has a husband here, but is with another China woman. For years, she had never seen her only child, a girl of 18, and God knows, she's thinking of her every minute of the day. I just can't imagine her lonely nights in her rented room.
Now, whenever possible, she try to wear sexy clothes. If she's wearing a long skirt, she will fold it very shortly, then will cross her legs, for everybody to see .She pretended as if she did things without malice. It may mean seduction for some, as she stands tall on the young boys sitting on the floor looking up at her. For others, it may mean just nothing.
Whatever it is, I feel saddenned. For a young boy, God forgive,this scenario may trigger sexual pleasures.

Sha Laoshi and Fu Laoshi, they are my friends. They need to know that their actions as teachers make or break a child. Maybe one of these days, I will have the courage to say a thing or two. But how can I? When I myself, may also unconsciously or can be consciously, hurt a child's feelings?

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