Dear Mr Chua,
Hello! My name is Tan Rou Jin and I was your student from 4E5 in Hillgrove Secondary School. You may not remember who I am, after all you’ve had taught so many students, and that’s completely fine. I’m writing today just to say thank you, for everything you’ve done for me.
You were my Maths teacher in 2011. I, like the other 40 students in class was failing e-maths, E8s and F9s were not a big deal in 4E5. Our previous teacher told us that we were hopeless, we’re in the last express class, there’s no way we’ll make it anywhere. He got frustrated at us when we didn’t understand simple math questions and we got angry. Eventually, he left and never came back.
You were our new teacher. You came in at the start of the year and with 4E5 being 4E5, we had an unspoken consensus among ourselves to give teachers a hard time. We wanted to drive you crazy. We were loud, rude, had attention spans of a goldfish but you never once gave up on us.
You were always patient, kind, and you were willing to explain a formula over and over again until everyone understood it. You gave us motivation speeches; you encouraged us to try, to try harder every time. You never once diminished our dreams, no matter how ridiculous they were. You believed in each and every one of us. You took time out of your busy schedule to give us supplementary classes and you even took out personal time, inviting us (the craziest, loudest, and rowdiest students) into your home days before our O level exams to let us practice Maths questions and answer any linger questions we had.
Over the course of the year, I remember my Maths results improving tremendously. I went from an F9 to a B3 and I honestly couldn’t believe it. I was starting to understand, and actually enjoy doing Maths. Eventually, we graduated. Our class did surprisingly well in Maths – almost everyone passed and there were even a few who of us who got As. We went our separate ways and most of us never looked back.
After graduating from Hillgrove I skipped a few steps (it’s a long story) and went straight to university. I majored in Communication and Sociology and graduated Magna Cum Laude from University at Buffalo, the State University of New York last summer. Last week, I found out that I got an unconditional offer into the London School of Economics and Political Science. I start graduate school majoring in Media and Communication this September. None of this would have been possible if you weren’t my Maths teacher in 2011, because without your patience and support, I wouldn’t have done well in Maths hence not being able to meet the requirements for university. More importantly, I wouldn’t have thought that any of this was possible and it would’ve always been a dream. You quite literally changed my life.
Thank you so much for all that you have done for us. From encouraging us to keep studying to “silently” making us put in effort into our work. When we had doubts about our interests and what choices to make for our future you reminded us that it’s never too late to keep trying, exploring and testing our options. On top of that, it was really easy to slack off and to not care about our assignments, but you made us care. You made us challenge ourselves. You made us stay late in school to do, and redo all the past years papers, which we may have hated at that time… but in the end, we felt proud of our hard work. Thank you for making us finish what we started.
Sometimes I think students forget that teachers have lives outside of the classrooms… so thank you, for coming in every single day and being our teacher no matter what was happening in your social life. You must have had terrible days when the last thing you wanted to do was to come in to our classroom and teach a bunch of uninterested, undisciplined students. But you did anyways. You came in leaving all of your personal matters at the door. That must have been extremely difficult. Thank you for having the strength to teach through whatever was bothering you.
Thank you for believing in me. Your support made me feel motivated. Because you were optimistic that I could succeed, I believed (and still do) that I would succeed. Thank you for always giving me honest feedback on my work. If you thought I could do better, you told me so. Thank you for all the things that you do, big and small.
Rou Jin Tan.
I need to make it clear that every child is different, and it doesn’t mean that I will always be this successful in effecting an improvement in results. Much also depends on the chemistry between teacher and student. I am, however, confident in my ability to positively impact almost every child I work with.
If you would like to engage my services as a private Math tutor, do contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org