The Class Clown

“Nowadays students may forget what you say, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel”- Mr. Pereira

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It is said that a great teacher not only teaches his or her students well, but never fails to inspire and motivate them. My passion for economics was sparked by my JC teacher who was able to link its different aspects together to form a bigger picture. He taught us beyond the textbook, and never failed to make us see that the scope of economics is way beyond the A-level syllabus. He instilled in me a hunger to further my learning, which is why I applied to study economics in university.

Every now and then, you chance upon a clip which leaves a warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach, and cannot help but bring tears to your eyes. The Class Clown is a heartfelt tribute to all our teachers out there, who have helped shape our lives, as much as our parents. It is about a teacher who conducts lessons in a different manner than others, one which did not agree with the school principal as he did not believe that it would produce results.

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Mr Pereira, or Alex as he was known to his students, believed that history was more than just a relentless memorisation of historical facts and figures. He knew that some students would not be willing to learn if he taught classes in a conventional, read-off-the-textbook kind of manner. Therefore Alex transformed all his lessons into engaging role plays of textbook historical figures, such as Yap Ah Loy, the founding father of Kuala Lumpur, down to dressing up like them. He, for the lack of a better phrase, brought his lessons to life, and made them unforgettable, together with the subject material.

The title itself is a clever play of words; the term “class clown” commonly refers to a playful student, but in the video it actually refers to the teacher himself. By portraying himself as the joker who helps liven up the mood of the class, Alex managed to bridge the student-teacher gap and make his students feel like he was a jovial and approachable friend, more than just a teacher.

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I would just like to say that there are many more dedicated teachers out there. Unlike Mr Pereira, they might not adopt a unique teaching method. But they will never hesitate to spend entire afternoons after school tirelessly explaining concepts repeatedly to weaker students, and spending sleepless nights marking our mock exam papers so that we get them back as quickly as possible to revise for upcoming tests. They find passion and fulfilment in guiding their students, yet we sometimes take them for granted, dismissing them as being boring and strict.

Just like parents who have a vast influence on their children’s values and mindset, teachers too help to sculpt their students’ lives. This touching clip is a timely reminder that we should greater appreciate the people of this humble, yet noble profession.

To all the teachers who have taught me in the past twelve years of my education, I can never thank you enough for everything you have taught me, tangible and intangible. Watch this clip by JinnyboyTV below.


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