Irsyad Zainal Bahrin: Why I choose to teach

Irsyad 1

I’m so grateful for the path carved for me by God in this battle. I’m thankful that I’m able to give my best despite my shortcomings, because every step in this fight is laying a brick in the foundation of our country.

Every student deserves the space and support to learn from their mistakes and shortcomings. I was able to grow because I had teachers who taught me to rise after every fall, to never stop trying. Together, let’s work towards empowering our nation’s youth, because they are the future of Malaysia.

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Saya bersyukur dengan jalan yang dibentang tuhan untuk perjuangan ini. Saya percaya, saya mampu memberi sebaiknya walaupun diri penuh dengan kelemahan kerana kekuatan akan terbina dari setiap langkah untuk memberi demi kebaikan.

Pelajar saya berhak untuk belajar dari kesilapan dan kelemahan mereka seperti mana guru saya dahulu membangkitkan saya dari kegagalan untuk membina keyakinan. Mari kita bersama membina keyakinan anak-anak masa depan negara dengan kekuatan kita yang tersendiri, yang hadir dari perjuangan pendidikan sebelum ini.

Satu, Seribu, Demi Jutaan Impian

Satu masa,
Hati pernah hiba,
Rasa tiada makna,
Mana perginya jiwa.

Ingin memberi,
Saku tiada berisi,
Kudrat seakan lesi,
Harap hanya pada Illahi.

Jalan pasti ada,
Rezeki demi negara,
Mendidik anak bangsa,
Demi negara yang sejahtera.

One and a thousand for a million dreams

Once,
My heart was curiously empty.
Life had little meaning
nor direction forward.

I wanted to give,
but I hadn’t the means.
Feeling drained, I persisted,
sustained by my faith in God.

There must be a path
to give back to my country,
to foster our common future
so we prosper together.

Irsyad 2

Jejak perjuangan,
Terukir senyuman,
Terbit juraian tangisan,
Madu hempedu tertelan.

Aneh jalan ini,
Suka hati ditangisi,
Ngilu dukanya dirai,
Agar ilmu terus diwarisi.

Tiada kata,
Terbit sejuta rasa,
Bila mereka bahagia,
Teroka ilmu sepenuhnya.

Setahun berlalu,
Laluan penuh liku,
Menguatkan diri ku,
Demi anak negaraKu.

Ku tidak berseorangan,
Ada keluarga dan kawan,
Ada cikgu dan cendekiawan,
Ada yayasan penyatu dermawan.

Tampak satu,
Belakangnya seribu.
Demi jutaan masa depan,
Buat semua pengejar impian.

My journey has seen
so many smiles, and so many tears.
The honey and the bile
I’ve both tasted in equal measure.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride.
Every joy follows with tears, yet
every pain too follows with cheer.
The one constant is the joy of teaching.

There are no words
to describe the pride
As I watch my students
Fall in love with learning.

It’s been a year since
I began upon this winding road.
As my students have grown, I’ve found
I’ve grown so much as well.

I’m not alone in this. I cherish the support
of my family and friends,
of fellow teachers and educators,
of the movement for change.

Every step I take on this path
brims with the hopes of a thousand.
I dream of a million possibilities, so
I teach for a million possibilities.

Irsyad is a 2017 Teach For Malaysia Fellow, who currently teaches Sejarah at a high-need school in Johor Bahru. He graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI).

Everyone deserves a #fightingchance. Get in the front line in the fight against education inequity. Apply for the Fellowship today, or donate RM50 monthly to help empower one Fellow to impact two students.

Teach For Malaysia recruits, trains and supports Fellows to teach in high-need schools across the nation. Beyond the Fellowship, our Alumni continue to champion education in different ways. To date, we’ve impacted over 73,000 students, working with the Ministry of Education and other partners.

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