Pencil stub best Teacher’s Day gift ever, says headmaster

SK Tengkek headmaster Mohd Yusri Mohd Zaali (centre) with fellow teachers dressed in traditional Malay attire in conjunction with the Teacher’s Day celebration in Kuala Pilah. -NSTP/AMRAN YAHYA.

KUALA PILAH: In his 30-year teaching career, Mohd Yusri Mohd Zaali has received countless gifts and souvenirs from pupils during Teachers Day celebrations.

But, the one that stood out and left an indelible mark on the heart of the 51-year-old headmaster of SK Tengkek, Batu Kikir here, was a short, used pencil.

“I was the disciplinary teacher of the school at the time,” he said.

“Until today, I am still overwhelmed by the show of gratitude.”

Yusri said the pencil stub was given to him by a Standard Four pupil who was a slow learner.

“It’s a tradition for students to give presents to their teachers on Teacher’s Day, and this particular student was no exception,” he said.

“Perhaps she had no money, but still wanted to give me something.

“So, she wrapped her short, used pencil with a piece of paper torn out of her book and gave it to me,” he added.

When he opened the gift, he found the pencil with a “Happy Teachers Day” note written on the paper.

“I was moved to tears. She had a great sense of appreciation towards her teachers despite her shortcomings.

“It was the most meaningful gift I’ve ever had in my career as a teacher,” he said during the school’s Teachers Day celebration.

As part of the school’s theme this year, the teachers were dressed as Malay warriors.

“These costumes reminds us of the days of the Malay Sultanate, where it was equipped with various accessories such as tanjak, sampin and keris,” he said.

By Amran Yahya.

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