By: Bill Puah (17S06B), Nerissa Loe (17A13A) and Sabariesh Ilankathir (17A13A)
Photos by: Matthew Toh (17S06H)
The 1st of September is an ordinary day for most, but an extraordinary day for teachers in Raffles. Students gathered in school to celebrate our teachers, who have contributed significantly towards educating many generations of students.
This year in particular, students planned a scrumptious breakfast for their civic tutors. At breakfast, students could be seen flourishing various baked goods and cooked food that they had prepared for their teachers. Students also squeezed through the crowd to find their teachers and wish them “Happy Teachers’ Day”.
Following that, Year 5 students and teachers alike proceeded to the hall for scintillating performances put up by both students and teachers. Meanwhile the Year 6s and their teachers, who had already watched the concert, proceeded to the canteen from the hall instead.
The first act was by Raffles Jazz. This would be one of Jazz’s first performances since their gig back in May, Viva: the swan song of the outgoing J2s.
The J1 Jazz performers took to the stage enthusiastically, giving an impressive performance, though their nerves did get the better of them at times. The band quickly got into the groove and gave us a performance that reflected the batch’s diverse talents.
The band performed “Pure Imagination” by the late Gene Wilder, who had passed away only two days back. Their rendition of this classic served as a respectful tribute to a legendary actor and director, who had first performed the song in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
They followed this with the jazz standard “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, originally composed by Layton and Johnstone. With great singing and instrumentals, the hall was filled with cheers and smiles.
On Teachers’ Day, our teachers continued to light up lives by putting up spectacular performances.
The first teacher, Mr Eddie Koh, delivered his fantastic rendition of 秋歌赋 (qiū gē fù). Immediately, the atmosphere shifted from one of excitement to that of a more bittersweet and cosy nature. Throughout the song, students swayed quietly to the beat of an unfamiliar yet nostalgic song. The song definitely moved us into thinking about all the experiences that our teachers had given us, which made us so much more grateful for them.
Next, Chemistry teacher Mr. Tham Zi Sheng delivered a heartwarming performance of ‘Footprints in the Sand’. The song was composed as a promise of companionship, whether for or from a divine being, a friend, or family member. It definitely spoke to us in many ways, reassuring us that there are people whom we can rely on, and that we should count on one another as pillars of support through thick and thin.
We were all astonished to see Raffles Press’ very own teacher-in-charge, Mr. Patrick Wong, taking to the stage to deliver a smashing performance. He performed “What A Wonderful World” by the soul legend, Sam Cooke, along with Ms. Michelle Kwok — who seemed to have a fanclub that ran to the front of the stage and cheered her every note.
Overall, it was a fun, high energy performance that revealed the singing talents of Mr. Wong and Ms. Kwok. This performance was the highlight of the event as it was a great nod to the efforts of teachers, and a wonderful reminder to all of us — between cramming for the examinations and clinging on to our notes for dear life — that there is a life beyond A Levels. Our only regret is that we did not shout out “encore” fast enough. Hopefully, they will perform together again in the near future; their fans certainly want them to do so!
Next, Mr Tan Boon Poh took the stage with the classic 小幸运 (xiǎo xìng yùn), from the well-received movie “Our Times”. Even before he started singing, there was a resounding gasp within the audience — many of whom recognised the well-loved song. Mr Tan definitely stole the show with his acoustic take of the song. The audience could be seen swaying to the music, with some teachers even shining lights at Mr Tan as if this was a real concert. And just like the movie, the song definitely moved all our hearts. But most importantly, on this day, and every other day — we hope that this song conveyed to our teachers that they are our (biggest) little happiness.
Last but certainly not the least, Raffles Modern Dance took the limelight, dancing with a graceful rhythm. The dancers, dressed in their finely tailored costumes, glimmered like stars in the night sky. Their movements were as smooth as butterflies, and they were as glorious as angels, flawlessly dancing in a highly synchronised fashion. The splendid performance thus signalled the end of the Teachers’ Day celebration.
Although Teachers’ Day might be a day specially set aside for the commemoration of teachers, this doesn’t mean that we should forget about showing our appreciation during the rest of the year. Teachers have, after all, been through most of what we’ve been through, and definitely are approachable figures who we could talk to for advice as well as confide in.
That being said, perhaps the best way to show our appreciation isn’t through gifts, but our actions. We could all try to show more love and respect to them by staying awake during their classes and completing their assignments.
And to all the teachers out there, even though not all of us might be your ideal students, we would still like you to know that we are immensely thankful for you and your efforts, and being a reliable lighthouse, guiding us through life.
Raffles Press would like to wish all teachers a Happy Teachers’ Day! Teachers, thank you so much for everything — we really appreciate it!