Can’t give up teaching children, I can’t give up too

This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

The person in charge and business partner of [YeLaoShr] center in Selayang Jaya, Lion holds a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Business Management. She probably did not expect herself to be a teacher at that moment.

During college, Lion had a part-time job as a teacher at an art studio to make some extra income. “Teaching the children makes me happy, I love interacting with them.” She discovered her passion in teaching since then and so, she joined [YeLaoShr] after graduating. “Another reason is that during my internship in my studies, I found out that working in a hotel is not suitable for me. Unlike the others, I have to work during holiday and vice versa which has then reduced the time I can spend with my family.”

After gaining some experience in teaching, Lion who started teaching in [YeLaoShr] in November 2013 did a good job. The ideal environment is the reason why Lion has decided to be a teacher. In October 2014, her supervisor, MeiQin talked to her about becoming a business partner. “MeiQin thinks that I have the ability but at that moment, I did not have any experience dealing with the parents. If I were to become a business partner, this is a must. You know I have only interacted with the children and I face no issue doing that, no matter how hard it is. However, dealing with the parents is a great challenge to me. It takes professional knowledge, sharing of teaching experiences and the introduction of our courses to have the parents trusting us.” Lion always remembers how MeiQin shares her experience selflessly and tells her not to be pressured. With the strong backup of MeiQin, Lion has agreed to be the business partner.

Learning and growing together with my partners

After agreeing, the two started preparing to start a business together. They began looking for a location. Lion, who used to teach Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia pronunciation and vocabulary, has to double up her speed to master other subjects and the techniques to deal with parents. The enrollment started in February 2015 and the branch opened in March. Recalling these memories has put a smile on Lion’s face as they were quite fast in action.

“Opening in March, I officially started dealing with the parents in our newly opened branch. Of course, MeiQin was there to share the load with me.” Two months later, Lion faced a huge challenge where MeiQin had to go to the United States for a month. “Maybe because it’s a new center or maybe because I’m incapable, the result for the first two months is not good. At that moment, I couldn’t help thinking that what if I’m not suitable to start a business? Did I take the wrong path? The fact that MeiQin had to stay abroad for a month was making me even more stressful that time. “There is a saying that it is easier to start a business than to maintain the business. Even so, MeiQin told Lion not to be stressful and she could just go with the flow. Lion clearly understands that all the pressure is not from the supervisor but herself. Since there is no way to hide, Lion chose to face the challenge bravely. She made up her mind so that MeiQin did not have to worry about her and the center when she was abroad. By working extra hard during the month when MeiQin was not around, Lion managed to pick up and the center had better performance, even better than the first two months. 

The beginning of entrepreneurship. On the left: Leader –Teacher MeiQin

Educating children is a great mission

Entrepreneurship is hard. No matter how hard it is, that one child never failed to give Lion the motivation to continue.

“I remember there was a standard five child who came to the center for the entrance test and found out that his level was only at standard one. It was year 2011 when he was in standard one and that was the beginning of the implementation of KSSR system where it focused more on the students’ thinking ability. He was in the first batch as the ‘guinea pig’.” When this boy came to class, he talked a lot with Lion. He told her that if he wrote something wrong, he would get scolded by the teacher. On the other hand, if he handed in the paper blank, he would not get scolded and therefore, he would rather leave his paper blank. “His words made me strongly believe that I need to help more children as an educator.” This boy has already given up on studying. Therefore, getting good result is not the key point but to guide him on his learning mentality and he should not think that getting blamed is the only thing he gets for making mistake.

“He is actually a good kid. He knows that he is very weak in both Bahasa Malaysia and English, therefore he does not mind learning from the basic of the language. His parents are also very supportive by sending him to class every day.” During the teaching process, Lion encouraged and motivated him a lot by using some positive words such as ‘great’, ‘good job’ and ‘you can do this’ and thus, he started to love learning. From scoring less than 10 marks in the exam, he managed to pass the exam during the first half in standard six. “I told him that as long as he does not give up and does his best, he will be able to get good result. As the child grows up, he will eventually understand it and keep this up.” Lion believes that encouragement is very important for children, no matter how difficult the children are. This case always reminds Lion to educate the children well and help them to rebuild their self-confidence. 

by using some positive words such as ‘great’, ‘good job’ and ‘you can do this’ to motivate children to love learning.

Working in the education sector, there are many different people coming to the center and each and every time there is a different challenge, especially kids that require special care. Lion gets emotional taking care of these children. “Last year, there was a three and a half years old girl with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome usually have difficulty in communication and weaker body. Their brain development is also lacking compared to other children and thus, their learning progress is slower.” This girl did not know how to talk when she came to the center. Her mother did not tell Lion about her daughter’s actual situation until her first day coming to class. “The mother chose to hide the fact as she was worried that we might reject her daughter. They must have received a lot of weird stares and peculiar treatment in their daily lives.” 

When Lion started teaching the girl, she was able to follow instructions slowly. Her mother sent her to the center to learn English as the teachers in school always communicate in English. After teaching the girl for four months, her mother thanked Lion with tears in her eyes for accepting her. “She told us that the teachers in school said that her daughter talks a lot in school now and she will take the initiative to communicate with the teachers and when she returns home, she speaks even more. There was once when they were at their hometown preparing food, her daughter suddenly said ‘lapar’, ‘want eat’. Although there were only a few words, the parents were already so surprised because their kid can finally express herself.” Lion smiled and said that sometimes the girl comes to class and does not want to leave. The sense of belonging to [YeLaoShr] of the children who require special care is Lion’s greatest satisfaction. 

we will never give up on any child

Lion explained that [YeLaoShr] will not reject children who require special care immediately. They will provide a test for the children and see if the teachers have the ability to teach and whether the children can follow instructions. They will reject some autistic children who show a disposition towards acts of violence as they worry that other children in the center might be hurt. “I’m glad that I’m able to help this kind of children. In order to teach the teachers the method and technique to guide these children, I attend classes and study how to teach them. I share all my knowledge with the teachers. After all, some teachers do not have experience taking care of children who require special care and I hope I can help to enhance their confidence in teaching them.”

“With the trust and gratitude from the parents, we will never give up on any child. No matter how difficult it is, we will always do our best in teaching them.” Lion always remembers that a teacher is the one building and shaping the children’s soul and that is a great mission.

My supportive team who always got my back

We having a special offer RM98 (6 lessons. Usual price is RM255) for our one-to-one Mandarin, Malay and English programmes as well as abacus mental arithmetic so that your child can experience the fun and unique learning at YelaoShr® Creative Learning Centre. This offer is valid at all 60 centres nationwide.

More info: