When I was younger, I was relatively an anti-social. As a kid, I did mix around with my peers (especially boys) but I always find reasons not to attend weddings, and visit relatives. I was not really into engineering, but when I was offered a scholarship to study engineering in Japan, I took it up because I thought I would not end up working with people (but machines instead).
But gradually, that bad attitude changed when I was in Japan. My Japanese friends treated me well and thought me the importance of trust in a whatever relationship. When I returned home to work as an engineer, I came to realize that machines are only tools to get the job done, but it is human interaction that enriches the work experience. It is also the Japanese who taught me to use senses; see, hear, touch, taste, feel, when we are at "genba" (site). When you "feel" what you are doing, you will have deeper understanding and that will make things work easier.
So when I changed my career to become an educator, in a business faculty, there is no more room for me to deny the value of networking. And I believe that it is my responsibility to nurture the students with this value. To understand them, I must "feel" them. When I can "feel" them, troubleshooting should come easy. I can see how my parents (both teachers) and my teachers did that to theirs. May Allah bless them.
And throughout this short 3 years, I have learnt that to feel and understand them, it takes a lot of time and energy. I make myself available off and online so that we can get in touch whenever they need me (or sometimes vice-versa, LOL). I invite them for tea or meal to talk about other things than textbook or lecture slides, I attend their functions whenever possible, I brought them to my Mom's to have some decent meal (thanks Mak :)), I took them out for activities like picking rambutan and collecting durians or shopping, watching movies, and even to the zoo! haha. I brought them to Japan to see what I saw as a student. I visited their houses during several occasions (so far 5 homes) to get to know their families. Or just as simple as sending a hi message. I know I cannot treat everybody the same, but I just do what I can.
It is nice when once in a while they drop by just to say hi, or sending messages telling their whereabouts. Sometimes they would resort to me to ease their anxiousness in some issues, or just to get somebody to listen to their thoughts and feelings. In some cases, I had to punish them for what they did, so that they won't do the same to other people.
Why I did all this? Because I believe that each and everyone of them has their own potential and that they have someone to refer to if they cannot stay focused. And that life is not all about textbooks. They should nurture their potential through the network they have built at least with me or through me.
So I will be missing all these soon. I hope they will be strong and have all the willingness to improve themselves to a greater height. My prayers will always be with them.