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Introducing Myself, Briefly...
Hi, I am Tan How Kian, staying in Klang, Malaysia. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science (Management Information System) from University Malaya, Malaysia. I am a teacher by profession and have been teaching for more than 10 years. I taught IGCSE Mathematics at secondary level and also worked as Cambridge Exam Officer at an International School for about 9 years. Currently, I am in the pioneer team to build the first ever International School to implement the Soka education system in Malaysia. I am appointed as Academic Director of Learning & Teaching Department. As an educator, I am very interested and concerned about not just the wellbeing of students but the wellbeing of educators as well.
My biggest transformation in my life is my encounter with Soka Gakkai International. Currently I am also a National Leader in Soka Gakkai Malaysia in the Young Men’s Division. Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) is an NGO that promotes peace in society through cultural exchange and humanistic education. For the past 12 years, I have actively been engaged with SGM in many cultural events (Musical & Choir) and helping out in multiple events and exhibitions on promoting peace. Besides, I also work closely with the youth in SGM in fostering the future leaders who shared responsibilities for the future of my country, and for the peace of all humanity.
Tan How Kian
I am also a father of 2 (4-year-old & 2-year-old) and work closely with my wife in parenting our children. It has been quite challenging for us as working parents during Covid-19 especially both me and my wife are educator, we face many challenges throughout the day from managing our teaching remotely – helping our students with online class to taking care our kids and paying attention to our physical and mental health. It has been a tough but fulfilling 2 years (2020 & 2021) as I was really trying my very best to be presence and spend quality time with my family while juggling with my work and activities in Soka Gakkai.
Why Do I Want To Do This Course or Undertake This Learning Journey?
12 years ago, I hit rock bottom in my life. My family problems; sickness; career and finance issues blinded me from my future. I felt powerless about life, there was no point in carrying on and it prompted me with thoughts of committing suicide.
My encounter with Soka Gakkai International has transformed my value towards life. From a person who chases after dreams of making money, getting richer and being materialistic, I started to look at how I can create value in my life (regardless how long or short it may be). I have sailed through my struggles while walking on the journey of value creation. And It has been a fulfilling one.
The transformation had also made me change my career path from the sales world to education field. Being an educator, I have been working with high school students for the past 10 years by teaching them Mathematics. However, deep inside my heart, I am always thinking about ways to nurture kids to have more compassion and care about others in the world rather than just their own academic results. It has been a tough journey when I’m aware about the changes that should be done in school but the environment and circumstances does not really allow it to happen.
Lately I had an opportunity to be in the pioneer team to build the first ever International School to implement the Soka education system, which emphasises on humanistic education. Being part of the pioneer team, I have the opportunity to build the school from a blank canvas. I am excited and anxious at the same time. Excited because I can make the changes that could not been done previously, but anxious that I am not enough to help make a big difference.
As what French moralist and essayist said, “To teach is to learn twice over.” This Conscience and Compassion Course came right on time for me to grow myself to be better before I can start to contribute as much as I can. I feel very excited and ready for the first segment of the program which involves self-exploration as I know there’s still so much potential within me that have yet to be realised. In addition, I am really looking forward to the other segment (Project for Public Good) where it’s aligned with one of my school’s core values which is to engage with the inter-connectedness/eco-wisdom of Nature. I strongly believe that this great exposure will definitely enhance my experience in implementing ‘project based learning’ in the school.
A Note on My Encounter with the Online Tool, UNFOLD NEST
My past experience, which was the lowest point in my life; has changed me from a person who chases after ambitions and desires (for own self) to become someone who started to care about others and the community. However, I do notice that for the past few years, I have remained stagnant as someone who is ok just living an average life within my comfort zone. But now, with my brand-new mission in education, I am well aware that now is the time to level up.
In UNFOLD NEST, I like how it started with the Wonderers’ Map which gives an overview of the journey we are about to embark on. It has encouraged me as I’ve learnt that going through a process of self-development and stepping out of my comfort zone will leave me with a wider scope, a bigger heart and renewed energy. Besides, the format of each chapter along the route has lay down a good path with wonderful contents and questions to ponder upon.
It was not easy for me at the beginning to start this journey in unravelling my deeper self, but I personally love the poem – ‘Who Am I?’ from A Room of Your Own as it had spark inspiration in me. This poem has provided more insight into the kind of self I have been all these years. And in order for me to grow, I need to be a “changing self”, for ‘if I always remain the same, then there’s no chance for any kind of change.’
In conclusion, UNFOLD NEST has provided me the opportunity to do deep reflection in my life like never before. I discovered that despite our busy and hectic life, it is crucial to slow down to rethink our paths in this journey called Life. I’m inspired to discover the purpose of my life in order to live a fulfilling life.
UNFOLD NEST is an online 'tool" for self exploration created by a group of young people from Latin America, Africa and Asia.
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