Being a teacher is not easy. Not only do you have to impart knowledge to make sure your students excel in school, you’re also answerable for their grades to both the school and their parents. Which is why most teachers try to stick to their lesson plan in order to cover as much syllabus as they can.

However, one teacher recently posted his experience in teaching a Normal Academic class on his Facebook page.

In this post, he admitted deviating from his lesson plan to give his students a life lesson – a move he called an “experiment”.

The teacher, Matthew Zachary Liu, revealed he did so to get to know his students better, and for them to understand their classmates better.

He wrote: “But what happened during my spontaneous experiment broke the entire class down in tears and hit me very hard… for me, it was THE most emotional moment in a classroom.”

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His “experiment” involved making his students close their eyes and asking them a series of personal questions, from how they perceived themselves to the loss of loved ones.

In that little time, he managed to uncover things about his students that he wouldn’t have otherwise known, such as one student losing his father when he was just 11, and another having to bid a premature goodbye to her sister when she was just eight.

He wrote: “I’m writing this because we live in a society and system that are results-driven and care little or have little time for anything else. And it’s a culture ingrained in us since young. … I personally know many amazing teachers who truly care about their kids more than just the grades they attain on papers. They want to do so much more. But they simply do not have the time, resources or freedom because of all the other administrative duties or red tape they have to adhere to.”

He ended it with an open letter to the Ministry of Education, imploring them to allow teachers to impart life lessons, and not just stick to the curriculum, and went on to beseech parents to listen to their children who might be suffering in silence.

Given the competitive and stressful environment that children have to endure in school these days, from living up to parents’ expectations to meeting societal standards, we could do with more teachers like Matthew who teach from the heart.

Read the full Facebook post below.

I’ve been struggling, contemplating whether to share this publicly.. but it being the March school break now, with time…

Posted by Matthew Zachary Liu on Monday, March 14, 2016

Image: bowie15 /