Panthers of ISKL #162: Noren Sahari – The Performing Panther

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Panthers of ISKL Noreen S.

“What I will miss most about ISKL is being in the classroom with young people who are curious, fun, and love learning. I will also miss having stimulating conversations and the occasional intellectual discourse with my colleagues!”

Noren Sahari is the HS IB English and Literature Teacher and has been with ISKL for the past twenty-five years. Born in Singapore, Noren was very involved in performing, dancing, and choreography from a young age and even took part at the Seoul Olympics Arts Festival in 1988 and at many arts and dance festivals in Singapore. She taught at a convent and junior college and was a journalist there before moving to Malaysia.

After completing her service at ISKL in June, Noren hopes to dance more, travel, create, do more community service, and keep healthy.

Here is Noren’s story:


 

Do tell us more about yourself.

Noreen the dancing queenI was born in Singapore. I started dancing when I was five years old and was very involved with performing, teaching dance, and choreographing for many years. I performed at the Seoul Olympics Arts Festival in 1988 and at many arts and dance festivals in Singapore.

I was a teacher at a convent and a junior college in Singapore, and after four years, I became a journalist for seven years. I enjoyed that job, especially when I was with the sports desk and was a sub-editor, designing pages, writing, copy editing, and creating headlines. I also had my column and met many people through that.

When and why did you join ISKL? What were your first days like?

My husband was working in KL, so when I got here, I thought I would continue as a journalist, but I found that the papers here were not prepared for a female sports sub-editor – so I applied as a substitute teacher at ISKL!

The first few days could have been more pleasant as the students were not used to the subs, which was quite a culture shock for me. However, as I was called more often and eventually asked to work full time, the students realized I was not taking any nonsense, and things became much better.

Describe your most memorable moment/s at ISKL.

There are too many to recall – playing on the Women’s Soccer Dream Team, performing with the Faculty Review to raise funds for the theatre, the many graduation ceremonies, making many lifelong friends with colleagues and former students, and seeing each of my children graduate as Lifers.

Noreen's precious memories at ISKL

What is the thing that you will miss the most about ISKL?

Being in the classroom with young people who are curious, fun, and love learning, and having stimulating conversations and the occasional intellectual discourse with my colleagues!

Can you share a saying or idea you learned or experienced at ISKL that you will carry with you constantly?

Whenever I worried about students, one colleague told me: “They will be fine; ISKL has prepared them.” And she was right – they do turn out to be good human beings.

Do you have any advice to offer for new faculty members who are joining the community?

This was once said to us in 1999 by a teacher. “To be happy in Malaysia and enjoy your stay here, there are three things you need not get stressed by as they are out of your control – the traffic, the weather, and the politics – and you’ll have a wonderful life here!”

Who or what is your source of inspiration?

My family and the many students I have taught who I have learned much from.

Noreen's family

What are your plans once you leave ISKL?

There are too many. I hope to chase other dreams – to write more, to dance, to travel, to create, to do more community service, and to do things that keep me healthy.

What does ‘“Know yourself, care for all and create a better world”’ mean to you?

That has always been the mission at ISKL, said in differing ways. It has guided me as a teacher and helped me focus on why I do what I do.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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