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Durians are yummy, but they make me emo.

July 13, 2011

Months ago, I was super pissed when I knew my class has been swapped by this VJJ.

VJJ is an awful person. I don’t even see her as a teacher.

Having to bid farewell to this class which I had built relationships and grown fond of was already hard enough.

Having to now teach the ‘weakest’ Form 4 class made it even harder.

This class has only less than 50% turnout in classes everyday. If you get 14 students, that would be your good day.

Sometimes there are only 5 in class. Sometimes 8. Well sometimes, you get 2 (the most loyal two).

The chinese in this class, has zero understanding of BM. It’s more of a racist ego thingy. They don’t even know what is ‘pokok’, and they are 16.

The malays in this class, fail in their BM. Too proud for their own good, and refuse to ‘cakap luar’.

The whole class – thinks English is a joke.


The first 2 months with them was plain tough. Sometimes i get so demotivated and frustrated. Most of the time, I felt like gripping them by their collars and shaking them vigorously.

But now, I have learned to enjoy teaching them. It took a lot of experimenting, a lot more patience, three languages translation, and friendly gossiping sessions with the students.

So here is a recollection of the LOL-worthy / blood-boiling / heart-warming stories from none other but my 4A5.


Story #1
Me: (in 3 languages) Today we will start a program called ‘I-Vocabulary’. I know you think your eng is weak , so we start off simple first. Write down A-Z, and for each letter,write 3 words..bla x3..

Suddenly, Student A started to belt out the alphabet song while writing down his letters.

Std A: A, B, C, D, E, F, G… H, I, J, K, L …….*long pause*………. Teacher!!! M dulu ke N?

I tried to control myself.

The whole class roared in laughter.

I followed suit.




Story #2

I asked students to imagine themselves as any character they want, and write a routine for that character:

eg, If you were a celebrity, what time would you attend your fanmeetings, or studio recordings etc.

Students went into a frenzy, writing their schedules and kept calling out for me to help them with translations and spellings.


Then, Student B came up to me with his ‘complete task’

and his work goes like this:

The Chameleon’s Daily Routine

08.00am – Turn yellow

09.00am – Turn red

10.00am – Turn green

11.00am – Turn blue

(all the way till 8am again)

Props for creativity? LOL


Story #3

I used Aisyah’s Jenga for a spelling competition with the students. Aisyah had fantastically labelled those blocks with numbers, ‘CANDY’, and ‘SING’.

So i made up my own rules,students were put into 2 groups.

Each time they manage to get a numbered block out successfully, they have to spell out the word correctly to place the block on the top of the ‘tower’.

If their block says ‘SING’, they have to sing.

If their block says ‘CANDY’, they had to do the ‘candy dance’ which I totally made up. LOL


They were so engaged and competitive alright. But students from other classes started crooning into our class, and things got chaotic. I had to raise my voice a few times and put mu foot down to ensure discipline.


So after the whole session, the chinese kids came to me personally to tell me,” (in mandarin) teacher, thank you for doing all this for us. We know we are quite hopeless in English, in fact in everything. No one cares about us. Teachers don’t even enter our class. And other classes always come and disrupt the lesson. But teacher, we really want to learn. So for our English classes, we don’t mind going to the SAL room (which has no electricity), at least we can learn from you without disruption.”

I am just thankful for God’s arrangement. It is challenging indeed, but with their attitude and hunger to learn, I know half the battle is won.

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