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Introduction time!!!

February 22, 2013

It’s true that I only blog when there’s nothing better to do. lol… Thank goodness this is not a commercial blog and i have no one but me to be accountable to 😛

Anyway, I am so THANKFUL for the chinese new year break!!! It was just great to be able to laugh, play, and be pampered by the family, eat to the heart’s content while lying to myself that the dieting would come later, and just to rest and recharge. The downside though, people asking about Alex, why is he not here, when are you guys getting married and self-inviting themselves to my future wedding @_@

Surprisingly, people i know, family and friends and even distant relatives seem to be okay about my job as a teacher! In fact, some were pretty proud of me but still took the liberty to bash about the government and the many policy changes (including PBS) lol. The more shocking thing is, i came to know that quite a lot of them had been reading my blog and following my FB statuses (esp those where I fondly and frustratingly shared about my teaching experiences lmao) and could quote examples of those in our conversations… *shy lah* lol

Since it has been awhile that i actually sit down and reflect on yet another chapter of my teaching journey, allow me to do so while the-man-has-gone-to-his-wingchun-and-kendo-training-hence-i-have-a-lot-of-time-to-spare lol

This year, as I mentioned earlier, I was given four completely new classes which I have yet taught before. It was pretty exciting I would say, not knowing what to expect from this group of new kids but I really like how I could re-establish myself and my rules, and try new things with them!

Introducing the first of my four classes, 5S2!

Though the second class of the whole form, most of them are pretty weak if compared to kids from urban schools. Looking at their performances from the past and at the moment, i doubt there would be an ‘A’ from them, but I could make sure that all of them would at least get a ‘credit’ for English!

The thing i love most of this class is, they do their work!

Imagine, i gave them specific instructions on their homework, and expected to receive possibly half of the books on Monday… but lo and behold, THEY ALL HANDED IN THEIR BOOKS, INCLUDING THE BOYS!!!!

(you may think this is no ordinary feat BUT it damn is in this school when the kids do not have the culture of doing homework after school!)

I actually thanked them and told them that i was really touched (in my well-known dramatic mode), which of course led to laughter from the whole class lol

Somehow, I always look forward to this class as I know we’ll be having fun!

.

Next up, 5A2 – My home class!

Unlike last year when i had mostly boys in my class, this year, i had 29 girls out of a class of 35 kids!

To be honest, i had my qualms when i was told i am the class teacher of 5A2, as judgmental as it is, many girls in the ‘weaker classes’ have proven to be quite difficult, engaged in a lot of sexual activities, and could be over-friendly, blurring the difference of status between a teacher and a student.

and so, I entered this class, and I came to love this group of kids, so much!

Since they are girls, it was incredibly easy to get them to cooperate and decorate the class (flashback of last year when I had to do most of the work)! Our class is always clean, and their work is tidy!

However, i had a hard time remembering names as i had many kids under me and i only enter this class twice a week… until… we had a parent-teacher meeting and the kids were asked to stay back in the classes with the class teacher while the parents had to listen to a talk in the school hall.

We had like 2 hours of chat time, and the girls were opening up to me, a lot. We talked about their relationships, their step parents, family problems, drugs addiction, poverty etc etc. I was really emotionally drained that day when i finally came to know how most of them had been living their lives.

I could never imagine how it is like to live in a house of 14 siblings from different mothers, not even knowing what does the father do for a living, and hiding in the bushes when the dad comes back in a foul mood.

I could never imagine how it is like to lose both parents and being bounced from one family to another and finally living in the school hostel on children welfare benefits, feeling rejected and abandoned.

I could never imagine how it is like to have both parents bedridden and an ill grandmother to look after, and to work after school just to provide for the family because the older brothers are in jail.

.

Sympathy and concern aside, i was also determined to teach them that it is not right to always expect something from anything that they are supposed to do.

The culture of the kids here is that, if they do their homework, if they help the teachers to bring the books, if they do come for tuition, or even if they do anything at all, we (the teachers) should reward them! So many times i have heard them demanding freely “teacher, belanjo!!!” This is definitely something i’m working on with this group of kids. To discard the mentality that everyone owes them something, but to fight hard and earn what they think they deserve!

.

Moving on to my 4S1~~~

Undoubtedly, the easiest class for me to teach as most of them have basic knowledge and competency in the English language (despite the frequent grammatical errors)

These kids bring dictionaries to school EVERYDAY! Nuff said lol.

I could happily conduct more student-centered activities with this group of kids, using the pamphlets i brought back from NZ, do creative story-boarding and so on. Nothing too juicy from this class though, just that the kids are pretty adorable 😉

.

Finally,

My most challenging class,

But Yen Ping (my friend of 13 years) claimed that its her favourite class lol – 4A4

.

This is the weakest class of Form 4, with kids from all sorts of backgrounds and discipline problems, and students who were previously expelled from our school…

Made up of 24 Malay kids, 11 Chinese girls, and 1 Pakistani boy.

More than half of the Malay kids are illiterate, and even fail in Bahasa Melayu, let alone English

All the chinese girls DO NOT UNDERSTAND MALAY and English

And the Pakistani boy knows a little bit of Kelate and no Malay or English…

WHO SAYS A TEACHER’S JOB IS EASY AGAIN?????

.

Not just that, few of the kids should probably be put into the special education programme as they have learning disability as well as the mentality of probably a kindergartener T___T

During my first class with them, i actually lost it.

I was trying really really hard to set my rules and expectations for them in all THREE languages, but the students mocked me when I was ..

using Bahasa Melayu (Malay kids: tu dia. kecek luar la tu! Mano Pehe?!)

using Mandarin for the chinese kids (Malay kids: chiong chong chang chang ching…)

and using very simple English (Malay kids: Teacher you my wife! You my darling! I love you!)

.

Still, I was trying hard not to lose it… until a boy started throwing a tennis ball (no idea where he found it) at the other kids and the kids got riled up!

NEVER

had i

blew up so bad before.

and when i get real angry, i could scold in PERFECT Malay lol.

I was so stern and most probably scary that all the kids stopped moving around, sat down in their places, took out pens and papers that they could find, and were quiet for the rest of the 25 minutes.

I remembered being so exhausted after my first class with them. It was a real war, and I was starting to dread the class as I have EIGHT periods with them every week.

.

Anyway, I’m glad to announce that I have come to accept the fact that I am teaching them, and have been diligently trying out ways to teach them. I managed to stop the Malay kids from sneering and mocking when I give the Chinese kids translation or explanation in mandarin, and I managed to get at least 80% of them to be in the class for my lesson.

I had good days with them; and I had horrible ones.

But somehow, someway, with the guidance of God,

even when I was so mad at them and gave them a full on lecturing or stern treatment, i always managed to end the class in a pleasant note. I’m starting to think that I’m pretty good in acting and mood change or I have pretty high EQ  lol.

Here’s one incident that I shared on my facebook, just gonna copy and paste them here~

The cutest thing just happened in school today…
Our school’s English Panel (under the insistence of our Principal) has to conduct a ‘sing-a-long’ session every tuesday at the school hall – teaching them a song, and giving them quiz from the song learned. And today marks our first session.

So, we got them to sing ‘You Raise Me Up’ during the assembly, and i thought would be better if i use the song to reinforce their learning for the day.

And as I was going through the meaning of the song, line by line, with my weakest class of form 4.. an announcement was made over the speakers, so i stopped teaching for a while…

“Perhatian kepada semua guru yang mengajar tingkatan 3 dan 5 sila….”

MY KIDS STARTED SHOUTING FOR ME TO CONTINUE TEACHING, not allowing me to finish listening to the announcement as they know i have been called to go for a meeting! In fact, they kept reading the next line of the song out loud, as a not-so-quiet hint for me to continue teaching them! and.. I DID. I totally ignored that meeting call, and went ahead to finish the lesson on the song 😉

Moments like this, really make everything worthwhile~

So yea,

It has been tiring but incredible thus far for this year.

There is definitely no boring day in my job. There are News Flash everyday, just good or bad lol.

.

and since today is still in the cny season (there are 15 days in the cny celebration)

Here’s me wishing everyone,

a blessed Chinese New Year,

do not stop pursuing the things that matter,

and may the good Lord bless you abundantly!

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(ps. hair styled by my very excited, 11 year old lil cousin)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 22, 2013 8:01 pm

    Looks like it’s going to be a great year! =D

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