Archive for March, 2012


Day #22 – 31 Mar 2012

Hari Anugerah Cemerlang turned out quite alright I think? 🙂

Was waiting at the Level 1 Canteen at 8.00 am, and saw a bunch of the Choir girls already waiting, which was great! But only much later did more and more trickle in!

I actually had so many things I wanted to inform them before they went down to the surau before the ceremony, and before they went up onstage. But I never got the chance to even wish them all the best! 😦

And goodness, today was my maiden experience of putting on make-up for other people! I’m no expert in make-up, and I’ve always done it for only myself—never for others. But they needed help, and without me doing it as well, we will never have managed to finish putting on make-up for ALL of them! I had to send them to the surau in groups because there were so many of them that needed making up!

And then, the girls bought white flowers that they were going to pin to everyone’s hair/tudung. So, thankfully, the two girls could help me out with that 🙂 While I was busy applying eye shadow and blusher and eye liner for the girls, on the other side of the Canteen, they were frantically pinning flowers with pins!

By the time we headed to the surau, it was already 10.30 am! We were supposed to be in the hall by 10.00 am! And since I was the only teacher at the surau with the Choir kids, I thought that I had missed them, and the students were already in the hall! So I rounded them all up and got the whole group to go down to the hall—only to find out that the PTA meeting had not actually ended yet, and the Choir group was now stuck outside the hall with nowhere to go =.=

Later, Cikgu Mashitoh told me that there was a change of plans—the Choir would not be able to sit inside the hall like we’d practiced during the past two rehearsals, because there were too many parents who came, and they needed the space. So fine, I got them all to head to the back of the stage, and hide out there till it was time to perform. I included those who were also receiving awards because, Choir was going to perform first. They should sing, and then go to their designated seats for the ceremony.

Unfortunately, there was another change of plans, according to Cikgu Mashitoh, and I had to send those taking awards down into the hall to sit first, and only get them to come out after the Principal’s speech! @.@

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH So many changes it’s making me so confused! And it’s making the students even MORE confused >.< I hate these sudden changes!!!

Anyway, it was so cramped backstage, and half the Choir members were on the other side of the stage, waiting to go in. So I didn’t have the chance to give them any last minute advice before we were due on stage.

I think they all looked really good in their traditional garb and costumes, with the flowers in their hair 🙂 And some of the girls are even better experts at make-up than I am, so they looked reallyyyyyy pretty and beautiful! The boys all looks dashing in their baju Melayu 😀

I wasn’t nervous. I was only conducting, not singing. But I was quite nervous for them, actually :/

Piano started off with a mistake, so we were a little thrown off, for a bit. But Sufia started again, and it went alright from them on 🙂 Most of them smiled when I looked at them, and they sounded okay, for the most part. I was a little surprised that I couldn’t really hear them from where I was standing, which is not good, since I was justttttt behind the VIP.

Everything went smoothly, and when we walked out, Cikgu Zaini, the PK1, actually gave me a thumbs up! 😀 So I guess we did quite alright then 😉 Phew!

Anyway, so Choir is over and done with! I’m terrified about being roped in to train them for the Choir Competition which (I think) is in June! >.< Yikes.

I have to also concentrate on Choral Speaking now, because Sun has been pulled in to help with the debate team, which leaves only me to handle the Choral Speaking for their competition at the end of April alone! T.T

Dear God, please give me strength to keep going! Amen!

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Day #21 – 30 Mar 2012

Although today is a short school day (Friday), it feels like an extremelyyyyyyy long one! @.@

I knew there was going to be the full rehearsal for tomorrow’s Hari Anugerah Cemerlang program, but I was hoping and hoping that it would end early so I would be able to enter my 1 Buck class to teach.

Turned out, it did finish juuuuuuust before my class with 1 Buck, but unfortunately, the entire Form 1 had to go for a briefing on the latest Oral Test system called PBS (Penilaian Berasaskan Sekolah) that was going to be implemented in April, beginning their batch. Even I am not so well-versed in this area, seeing as this is a new system and I’m a new teacher and all :/

Therefore, I could not carry out my lesson. Which means that it will have to be postponed! Oh, no! 😦

However, rehearsal today went on quite alright. They were able to remember when and how to bow, how to exit. But I was not too happy that most of them weren’t really smiling. :/ I think being able to smile and convey expressions with your eyes, and not just your body movement, is important in Choir. And my star “smiler” didn’t smile today! I don’t know why =.=

Nevertheless, the singing was….okay. Sure, a few parts were off here and there, but overall, I think they did a very good job. Hope we don’t mess up tomorrow! @.@

The rest of the day was just boring waiting, waiting and waiting. It involved only the students who were receiving awards tomorrow, which included quite a number of the Choir students. But the rest were only involved in the Choir performance, and therefore, the rehearsal thereafter did not really concern them. But when I asked the teachers-in-charge if I could send my Choir kids back to class, they said No, hold on first, because there was going to be some announcements after the entire program was over, and that there might be a second round. (Which seemed highly unlikely, now that I think about it =.=)

So I told them to wait, as was instructed. We waited for HOURS only to be given announcements at the end that did not concern the Choir kids, and to be told to go back to class, with about half an hour to spare before going-back time >.< The poor kids are so tired and bored. But what to do? :/

I sent them off for the day. I didn’t think it was wise to get them to stay back yet another day till 5.00 pm and to go home completely exhausted, and then find out that they’ve lost their voice the following day, when it counts the most! @.@ So I told them to go home and rest and to meet back in school on Saturday at 8.00 am at the First Floor Canteen to possibly warm-up and put on a little bit of make-up 😉

They are all so nervous, they’re so cute 😀

I really hope things go well tomorrow 🙂 All the best to my kids! 😀

Anyway, with regards to 1 Buck, I still was expecting their Journal books to be handed in today. And guess what? Out of 24 students, only 6 turned in their books =.= Well, I won’t blame them completely, since today was a rather odd school day, and they had spent the entire day in the Multi-purpose hall for the briefing. Still, I had hoped that they would have completed their work and only needed to hand them in. @.@

Well, too bad for them. I guess I’m going to make them stand in class! :/ (To be fair, I did already warn them, didn’t I?)

Oh, btw, I got some very um, “exciting” news yesterday. Sun and I will be two of three teachers who are to follow 80 students to PWTC for the Ministry’s “Jom Masuk U” program—on Sunday morning.

ON A SUNDAY MORNING?! T______T

I guess I’ll be missing church this week, again 😦

Sighhhhhh. My entire weekend is gone. I was so glad that the school took cuti peristiwa on Monday. So I thought, even with Saturday’s program, I’d basically still have my two-day weekend. Now with this PWTC trip, my weekend’s practically gone 😦

Which is a shame; I had several interesting plans for the Form 1, but now that I’m pushed back a little bit, and my weekend is completely filled up, I may not have enough time for the preparation before the lesson! @.@

I was thinking of asking the students to make Road Safety badges, since we’re on the topic. I may need to buy quite some supplies, and prepare a lot of things before I can give the materials for the students to create their own badges. And with my weekend gone, how am I going to prepare everything?

I thought it would be an interesting activity, that could also help those whose talent and interest is in drawing, you know? I would give them manila card pieces cut out into badge shapes, and they could decorate them, and then I might give them safety pins to stick onto the back so they could pin them onto their uniforms. You know, badges that say things like, “I Look Before I Cross,” “I Always Use the Zebra Crossing” or something like that. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Plus, they’re only Form 1. They might enjoy this activity, more than an older class would. Right?

But I need to buy the manila card and cut them out ready for them, and buy a whole load of safety pins and tape. @.@ Would I have time to do all that with what little time I have left???? >.< I guess I could try?

Anyway, hope tomorrow’s program goes well 😀

 

p.s: I got quite a number of comments from my students telling me how pretty I looked today. I was little surprised, really. Cos I didn’t exactly dress up more than usual :/ I think it’s possibly because I’m closer with the students now, so they are more brave to tell me what they think 😉 Enjoy!

Day #20 – 29 Mar 2012

A full two periods with 1 Buck today. A few of my students, who are involved in Choral Speaking, actually told me that I seemed very strict in class, which was why the class was exceptionally quiet the other day.

Me? Strict? @.@

I really must have done something right that day 😀

Anyway, I was wondering if I would see their true colours today. But so far, not too bad! 😉

I combined two of 1 Best’s 1 period lessons to make for 1 Buck’s double period lesson today. It’s the Past Tense Spelling Rules lesson + Dialogue lesson. They were responsive, and quite cooperative. And they are definitely better students than 1 Best and 2 Gem. They could tell me more of about Past Tense verbs that were irregular. Andddddddddd I added something that I did not work on with 1 Best—Rule #5 Irregular Verbs, which was divided into two types: 1) those that are changed completely, and 2) those that remain the same, even in the past tense.

They were able to tell me put and cut are some examples of irregular verbs that remain the same! 🙂

But when I asked them to act out, most of them seemed rather shy and hesitant to come to the front! I think 1 Best would have more volunteers, if there was more time. Still, I managed to make all of them come to the front and act out the dialogue.

Still, there were a lot of grammatical errors that I did not expect them to make >.< I have to keep reminding myself that although they are in the first class for Form 1, they were not streamed according to their English language proficiency. So I had to expect a gap in this class as well. @.@

It wasn’t too bad a class 🙂 But I was quite upset to discover that most of their books are still with their former English teacher, Pn. Kartini. So all the work I gave them today could not be done straight into their books, but on pieces of paper. I hope they don’t lose it! (Pleaseeeeee let it not be a repeat of 1 Best) >.<

Tomorrow, I’ll be planning to do the News Report class that I did with 1 Best yesterday. I warned some of the 1 Buck kids in the Choral Speaking group that they would be punished if they didn’t bring the news reports, and that I had already made 1 Best stand at the back of the class when they didn’t bring them. They were quite shocked to hear that. @.@

In fact, I had reminded them to bring the news reports today, and even told them, yet again, that if they didn’t have English newspapers at home, they could always find them online and print them out. And, that their journals would be due tomorrow.

Let’s just see if they are better than, or just as bad as 1 Best! 😉

But tomorrow morning, there’s also going to be the full rehearsal for Saturday’s Hari Anugerah Cemerlang. I am afraid that it might affect my class with 1 Buck, since tomorrow is such a short day. And since I have to be the conductor for the Choir group, I can’t actually leave the Choir students to be on their own during the rehearsal and enter my class.

If it does affect my class, then I’m going to have to postpone the lesson. Then everything between 1 Best and 1 Buck will be out-of-sync! @.@ If I can carry out tomorrow’s lesson, then I can have 1 Best and 1 Buck at the same pace, which makes it easier for me to plan. They will only be behind on the Literature component—the short story Flipping Fantastic. But if the rehearsal cuts into my English periods with 1 Buck, then next week is going to be a slightly bigger headache to plan T.T

It’s doable, I know. Just a little bit more difficult than it has to be, or could be :/

Hopefully I get to enter my class. I want to see how 1 Buck fares! 😉

Day #19 – 28 Mar 2012

Apparently, the nazir are inspecting all the schools in Putrajaya this week, to see what the relief teachers do in the classrooms they are relieving. So the Principal actually talked to us and asked for all the teachers’ cooperation to actually carry out some teaching when in a relief class. If your area is Geography, maybe teach the students Geography. Either that or, instill some moral values, discuss issues etc.

Honestly, I think that’s a little much to ask of a relief teacher right? @.@

I mean, I groan and moan every time I see the kak from the office carrying the relief slips to be dished out like punishments, and I only teach 10 periods a week. What about those teachers who are teaching 20+ periods a week, and they get relief classes too? Isn’t it tiring to have to teach then, too?

But then again, it’s because we teach only 10 periods a week that we get so many relief classes every week >.< Just today, I have 3 already. And it’s extra tiring, now with this new policy in place, and especially after the Principal mentioned it specifically. So when I enter classes like 3 Perdana, or 5 Gemilang (weak classes) I teach English now. Very simple basic stuff, stuff I’ve been teaching the F1 and F2, like Subject-Verb Agreement. And you’d be surprised at how little they really know.

I was actually veryyyy surprised with 5 Gem. The SVA rules I was teaching them, seemed seriously foreign/unfamiliar to them! I wonder how they survived their almost-five years in secondary school without learning the very basics of grammar?! @.@

Anyway, also veryyyyyy ganjeong about the Choir. This Saturday, we’re performing for the Hari Anugerah Cemerlang—two patriotic songs: Dirgahayu and Sejahtera Malaysia. I’ve been staying back with them for this whole week, and last week as well, since I’m in charge of training them. I didn’t know much, and they already had a very capable leader/conductor/pianist, so I felt that they didn’t really need me.

It’s only after more than a week of practices that I know a little bit better the harmonies and the songs, and therefore, I was of some use, and could help teach and revise the melody parts. 🙂 But suddenly, I found out today that there was a rehearsal, and Choir would have to practice on-stage. Andddddd that the Principal would be there! >.<

Yikes! Cold sweat! Seriously! @.@

Anddddddd then *Safina told me that their designated Choir conductor backed out at the last minute, and she would be playing the piano, so could I become the conductor instead?

OMG. =.=

I don’t mind, actually. But I thought it should be a students’ performance; why should I be involved? But it really seemed like there was no other choice. Every other voice was needed to sing, and I was the only, well, expendable character, I suppose! xD

Am really nervous about the Choir performing this Saturday. Truth be told, I think many of them are veryyyyyy shaky. Occasionally-sing-off-tune shaky! So at certain times, they sound good, and suddenly, they’re completely off! @.@ I just hope that the heads of the school and the VIP guests might either be not musically-inclined enough to notice, or think that it has to be some technical error instead. Aheh. 😉

Anywayyyyy, I managed to talk to Aina yesterday. And things went quite well, I guess. She was very confused as to why I had called her up to meet with me. As in, she was genuinely confused. I told her I was very concerned for her. And then I talked to her some. About how her life is not “boring and stupid”, and that she is a veryyyyy talented girl! 😀 That she is still so young and that there are soooo many more things to experience in life! And how all these problems she’s facing, could maybe just be obstacles and hurdles for her to overcome that will make her stronger. And wouldn’t it feel absolutely FANTASTIC to succeed despite these hurdles? 😀 I asked her to picture herself one day holding her PMR results, her SPM results, and being able to look back and realize she’s conquered and survived all this, and can look forward to her future. Maybe as a graphic artist/designer? Who knew? Not doing so well in “class subjects” does not mean she is a failure. She can certainly succeed one day 🙂

Then I gave her the job of coming up with comics for the class English notice board. I told her she could get the comics from any English newspapers, but the characters could be her self-drawn anime ones! 😉

Hopefully I got through to her, and she will feel better, somewhat 🙂

Today, something was a little different. Before I had even set my things down on the teacher’s table, there were students raising their hands, saying, “Cikgu, saya tak bawa newspaper article tu, Cikgu.” Actually, I’d almost forgotten that I’d informed them to do that.

But yes, I did tell them to bring newspaper reports. Some brought the pictures but not the story. They gave all sorts of excuses. House has no English newspapers. They live in a hostel. Which is exactly why I’d told them a few days in advance—so that they could borrow them from their neighbours or something, and just find one newspaper report on a road accident. Besides, I did tell them that they could print one out from the Internet, as long as it’s from a newspaper. You know, like The Star Online, or something.

When I called out all those who did not bring their newspaper reports, there were only about six still seated, who actually brought the newspaper report I asked for. The rest were all standing. And the more frustrating thing? Some of the boys actually sounded excited about standing outside the class. “Cikgu, berdiri kat luar ke?” with their feet half-way out the door already >.<

Instead, I made them stand at the back of the class, all in a row. My rationale was that, that way, I can still keep an eye on them, and they could still follow along with the lesson, if they wanted.

I was sorry to see so many of the girls standing at the back as well. But I had no choice. I had to be fair. And I had to carry out what I’d said before: those who did not bring the reports would have to stand. I felt bad for them, I really did. Some of these girls were good girls. 😦 But I was just tired of listening to excuse after excuse after excuse.

I was just very tired, period. @.@

So I made the remaining six or so students move to the front of the class so it was easier to teach, and left those at the back well alone, telling them that I did not want to hear a single sound from them at all. >.<

I continued my lesson, focusing on the few in front who could do the work. Then when I asked them to take out their text books, the whole group at the back moved to their seats to get their text books too. I silently allowed them to do that. I mean, how can I deny them learning? >.<

But when I one of the activities required some writing, I saw some of the boys just, very calmly, sit down at the back of the class. I said, “No. Who told you that you could sit down? Stand at the back of the classroom.” So they went back to standing, but I could see that they were having a lot of trouble holding their text books while trying to write in their exercise books.

So I told them that fine, they could sit back down to copy their work, but not to disturb those sitting in the front. Andddddd I didn’t want to hear any talking from them.

Other than that, class went on as usual. I had ample time to check their work, and most of them were able to finish their work in the class itself, which is good. 😀

As an effort to reduce the number of students who forget to hand in their books, I told them that they were to hand in their journals on Wednesdays now, instead of Fridays, since we do not have English on Fridays. Look at how many books I have to mark today:

I know it seems weird that I’m happy for books to mark (as if I don’t have enough work to do! @.@) but it means that they are getting better and putting more effort into actually getting their work done and passing them up 🙂
I did not trust *Arif, the monitor. He was a very noisy, boisterous and naughty boy. A little irresponsible at times. I blame him for losing those extra six copies of notes that I had gone to photocopy a SECOND time for those who did not get them =.= So, I asked *Nurul to help me inform the class about the books I wanted today: Journals, Writing and Literature, if they brought them.
Better yet, she collected them all and brought them personally to me in the staff room! I was so touched; it was so unexpected, and it made me very very happy to see that there are still these precious few students who are quietly doing their work and trying their best. I was very happy to see all the books, even though it meant marking books all night. And thanks to Nurul, I actually have books to mark.
Yet again, I was disappointed with the class. I really thought they would change, but I guess not. :/ At this point, I think I’ve developed a little bit of immunity to it now. I see now, that they not handing in their books or doing their work is not a personal attack, as I may seem to have felt before. It’s just their general attitude towards their learning—it happens with other teachers and other subjects too.
Sure, I have to do my best to ensure that they hand in their books to be corrected. But I, frankly, can’t do much if they still absolutely refuse to. It’s not that I don’t care, but that, truly, there is only so much a teacher can do.
I know I sound like I’ve given up, or that I’ve slacked as a teacher. But I think I see it more as gaining a little bit of wisdom from my experience teaching so far. A bitter dose of reality, it seems, might have made me a little more cynical, but realistic as well.
Still, I hope they learn a lesson and don’t repeat their mistakes. 1 Buck’s turn tomorrow. I hope they fare better! @.@

Day #18 – 27 Mar 2012

My first class with 1 Buck today. I was actually quite nervous. I was thinking to myself, “Alright, this is my chance to get it right the second time. I have to be firm, and strict. Otherwise, they’re gonna climb all over me again!” @.@

So, in the hour leading up to my class with 1 Buck, I was pretty antsy in the staff room. Couldn’t really concentrate. Kept fidgeting even as I was planning lessons for the following week for 1 Best. Kept having to go to the washroom, just so I could walk around a bit. I couldn’t really sit still. Which is ridiculous, seeing how anxious I was.

But when I finally made it to the classroom, right on time—there was nobody there.

I checked their timetable, and it was supposed to be BM. Strange, where can they have gone? If it were Science, maybe they were at the labs. But for BM? I hesitated, but then left my things to go up to the Language Kiosk on the first floor, just to see if they were there, for some reason.

Deserted.

It was 2.00+ pm when my class was supposed to have started at 1.50 pm. So yes, I was even more anxious than before. @.@ Thankfully I ran into them returning to the classroom. I asked them where they’d gone, and they replied that they were at the library, which is something they do for every BM lesson. @.@ I wonder why!

Anyway, it took them a while to get settled—they thought that I was the relief teacher! =.= So I told them, very clearly, “I’m going to wait and see how long it takes you to get settled down,” and–would you believe it?–there was a quick scramble to their seats, and then it was silent.

Wow. Never had that before!

I told them that, first off, I was not their relief teacher and I will be teaching them English from now on. I set down all my rules—what I didn’t like. Like, not handing in books, not bringing their books, and most of all, what I reaaalllyyyy can’t stand—a  bad attitude. Respect your teachers, respect your friends, and take your learning seriously. That’s all I need.

Wasn’t too bad! They were pretty silent the whole time I was giving my “new teacher speech” and they nodded and responded, “Yes” when appropriate. I was feeling quite optimistic.

Then we played a quiz! I wanted to see how their basics were, so I tested them on Subject-Verb Agreement, and spelling—words that I’d taken from either their text book, or the Word List from the English KBSM syllabus for Form 1. And yes, I used my new invention, the cellotape coin, for this quiz as well, much the same as what I’d done with 2 Gem once.

You can tell immediately that this was a better class. They were able to answer the questions on their own, without much input from me. Seems that their basics is quite alright—or at least for those who came to the front to try out. I did try to test them, by trying to make them doubt themselves, which some did, but only temporarily. They were all able to give me the right answers in the end. 🙂

As a tie-breaker for the two groups, I asked them to spell “rendezvous”. haha~ I know, I was mean, cos this is a really tough word. It’s an English word borrowed from French. One boy actually asked me if I was speaking Chinese! @.@ And yes, none of them even knew what it was! They couldn’t spell it at all! So I had to think of another word to replace that one, and I eventually asked them to spell “residential”, which isn’t exactly ideal. Much too simple for their level, don’t you think?

Still, I taught them a new word: rendezvous. Hopefully they remember it! 😉

Good class today. And even though I ended slightly after 2.30 pm when they were supposed to finish, they did not just stand up and wish me without my first finishing my lesson proper. Unlike my 1 Best. So that is a good thing.

But then again, this is only the first class. I won’t be surprised if their true colours emerge eventually, several days down the line. >.< (Let’s reallyyyy hope not T.T)

Now that I have two Form 1 classes, I will attempt to get them at the same pace. Teach the same topics, do the same activities. But maybe for 1 Buck I may give less scaffolding and guidance, and see if they can do it on their own, give them a little bit more of a challenge. I will need to allocate more time for 1 Best for the scaffolding part.

Will be looking forward to reading 1 Buck’s journals. 😉

I was ready to put the past behind me. I didn’t want to let my feelings get in the way of my teaching. Anyway, I’ve always realized that I am the kind of person who can’t really hold a grudge. Not really. I may get mad, but after that, my short term memory usually saves the day, and I forget why I was angry with a person in the first place.

So teaching 1 Best today was alright, really. 🙂

Plus, I had an interesting activity to carry out with them today, and I was actually quite excited for it! 😀

I made them take turns and read the dialogue of describing a road accident from their text books. They were actually quite enthusiastic about it! I told them to read it with the right tone, you know? Not a monotonous “Isawanaccidentyesterday,” but more of a “OMG! I just saw an ACCIDENT, yesterday!” kinda reading—with expression. I praised the groups who read well 🙂

Then, I made them write a dialogue based on the information given in the pictures and practise it with a partner. And, if possible, to make it as interesting as possible! Had some difficulty with this activity because it got a little too noisy, as all pair/group works usually do :/ And they kept asking me questions—which under certain circumstances I would be quite happy about. But they kept asking me questions that I’d already explained earlier. These kids really never pay attention, do they? >.<

Anyway, after that, I wanted a few pairs/groups to come out to the front of the class and act the dialogue out with the right expression and tone 😉 But due to the lack of time left of my lesson, I could only ask for one pair to volunteer and demonstrate their dialogue to the rest of the class. The pair who did, were very very good! Yes, there were a few minor grammar slips here and there, but they were able to add certain other extra details that were not in the dialogue, which was really great work! And they were able to act quite well too 😉

So I rewarded them with marshmallows—sweet treats that I thought they might enjoy 😀

Had a pretty swift and smooth class with them. Except for one student. He’s getting more and more problematic. But still something I can handle, at the moment. If things get a little too far, I’m going to have to do something more about it :/

In retrospect, maybe I need to be much much muchhhhhh clearer with my instructions. See, I told them to look at the 3 pictures, choose one and write a dialogue about it. Still, there were those who didn’t really get it/understand what I meant and kept asking me if they have to follow the information/details in the text book. Or if they could write about an accident that happened in their hometown! @.@

Sometimes, I wonder where on earth are their ears, because they don’t seem to be in the class =.=

Day #17 – 26 Mar 2012

Went into 1 Best today all ready to punish them for not handing in their books last week.

After they wished me, I did not let them sit back down, but made them stand as I returned all the books. I didn’t care, boy or girl, I made them stand. I hate to say it, but I repeated myself again—mini lecture. Sigh. I’m turning into my worst nightmare! T.T

Anyway, it was for their own good. If I didn’t punish them, then when will they ever learn? Still, I offered them countless opportunities to participate in class, and if they could answer the questions, I allowed them to sit.

I actually made time in my lesson today to make sure they had all their books out and that they pasted all their handouts and worksheets I’d given them into their books, immediately, as I watched. Otherwise, it was going to get lost again =.=

But, of course, there were all the same problems that they’ve been having since the first week back after the holidays: they forgot to bring their books, they pasted the handouts in the wrong books, and they were asking me questions to which I had answered and informed them UMPTEEN times! Seriously!

After teaching them for 3 weeks, they were still asking me, “Cikgu, journal tu apa?” and “Teacher, Literature is the long or small book?”

I remember specifically telling them all these things and MORE weeks ago! I even listed down everything they were supposed to have done complete with the dates and the titles. They were just NOT BOTHERED to even care if they had everything complete in their books. They freakin’ don’t care.

I gave them a shelling. AGAIN.

By the end of it, again, I was so tired and exhausted from repeating myself, and also for punishing them (I don’t feel good when I do that—some of them really stood for almost 2 periods).

But the final straw? A boy kept saying, “Cikgu, dah habis masa!” and all of them had their bags packed and were already half-way out the door before I had even moved to the teacher’s table to keep my things. Some students mumbled, “Thank you, teacher.” Some didn’t even bother.

It was probably a bad day already, and I was in a bad mood, plus I was really tired and fed-up, that I yelled at them, “NO! ALL OF YOU, SIT DOWN! DO YOU KNOW HOW DISRESPECTFUL THIS IS TO YOUR TEACHER??!” I made them all sit down. “I know it’s time to go home, Cikgu masa dah habis, I DON’T CARE. Can’t you spend even two seconds to stand up, wish the teacher properly before you pack your bag and go?”

I was really angry. Probably bad timing as well. But still. If they were doing this to other teachers, that isn’t right either. I thought I might as well scold everything there is to scold till there’s nothing left. So, I said, “YOU STAY HERE UNTIL 2.30 PM.” (They were supposed to leave at 1.50 pm for solat.) I didn’t care. I stood there and stared at all their silent faces. Sternly, of course. I stood there till 2.00+ pm.

I told them, no more. If it happens again, they’re going back at 5.00pm, like me. I’ll gladly stay there and wait with them. >.<

Sigh. Maybe I was a bit too harsh, but I was really fed-up of not being respected as a teacher, in all these little little things, you know? They all add up, and they tell me how you see me: not as a teacher, that’s for sure >.< And I didn’t like that, not one bit.

After the scolding, and I finally let them off, one of the girls actually came up to me after class and asked, “Teacher, can I give you a hug?” (And she really did! @.@) I was like, “Um, why?” She told me, “Teacher, sorry banyak-banyak sebab kecewakan Cikgu. Betul-betul rasa sangat bersalah.” She was definitely one of those girls whom I noticed did really have a guilty face. In fact, a whole bunch of the girls stayed back to salam and really apologize for today. My heart softened. I mean, I was only mad with them cos I want them to be better, I don’t want to have to deal with all these petty problems anymore. Not because I hate them or dislike them. I really do sayang them. So it pains me to have to scold them or punish them like this 😦

She told me she could tell that I was sad and hurt to have to do all this. And she feels really guilty, and apologized on behalf of the class. I was touched, and I thanked her, for even feeling guilty about it. Because frankly, I can tell you that even after all this, I bet you there are still some of them who feel absolutely nothing. That’s a fact.

To end, one of the boys (who did the best in the March mid-term test) followed me out of the classroom and asked me, very timidly, “Teacher….what happened?”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

There are still some students who have the right attitude—there is hope for them. And for these students, I will still work and try my best to be the best teacher that I can be.

Minus all the nagging, hopefully. :/

 

p.s: First class with 1 Buck tomorrow! New tag up soon—with new “adventures” in a new class! 😉

Received a nice shocking surprise after assembly this morning.

I have a new timetable and it is effective as of immediately. Yes, IMMEDIATELY.

Goodness, you should have seen me running around like a headless chicken. I was so lost! @.@

Well, basically, this is the sitch: the teacher who was on maternity leave will be back tomorrow, officially. So the admin has already assigned us our new classes, since Sun and I have been taking 4 of her 5 classes since she’s been away. We can’t have her back with no classes to teach, right?

Sun was given 2 Form Four classes to teach, and Pn. Koh was kind enough to give the better classes–the first classes of the Sc and the Arts streams.

I, on the other hand, seeing as how I’m so petite and all, was thought better to remain teaching the lower secondary students. Prior to this, I had one Form 2 class, 2 Gem, and one Form 1 class, 1 Best. After the reshuffle, I am keeping 1 Best, but lost 2 Gem to take on 1 Bakti, the best class of Form 1.

So, this means that I will now be teaching 2 Form 1 classes, the first two: 1 Bakti (or 1 Buck) and 1 Best.

This also means that I will no longer be teaching that problematic bunch of 20 rowdy noisy boys of 2 Gem.

Yet, strangely, I felt a little….saddened. 😦

It feels really odd to say this, but I will miss those boys. And what I hate most is I was never really given proper time to say goodbye. I had thought that I would have time this week, or at least today, to do so, never expecting that the timetable would begin effect immediately after the assembly.

All I managed to do was pop into 2 Gem when there was no teacher in class to tell them that I will not be teaching them anymore. I got a few, “Haa?”s and sad faces, but the rest, I guess, were pretty much indifferent. It didn’t matter. I will still miss teaching them, somehow. At least a few of them. And to think I had some rather fun activities planned out for them this week. I even had all the handouts and worksheets and letters photocopied! (They might just go to waste now T.T) I can’t believe I was actually looking forward to teaching them. @.@

I hope they will do well under their new English teacher, and put what I’ve taught them to use. I wish them well, each and every single one of them. Even *Zaki 😉

I wonder if they’ll miss me?

24 Mar 2012

Today is a Saturday, but there are a few things I wanted to update here.

Dr. Melor called Sun to tell her that she will not be able to enter our classes on Monday, after all. She has a very important urgent meeting to attend.

Truth be told, I was a little devastated. Sure, I was extremely nervous about Dr. coming on Monday, so soon, but in a way, I wanted it to be over and done with. I’d prepared my lesson the best I could, and I was even beginning to look forward to it. Besides, after Monday, who knows what our timetable will be like? Because apparently, the teacher who was on maternity leave, Pn. Shahril, will be back that Monday. And that will ultimately result in a change of our current timetables. Sun might possibly teach Form 4, and I might stick to lower secondary, but I may not teach my 1 Best and 2 Gem anymore.

I am a little sad about that, actually. Yes, they are a problematic bunch, both of them, but I had just gotten to know them, and I am familiarizing myself with teaching them, after 3 weeks. And now, I might have to “get to know” and “familiarize” myself with a brand new class, all over again! Oh, dear. :/

So, that also means that when Dr. wants to come to observe, it might be in a brand new class where I’m still trying to figure out my footing in the classroom. Oh gosh, I don’t know what it will be like. But it somehow doesn’t seem like too positive a thing. 😦

Anyway, another matter I wanted to talk about is one of my students. Today, I was marking the few journals books that were handed in to me from 1 Best. I came across one student’s journal. Again, to protect their identity, I’ll give her a pseudonym. Hm, let’s call her *Aina. Now, I am ashamed to say that when I read the name on the cover, it took me a while to be able to place a face to that name. I suddenly remembered, she was one of those girls whose mid-term paper I was still keeping because she had been absent for the past week.

I started reading her journal, correcting grammar mistakes here and there. She wrote much much more than the minimum number of entries I had asked of them, so I was quite happy. Then the content of her journal began to trigger some alarm bells in my head.

She talked about how she had no friends, how lonely she felt. That because of that she had created her own group of imaginary friends to keep her company, from a fantasy world  which she said she wished they would come and take her away to. She said that she had a “boring and stupid” life, one that she couldn’t take anymore, and how she just wished that she could just “die, not in a horrible way, but a peaceful way.” That she didn’t want to live in this world anymore, that every day she questioned why she was even born into this world. According to her, her mother blames her for everything, and her siblings do not respect her. And it appears that they are from a poor family, since she says she does not have money to buy books for school, and often makes excuses to teachers. She also talked about how she hates school, how it’s like her own “prison and punishment place”. She says she is “a loser and a failure” because she is not good at any class subjects like Maths, BM, Eng etc. but can only draw anime and comics to make herself happy. Many times, she mentions wanting to die, wanting to be taken away from this world.

I am very disturbed by this. Her journal is covered in drawings of anime characters (whom she says are her imaginary friends). They are all very well-drawn—this girl certainly has a talent. But the message these pictures seem to convey are all very dark and disturbing. More than once there has been drawings of hands with their wrists slit, knives with blood on them. Tear-filled eyes.

One drawing in particular, scared me, terribly. It was a drawing of a teddy bear, with mirrors on both its left and ride sides. The mirror on the right is labeled Fantasy World and reflects an image of a smiling teddy bear with beautiful blooming flowers. The one on the left, however, is labeled Reality World and reflects an image of a torn and broken teddy bear with wilting flowers and fallen dead petals.

How disturbing is that? @.@

And this is from the journal of a young Form One girl.

Frankly, I am terrified. I am very disturbed by what she has written, as well as drawn. I have no idea how to deal with this. I am afraid of what might happen. I feel this is way above my head—wayyyyy above what I am trained and experienced enough to handle. At the same time, I cannot just leave her be. She desperately needs help, and a friend. A confidant perhaps. I do not know if I should refer her to a counselor, or if I should deal with this personally, because I do not want to betray her trust. I am lost. I really don’t know what to do, what to say. As a teacher, I know I need to help this poor lost girl, but am unable to relate to how she feels. How can I help her?

But I do take comfort in the fact that she has written how she truly feels, so painfully and scarily honest, which tells me that she is almost screaming for someone to notice, to understand.

Maybe she just needs someone to talk to.

So I wrote in her journal, after the last entry, that I would like her to come see me after her recess in the staff room. I know that much is necessary. But I have not exactly worked out what I should say to her yet. How do I speak with her so that I do not sound like an uncaring know-it-all adult, but rather a concerned um, older friend? I don’t want to say the wrong thing and lose her trust completely. She may never write honestly anymore. I do not know.

I think I need to ask God for His guidance. I guess it is in this kind of situation that a caring teacher can make all the difference in a young person’s life. I hope I can be that kind of teacher. I hope I can do that, for her. For Aina.