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! @.@