Tag Archive: Program


Day #79 – 5 July 2012

Report Card Day today. And they put me in for the second shift for 1 Best! @.@

I thought it was a little strange, because normally, from when I was in school, only the form teacher would be meeting parents and talking about the students’ results and performance in class. This school, though, has a timetable where each class has 2 teachers go in to meet with the students’ parents. The form teacher goes in from 8.00 am-10.30 am and the second goes in from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm.

(Funny thing was, Hasrul, the other practical teacher, was given a class that he wasn’t even teaching. How is he supposed to talk to the parents of students he didn’t know? @.@ I just felt it was a little unfair towards the students and their parents, who had come to talk to the teachers on how their child is faring in the class. How can you give the parents what they want, and need, when you don’t even teach their child? Weird, no? @.@)

It’s strange, because I’m only a practical teacher, although I have been teaching them for four months now. But the discussion I have with the parents can only be a report of how he or she has been in class—English lesson, of course—and not really much about where do we go from here. Because, well, I won’t be teaching them anymore after tomorrow! :/

Anyway, I got really nervous too because parents would also be paying the PIBG fees as well, which meant that I would have to collect money and issue receipts on behalf of the form teacher. And I’m always nervous about handling money. I’ve never really had good experiences keeping money that doesn’t rightfully belong to me. I’m very careless, see? Losing my own money is one thing, but someone else’s? And a huge amount at that! @.@

Thankfully though, Ustazah Zainah didn’t leave me to deal with the parents alone. There were so many parents waiting that, instead, she opened another “counter” to meet with the parents so that the parents didn’t have to wait so long 🙂 So things went much faster from there 😀

One parent though, was very scary—Azim’s father. He was very tough on Azim and I felt very sorry for him. Even said some hurtful things that, if it were me, I would go home and cry about. >.< He is terrifying, his father! Then, after questioning his son’s performance, he turned to me and asked, “So, apa nak buat ni?” and I think he expected me to do something about his son’s poor performance! @.@

I didn’t know what to say! I mean, my last day is tomorrow, what can I say? @.@

Besides, Azim wasn’t all too bad. Bs and Cs. But he did very badly for his Pendidikan Islam, and that really got his dad upset, I suppose. (He actually asked him if he wanted to change religion, since he was doing badly at Agama Islam =.=)

Phew! Some parents can be really scary! @.@ I heard from Sun about worse, and I feel grateful that I wasn’t in her shoes, cos I wouldn’t know how to handle that! >.<

I was glad for the opportunity to meet some of my students’ parents. It’s quite fun to see how alike/unlike each other some of them are! xD Most of their mums and dads seemed like pretty decent people. Actually, most of my kids are pretty decent and okay; they just lack focus. Too playful. Or they haven’t really found the motivation for studying hard just yet. Hopefully when they’re older 🙂

I’ve finished all my work! Finished marking the piles of books under my table, and arranged all the PBS worksheets and whatnot to be passed on to Pn. Shahril (for 1 Best) and Pn. Kartini (1 Buck). There’s nothing left to do but get my attendance sheet signed by the Principal and have my last two-period lesson with my kids 😀

I’m planning to play a non-language game (Awww, come on! Just once! xD) then maybe think of another one, then a prize-giving session (for best Mid-Year results, best work, best participation etc.) and finally, end with a song—“Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. It’s gonna be fun! 😀

ONE MORE DAY!!!!!!

It’s a Saturday.

But I was in school by 6.30 am! @.@

I had to be there early to get the march past kids ready. Funny thing was, Cikgu Mazira asked all the students and teachers to be in school by that time, but she herself was late. About half an hour late =.=

Anyway, when Sun and I reached school, Mr. Ng was there, waiting in the pitch darkness. It was quite scary to be in school at this time. There’s nobody around, and everywhere is dark and creepy :/

Yes, I’m not really a fan of the dark >.<

There were problems because the lights and fan in the Prefects’ Room (where we were supposed to meet) couldn’t be turned on. Something to do with the main switch being off, and no one but Mr. Zaini knew how to turn it on. Not even the guard! :/ But the classroom next to it was the same! @.@

Thankfully one of the classes on the opposite side of the building could be turned on. Phew! So I got the kids (those who were punctual, which were few :/) to get dressed in their “pimped up” tracksuits and stick their R’s on their t-shirts.

At 7.20 am they were still farrrrrrr from done! They all rushed down to get their Robin Hood hats and masks. But there were so many problems that we encountered! Their ribbon and crepe paper were coming off a little, so I had to stick+staple them back on their tracksuits. The hats were too loose, so they had to staple rubber bands onto them but they snapped easily because the staples couldn’t really hold them in place. The masks, on the other hand, were too tight and were cutting into their poor faces! Plus, the holes were too small for their eyes to see through properly 😦

So, we teachers were running around fixing them up here and there, and I myself was turning around right, left, behind me when students called to me. “Teacher, it’s too tight!” “Teacher, my ribbons are coming off!” “Teacher, my rubber band snapped! What do I do?” Teacher, teacher, TEACHER!

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Panic and stressed out at the beginning! Especially since we were the last contingent to go down to the field, so we didn’t have time to rehearse much. And the little that we did, it was an utter mess! @.@ Everybody had forgotten this and that, and were confused about this and that… You can imagine how worried I felt T.T

When they were up, so many things went wrong.

Because our introduction was long, their voices couldn’t be heard when they did the cheers and danced+sang. Ruzana’s hat fell off mid-way. Aswad’s feather fell off after the salute. Then they forgot everything—really, EVERYTHING! There was supposed to be a mini sketch in the middle where Robin Hood will defeat an alien, done by the Form 6 student mascots, who were dressed up in Robin Hood garb. There was even supposed to be a small party popper during it! But everything was forgotten! Our commander completely forgot everything. He even missed out our song! We were supposed to sing:

Mambo (mambo)

Kita kejar nombor satu (kita kejar nombor satu)

Jangan segan, jangan malu (jangan segan jangan malu)

Tingkat usaha, terus maju (tingkat usaha terus maju)

Siapa raja? (Rajawali!)

Siapa raja? (Rajawali!)

Rajawali….(Boleh! Boleh! BOLEH!)

Rajawali boleh~ Rajawali boleh~

Rajawali boleh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-AH!

It was supposed to be fun, but… They didn’t have a chance to do it! T.T

When the contingent left, I was wondering, what happened? Where was the sketch? Where was the singing?

It was such a heart-breaking sight to see our contingent walking away, their heads down, their arms swinging all over the place, out-of-sync. Poor Iskandar (the commander) seemed extremely down and disappointed too. I think he must be blaming himself for the mess.

Well, I was not mad at them. I felt more sad for them because they practised so hard, and to not even be able to present what they’d practised all this while? Such a waste! And I bet they must have been so disappointed. 😦 What can we do? We still did the best that we could. I think poor Iskandar must have let his nerves get the best of him. Everything completely forgotten! Sayang je~

I was also involved in the persiapan tempat, and since Pn. Zaimie was not there, and I was rather kelam-kabut with my march past kids, Sun had to settle the rest of the things alone. She managed to get a student to carry a large fan all the way from the surau only to find that it wasn’t working. And the extension wasn’t long enough! So she had to get another student to get another fan. Minor panic!

After the march past had marched out, I just made sure the kids all took their breakfast of nasi lemak and drink, and that they returned all their costume apparel to me. I had to collect them all and send them back to my place in the staff room. After that, I was pretty much free. I could watch the track events from the stands 🙂

Oh, but I was called down for the teachers’ event—the Sukaneka! I had to carry a ping pong ball using chopsticks! And silly me, I dropped the ball T.T I was so mad at myself. I think I ran too quickly and the ball fell from my chopstick-grasp. Thankfully, Mdm. Gouri was fast with the ball and the hoop, Kak Koh could hop away with balloons pinned between legs and arms, and Mr. Ng was fantastic walking on bricks! xD Kak Aishah won second place for us when she sprinted the last 50 m! AWESOME! 😀

Then, the track events continued. It was great to be able to sit down and watch and cheer for Rajawali! 🙂

Unfortunately, things took a bad turn when there was fight after one of the track events. It was the Under 18 Males 4×100 m event. We had one new student from a sports school representing Rajawali in this event. He’s good, as was proven in other events.

Our first 3 runners were good, really good. But I think the third runner helped give us a large enough lead for the final runner—this Zaidi, from the sports school. I saw, with my own eyes, in plain sight, him taunting the runner behind him, from Merak, and at the final bit, run into his lane.

It was a foul.

The Merak runner was furious. And so was Mr. Thina, who is in Merak as well. There was a dispute about the validity of the results, since Zaidi committed a foul. Then, I don’t really know what happened, but suddenly there were quite a number of boys down on the field, runners and spectators alike, who were getting physical. Some were pushing to get at Zaidi, and some were trying their best to hold the emotional ones back. There was one particular boy, from Kenyalang (Red House) who was trying to get at Zaidi, obviously furious with what he’d done (although I’m a little confused as to why he is mad when the offense was against the Blue House, Merak :/). Several boys had to hold both the Kenyalang boy and Zaidi back. They were quite a distance from each other, so I did not expect it when the Kenyalang boy broke free from his friends and ran straight towards Zaidi………..and threw a punch! @.@

OMG. Can you imagine that feeling of utter horror and helplessness as you watch a student streak across the field with anger in his steps, and you know that something bad is going to happen but you cannot do anything watching from the stands? :O

It was scary, and frightening, to say the least. >.< My heart was pounding, because I was so afraid something else might happen. Thankfully, they managed to settle it peacefully after that, and there were no more punches thrown.

But there was a VERY heated discussion between Cikgu Hanira (who is for Rajawali) and Mr. Thina (for Merak). It went on for quite a while and kinda disrupted the program a little @.@ (It was also a little embarrassing because all this happened in clear view of the representatives from PIBG, and parents! >.<)

Although I am from Rajawali, and it was very clear who reached the finish line first with such a distance between them, no contest, Zaidi was still in wrong for entering another runner’s lane. Intentional or not, it was a clear foul. In addition to that, I think he was too cocky and now he has to pay the price for it. He had that win in his grasp, but because of his over-confidence and cockiness, he practically gave it up. :/

Later on, it was announced that the entire 4×100 m event was disqualified. I was  surprised because, I thought Zaidi would be disqualified, but by right, the second person would be announced the winner, the third, second and so forth. But here, the entire event was disqualified! Why? @.@ It wasn’t fair to the others who had run and did nothing wrong! >.< Sun later told me that the reason they decided to just remove the event was because, if they had given winners for the event, there would still be a lot of dissatisfaction and displeasure, and the teachers were more afraid of the boys taking things into their own hands and settling the matter “outside of school”. (Doesn’t it sound like a decision made from experience? @.@) So, for their safety, and so NOBODY wins, they disqualified the event. >.<

We continued with the tarik tali event, and it was so upsetting when Rajawali lost that too, to Kenyalang. :/ Still, it was the finals, so we won second place 🙂

Overall, we were third out of the four Houses. And it was thanks to our wins in the track events. Otherwise, we would definitely have been last. First, of course, was Merak, who also won first for the march past competition and the Tent Decoration category. Second was Cenderawasih, and last, was Kenyalang.

We were able to finish everything, even with the Principal’s speech, by 1.00 pm. But the clearing up took some time, especially since Sun and I had to send a lot of things back to where we had taken them from the VIP Area. The potted plants, the carpets, the sofas, the table cloths, the partition from the staff room, the extension etc. @.@

However, I am very grateful for the wonderful weather we had! The past few days had seemed rainy, but it didn’t rain a single drop today. And what was more, it wasn’t all that hot either! Even in the middle of the day at 12.00 pm, it was cloudy enough that your skin didn’t burn under the sun! Such BEAUTIFUL weather indeed. I was amazed 🙂

It was certainly an exhausting day. But I am just thankful that it’s over and done with, although the fight was a little unnerving. Still, it was a success and everything went according to plan 🙂

p.s: I came back to my room and DIED for three hours! xD

Day #72 – 26 June 2012

Today is my first Tuesday of the new timetable and I am completely and utterly……………………..

FREE.

Yup, I don’t have any classes today. Don’t ask me why; they arranged it that way. And you know what’s even better?

I don’t have classes on Wednesdays either.

Yes, which means I only teach 3 days a week! But that also means that 2 of my days are kinda packed :/ 2 double periods back-to-back! @.@ Tiring!

Anyway, no classes for the entire day also means that there’s bound to be more relief classes handed to you =.=

I was given 5 Gem, 1 Perd and 1 Best today.

5 Gem was alright. But it was an awkward period where they are just after PE, so some are missing cos they’re still on their way back, some are changing in the bathrooms etc. What can I do but just wait for them to all come back to class? And since they just trickled in, I didn’t make them get up to wish me. And I didn’t really do anything with them.

I was actually planning on playing a game with them. But since some of them were busy playing checkers and others…..looked busy, I just sat in the class and chatted with some of the boys. (Okay, I know I’m not supposed to do that, but they didn’t seem like in the mood for a game either =.=)

Then the boys somehow got to asking me about Chinese. Like how to say, “My name is…….” in Chinese! I am still rather surprised by their interest (and curiosity) towards everything Chinese. I think it’s because, to them, everything and anything Chinese is remotely foreign to them, and strange, and new! So they are very interested to learn things. They asked me how to say, “What are you doing?” and “Have you eaten?” in Mandarin, which I taught them. I just thought that, their interest to learn, albeit a language that I’m not exactly teaching nor very fluent in, should be encouraged. So I taught them a few phrases, which they enjoyed making fun of each other about. 😛

1 Perdana was kinda noisy, so I decided to play the game with them. Simple Word Formation: give them a long word, like Characterisation then ask them to form as many words as possible from the letters in the word under 3 conditions: 1) the word must be at least 2 letters, 2) no plurals eg. cat/cats, and 3) no names. The group with the most number of words, wins!

Surprisingly, they were quite cooperative, and most of them participated well. Only 2 refused to play, saying that they wanted to do their own work instead. FINE. :/

Anyway, they were all quite good! At the end, I wished I could give ALL of them sweets as prize, but I didn’t have enough 😦 Still, I wanted to encourage even those who did not win (they were getting a little competitive! @.@) by writing down the words that I had identified were good and that some groups had that all the others didn’t. So even though they didn’t win, each group had a couple of words that other groups did not find, which is a GOOD JOB! 😀

Still, I felt bad for not being able to give the rest something. Because the first two groups with the highest number of words were all the girls. Kinda pitied the boys who worked really hard too 😦 I mean, it must be frustrating to try their hardest and always lose out :/ If it were me, I might even give up on playing anymore games. And these boys were so enthusiastic! Sigh. Kesian pulak. :/

Oh, but I got really mad at one of the boys, Luqman. First of all, he didn’t want to cooperate. Absolutely refused to play. Then after that, was such a busybody to crowd around the table as I was calculating the results. Then he and some of the girls must have been quarreling about something or other, and I heard him say, “Fuck betul!

I was seriously shocked! So I called him, “LUQMAN, WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

And would you believe it? He completely ignored me. I am totally serious. He didn’t answer me at all and just…..walked away. I called him several times, yet he just plain ignored me. I was so mad, yet at the same time I didn’t want to get mad, especially with all the other students crowding around me >.<

When a friend called to him and said that Teacher (me) was calling him, he just answered, “Apasal?

He answered his friend, but he can’t answer me? >.<

I wish I could have just gone up to him and smacked him. ISH. So rude and disrespectful, and aside from that, uses offensive language. Ugh. Baru Form 1! @.@

Didn’t do much in 1 Best today cos there were just the boys. I took the time to do a PBS evaluation for one of the boys who was absent for the past two days. (Apparently, he went back to his hometown for a family emergency @.@)

Also, we had kawad practice today. Up till 5 something in the evening! Boy, am I tired! Granted, I wasn’t in charge of the training, but it was tiring nonetheless. :/ There are so many things more to settle for Rajawali House—costumes, formation, mascot etc. I wonder if we have enough time. Sports Day is this Saturday already! @.@

Anyway, I am exhausted. But will try to mark some books today 🙂 Somehow, my whole body is aching >.<

Sports practice tomorrow in the morning again, as we did last week. The students (and the teachers!) are gonna be tired out and restless/listless! Thank goodness I’m not teaching tomorrow! 😛

Day #62 – 12 June 2012

CHORAL SPEAKING COMPETITION.

Today.

Yikes. @.@

I was feeling a little bit ganjeong because I was assigned to ferry the students in my car to the host school, SMK PP 9(2) for the competition. And seeing as how I’m not a very good/confident driver, carrying 5 students in my car driving to an unfamiliar place in Putrajaya is quite unnerving >.<

Also, we were supposed to leave at 12.00pm because registration starts at 1.00pm, but I was given a relief class at 11.10-11.50am. I know it’s before 12.00pm, but we were supposed to have our lunch together before we left. Which meant that I won’t be able to 😦 I tried to get the relief off my hands, but Pn. Koh said that all the other teachers were hard on too, with 4-5 periods of relief! @.@ (Goodness, I must really learn to be grateful >.<)

Anyway, I was nervous about taking the kids, but I prayed hard for our safety. Adding to my nervousness was the fact that I had NO idea how to get to the school, and so had to depend solely on Teacher Mazira’s car in front. What if I lost her? I’d be lost! @.@

Thankfully, we arrived there with no complications 😀

We reached the school at about 12.40pm before I was told that the competition would only be starting at 2.30pm! WHAT? Sigh. Rushed like crazy, then waited like mad for the competition to begin =.=

Ooh, but I met Jessica Chung there, who was the guru pengiring for SMK PP 11(1) and Farah, who is doing her practical in the host school. Managed to chat quite a bit with both while waiting, since there was nothing to do, and the heat was just making me sleepy @.@

Our school drew the last number, so we were up last out of 7 schools! Which has its pros and cons, I suppose. Pros: you get to watch almost everyone’s performance before it’s your turn, but Cons: you have a long wait before it’s done and over with.

Anyway, watching the other teams was quite intimidating. They were all rather good! Some were very clear and loud, with interesting actions and effects, some were very uniform and rehearsed. It made me nervous for ours. However, I was quite annoyed that there were other schools that did not really adhere to the rules and regulations of the choral speaking competition. By right, students were not allowed to wear anything that would make them distinguishable/identifiable from the other schools in order to avoid bias from the judges.

A few schools wore their school ties and colourful skirts proudly, even though the rules clearly stated that only the turquoise one is allowed! >.< When Teacher Mazira complained to one of the organizers, she came back saying that the judges’ allowed it because it is the school uniform and Putrajaya schools do tend to have rather unique secondary school uniforms.

Utter rubbish! >.<

The whole point of that regulation was to ensure anonymity and avoid any judges’ bias in favour towards a certain team just because of the school they come from. You have to admit, knowing that the team is from a particularly GOOD school would colour your judgment and ultimately prevent you from evaluating objectively. Or at least, make it very difficult to do so :/

I was not very happy about that, actually. It makes you doubt if the judges decision is really fair >.<

Also, I remember the rules saying that the performance should be a minimum of 7 minutes. However, the organizers stated, during the reading of the rules of the competition, that a bell will be rung once at the 8th minute! A full one minute more than I thought is required.

It makes a difference, because our kids have been practising to reach about 7 minutes, not 8! @.@

Was really nervous for them when they went up. My hands were shaking as I began to record them onstage using one of the students’ Smartphone. Worried, really. Would they forget their script? Would they be completely all over place? Will they be loud enough? Will they be clear enough? Will they get their actions right? @.@

They were actually rather good! 😀

They were quite loud, actually; louder than I expected. And I was able to hear almost all the solos well. Their actions were alright, and they were quite in sync. Phew! 😉 There were a few minor slip ups at the beginning, probably from nerves, but everything else was fine. I saw a hugeeeeee improvement from the last time I saw them at practice (which was about more than a month ago, maybe?) and I actually felt proud of them 😀 We barely made the 8th minute, but only by a couple of seconds, so they probably deducted marks for that, though. Still, I think they did a really great job 😛

However, sadly, we lost 😦

When they announced that SMK PP 11(1) had won third place, I had known that we would not get a placing. Because in my mind, I had already figured out the top 2 schools, and the third I knew was either us or 11(1), although I couldn’t really shake off the feeling that the latter had done a little better than we had :/

Second place went to SMK PP 9(2), the host school, which, I had to admit, was also deserving, although I am extremely dissatisfied that they were flaunting their gold+yellow school ties onstage, indirectly declaring who they were. Not only that, they even revealed their identity in the script! UNFAIR. According to the rules, they should be disqualified. Them and a few others who did not follow the rules. It’s really unfair >.<

Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS), the famous all-boys elite boarding school deservedly won first place. They were quick and fast-paced and were able to draw you into the script they were reciting. They had good effects and were almost all in unison. They were good. Also, their conductor bagged the Best Conductor title as well. I hate to be a sore loser, but then again, one school sweeping everything just doesn’t feel nice, and sometimes, you get tired of having the same school win everything, you know? =.=

The kids were very very disappointed, and I don’t blame them. I would be, if I had spent 3 months practising like mad every day in school. And to not even get a placing is really heart-wrenching. T.T Still, I felt that they had truly done their best, and I guess that’s all that counts. The kids didn’t seem to think so, though. They girls who were sitting in my car were completely dissatisfied with the results. They felt it was undeserved and that they were so much better, that the other school’s solos weren’t even loud or clear enough, and that they were tired of SAS winning all the time. I remained quiet on the matter though, because, although I did not agree with them on the undeserved win, I knew I might say the same things if I were their age. Maybe it’s their way of consoling themselves. :/

Anyway, I think they should be veryyyy proud of themselves for putting up a good fight 😀

But on a personal note:

IT’S FINALLY OVER! :DDDDDDDDDDD

Day #38 – 24 Apr 2012

I’m a bit worried now. There’s still no official letter for when the Choral Speaking competition is going to be held! @.@

It was supposed to be this Friday, but only recently Cikgu Mazira told me that there was no black-and-white from the Education Department, and a teacher from the school which is supposed to be hosting it said that even they haven’t gotten any confirmation as of yet. So, for certain, the competition is going to be postponed.

The question is, to when? >.<

Practice was as usual today. I managed to snap a few shots of them! 😀

Day #37 – 23 Apr 2012

Had Choral Speaking practice today, as usual.

But what was UNUSUAL was that…….I kinda got mad and left them to their own devices, mid-practice. @.@

Well, you see, what happened was this. They were practising as usual, going through the script from beginning to end, and timing themselves (we’re still about half a minute short! >.<).

But I had just gotten the Choral Speaking Competition rules and Adjudication Scoring Sheets from Cikgu Mazira recently, and had brought it to practice to let them see. So I explained that 50% of the marks is allocated for “Pronunciation” and “Enunciation”—which is a LOT. And frankly, their pronunciation and enunciation is really not very satisfactory. They tend to swallow their words a lot. And they keep pronouncing sounds like in “The” and “This” as “Di:” and “Dis”, you know? >.<

So I actually wanted to go through with them, line-by-line, and help them with their pronunciation. Correcting them at parts where I felt they were not pronouncing them properly, and making them repeat the line until I was satisfied. However, I found that they kept on talking and laughing whenever I was talking. I had to practically shout to be heard over their noise. Many times I caught students not listening to me. I would ask, “Are you listening?” and they would say, “Yes!” But when I asked them, “What did I say?” they could not answer me. I reprimanded a few of the boys for that.

I told them that if they thought they were better at this than I am, and they could do this all by themselves, then alright then, I should just let them work it out on their own. Practise on their own, okay?

Silence.

So they continued, and I continued checking their pronunciation, and stopping them at parts where I felt needed work. I explained to them the right way of pronouncing the line, and strained my voice again to be heard.

At one point, I realized I was basically talking to myself.

I spoke to the half of the group I was referring to earlier. “Are you listening?” Immediately, they nodded and said, “Yes.” Again, I asked them, “Then what did I say?” And nobody could reply me.

That was the last straw. Here I was trying my best to help them, when I could very easily just sit in the corner and do my own work, or better yet, just sit in the nice air-conditioned staff room and just come check on them once in an hour or half. But nobody is even bothering to listen! >.<

I told them, “Alright then, I think that’s enough. I’m really tired, and I think you can practise on your own without me. Azizah (the conductor), could you please take over? I’m going back up to the staff room, and I will come check on you again in a while, okay?” I said all this while packing my things and walking towards the steps to the lift.

I know. What a dramatic exit, right?

Still, I was a little fed-up. I was tired and exhausted and annoyed that every day I am staying back to help them and this is their attitude—no respect and they don’t even listen to me anyway. So why should I bother? >.<

Yet, immediately after my exit, I felt better, and regretted sulking like that. =.=

Barely five minutes later, two students (Dhiya and Ashraaf) came to apologize to me after that, and asked if I was okay. I told them I was, that I was not angry at all of them, in fact, not really angry at all. It’s just that I was tired and it is difficult when I have to strain my voice just to be heard, and they were not really even paying attention. So I told them to carry on and that I would come check on them just before 5.00 pm 🙂

When I returned, they all came to salam me and apologize for their behaviour earlier. It felt a little awkward and I actually felt slightly bad for sulking off like that. Still, you have to say that it was getting a little bit too over now, wasn’t it? @.@ And besides, it wasn’t the first time I’ve realized they don’t listen to me because they’re too busy talking/laughing >.<

Anyway, all’s well now. 🙂 They still have a long way to go, but for now, I think they’re doing all right 😀

Day #36 – 21 Apr 2012

Can you believe that we still had Choral Speaking practice today? Even though it was a Saturday?

Well, the students were the ones who wanted to have practice. Quite frankly, I was not very keen on the idea of having to stay back after school on a SATURDAY. Still, I am too soft and I listen to what the students want, plus, they really do need the practice, since the competition is (hopefully, still) next Friday.

Unfortunately, about slightly less than half turned up for practice today! Which is really frustrating because, in Choral Speaking, you can’t really practice properly when not all the members are present. There’s not enough volume, and it’s difficult to “imagine” the person next to you, or “look” at the solo who isn’t really there.

I was really disappointed with the attendance and decided to cut the practice short. We had about an hour of practice then I sent them all home. I felt it was pointless to keep practising when it was clear that not everyone was there. And, I didn’t want to penalize those who did come for practice. At least let them go home earlier to rest too.

Competition is next week, and I feel really nervous for them. We have to fine-tune even more and also possibly kick out two persons or, to put it in a nicer way, make them “reserves” before the competition. Hope everything goes well during the last week of practices. :/

Day #35 – 20 Apr 2012

Had Choral Speaking practice again today, even though it was a Friday 😦

Stayed back to start practice t 2.45pm till 5.00pm! @.@ The students are wayyyyy too enthusiastic than normal kids, I think. A little bit scary >.< Still, the competition is really soon, and they really need the practice anyway. Too bad the competition is most probably going to be postponed to May, instead of being done and over with next Friday.

Anyway, I let Azizah take lead of the practice today. I stood the entire time though, so tiring! @.@ And I still listened and stopped them and gave my comments or corrected their pronunciation and tone. They were still making the same mistakes over and over and over again! It really is frustrating! >.<

Only 16 were there for practice today. The rest were MIA! ARGH. It’s really difficult to practice when not all the members of the group are present, especially the solos. When there’s less people, the “together” spirit is not really there, and you can tell it from the way they choral read. Their voices have less energy and enthusiasm, and it just isn’t the same as when there is almost a complete full group.

Hopefully everyone is free from all their various other programs and involvements by next week. Otherwise, we’re going to be in trouble! >.< Anyway, there’s practice tomorrow after school as well—1.45pm-3.45pm. I pray that it will be a fruitful and productive practice! 😀

 

ps: Oh, btw, I forgot to mention that two of my students actually gave me souvenirs from their trip to Bandung last week! 😀 Ziaudin (1 Best) gave me a lovely pen with an intricate design on the outside, and Akmal (1 Buck) gave me a pretty key chain that says “Bandung”! I was so touched! :’)

Day #34 – 19 Apr 2012

I had one relief class today, which is expected since the Teachers’ Parliamentary Debate was over yesterday and I am no longer involved :/

I was supposed to enter 4 Waw actually, but due to some reasons, I switched with Sun and entered 3 Gem in the last period instead. I am alright with 3 Gem. There are a few students there who try hard and are willing to learn. So I don’t mind entering classes like those. I know that, despite everything, some of them will still be able to benefit from my teaching.

I had planned, at first, to make them copy a model essay from the Model PMR Compositions book, but somehow thought maybe giving them a spelling test might also be helpful. I’d been doing spelling tests with a lot of my relief classes, teaching them new vocabulary, and then discussing certain words that are common errors, and then rewarding the student(s) with the best score with marshmallows (which seem to be a favourite with some of them!) 😀

So when I entered, I gave them a choice—and they chose the spelling test. 3 Gem is actually alright, except for a few of the boys sitting at the back of the class. They were talking and laughing too much, and making it very very difficult for me to teach 😦 I still have not mastered how to make students fear me. They bully me too much, and I let them 😦

Anyway, I was glad that the class did relatively well. One student got a full score (I owe him marshmallows) and another boy got 13/15. Which is really quite good! 😀 And while I was explaining certain words, I encouraged them to make notes. Hopefully, they actually do that. :/

A few of the girls approached me after the class to ask if I gave tuition, and I said I don’t. They even asked me where I stayed. I guess they were hoping to come to my house for tuition, I suppose. But I was quite encouraged when they told me that they understood better and liked my relief classes with them (previously I had taught them simple SVA and Tenses during relief). I liked that the girls would not only ask me questions, but quite challenging ones too. Ones that I may not have expected them to ask 🙂

I told her that she was always welcome to try out exercises and show them to me, or ask me any questions at all, if she had them. They could find me anytime in the staff room; I would be more than happy to help 🙂 And honestly, I am! Students like these make me happy to be a teacher 🙂

Besides that, Sun and I were helping Cikgu Mazira to paste the wise sayings, quotes and idioms all around the canteen area and Language Kiosk, as well as in front of the office. En. Zaidi said that the design was too simple :/ But oh well, the sayings are pretty okay, and that’s what we want students to read and learn, don’t we? 😀

Choral Speaking practice today was a mess! @.@ I don’t know why they started adding more and more new stuff to the script, with new actions and everything! I just worry that they won’t be able to memorize everything well enough in time for the competition! >.< But Sun says I worry too much, or care too much. I find it really hard to balance between wanting it to be the students’ work, and doing what I think is best.

At this point, I personally feel we should just keep practising what we already have and fine-tune the movements and actions so that they are all uniform and together. But some of them (so many leaders in this group!) want to make it more interesting and add even more actions, changing all that they’ve been practising for weeks now. I am afraid that it will only make them confused, and then we’ll compromise all the progress that we’ve made so far! >.<

What should I do? If I tell them no, I’m afraid that it will seem like I’m not negotiable and a controller, or dictator. I don’t want to say no because I want them to be able to have a say as well, since this is their thing, their competition, their choral speaking experience. Yet, I have a bad feeling about making too many changes at this point, just a mere week before the competition. Still, for all I know, things might go really well and they’ll be able to handle the changes, no problem at all. Then I would have made a fuss for nothing! >.<

Anyway, headache came back, and I was so tired during practice that I barely could talk by the end of it. I think the students could sense how moody I was, too :/

All the best, Choral Speakers! I hope we can do well.

Day #33 – 18 Apr 2012

I thought today was the finals for the Teachers’ Parliamentary Debate, but it wasn’t really. :/

It was Part II of the semi-finals. The finals would be in Ipoh on the 14th and 15th of May. I’m confused though, why the winning team from yesterday’s debate would be battling another team today as part of the semi-finals, meaning that the semi-finals were between 3 teams instead of 4. @.@

I had no idea before this, but today I found out that yesterday was actually Johor vs. Wilayah, and since Wilayah won, today’s debate was actually Wilayah vs. Kedah. Now, as the timekeeper, I was able to listen to the debate, although not completely focused on it. Yesterday, I thought the Government (Johor) team would win, but the Opposition (Wilayah) did instead. Today, the Wilayah team was Government and the Kedah team, Opposition. For today’s debate, although the Opposition team had a very charismatic third speaker, I still think the Government had made a very strong case, and therefore deserved the win today 😀

The Wilayah team had a very good third speaker as well; slightly more aggressive than the other speakers I’ve seen, but very convincing. Not only that, I thought she was also very clear and sure of her ideas, and were able to put them forth quite simply and clearly. Hence, I agree with the adjudicators’ decision to award her the Best Debater! 🙂

This time, though, Sun and I switched roles. I rang the bell, and she flashed the cards. No problems whatsoever. Today, we were even more organized and were not as terrified as we were yesterday 😛

I also had the chance to speak with some of the debaters from Johor who, although had lost yesterday, came again today to watch today’s debate between Kedah and Wilayah and to attend the Closing Ceremony. One, I was particularly drawn to, honestly speaking. A Ms. Shobana Seelan 🙂 She won the Best Debater Award for yesterday’s debate, and whose team (the Government) I thought should have won, actually :/ But oh well.

I discovered that she was actually just 26 years old—a mere two years my senior! 😀 That she is originally from Selangor, but was posted to Johor; hence, the reason why she was representing Johor in the Teacher’s Day Debate 😛 We got to talking about teaching and future career paths etc. and it really felt nice to be able to talk to a peer who understood the struggles of teaching, yet could also offer me some “senior” advice on what to do next.

I spent quite some time chatting with her just before the Closing Ceremony 🙂 We hugged and she gave me her contact email address to keep in touch. Which I think is absolutely great! 😉 I guess it is at events and programs like these that we have an opportunity to network and build friendships with fellow teachers in the field from all over the country 😀

I was glad to have been “pulled” to be involved in the Teachers’ Parliamentary Debate. I think it was an eye-opening and interesting experience, besides granting me the opportunity to sort of get to know others in the education field across the country 🙂

Choral Speaking today was a little frustrating because more than half of the group were prefects and they had a prefects’ meeting with Mr. Thina today! I had barely half the group standing in front of me and of course the volume was bad and they dynamics were just less than satisfactory. However, I think we managed to practice through the script a couple of times, though not completely perfect, and timed ourselves.

Excluding the entrance but including the exit, we were 7 and a half minutes. Which is good, because the maximum is 8 minutes 🙂 But we’re cutting it a little close.

When the prefects and everybody else were finally done with their meeting and everyone was there, it was almost 4.30 pm! ARGH! >.< However, once everyone was in, the quality was so so so much better! 😀

Yes, we’re still not perfect, and I’m still not completely satisfied with the last two stanzas, still, it has been some great improvement. I just hope that we’ll only get better and better this last week before the competition and really do the school proud! 😀 Everyone has quite high hopes since they won second place last year. But, it’s a different group this time, surely they can’t expect us to WIN this year, right? That’s a lot of pressure! @.@ *gulp*

But of course, I do hope that the team will do well and we can do the best that we can. Of course I hope that we can win 😀 But I know that even if we don’t, it’s still alright. I just hope the kids won’t be too disappointed 😦

Had a headache today during Choral Speaking practice which was really annoying. Thankfully, I managed to get two Panadol pills from Hasrul earlier, and by the end of practice, I was feeling much much better 🙂

Practice as usual tomorrow! Hope everyone can be there and give their full cooperation and support! Ganbatte! Aja-aja fightingggggg~ 😀