Tag Archive: Week 16

Day #80 – 6 July 2012

My last day.

Last day! 😀

Mixed feelings? Not really. I was excited for class, to have the last lesson with the kids, because I had planned something fun for them, and prepared gifts and “awards” too! xD

But, no doubt about it, I was glad for it to be ending.

In the morning, the Muslim students had bacaan yasin so I thought I would take the chance to put some stuff in the Arts Room (stuff from Sports Day that has been sitting on and lying underneath my table for a week now =.=). Pn. Koh had actually informed me to come down for the assembly after the bacaan yasin but I didn’t expect to be stuck at the Arts Room with a student, looking for my file and pair of scissors that had gone missing since it was used for the March Past costumes and practices T.T

Anyway, I was late for the assembly! Everyone was waiting. Oops. :/

Worse, Sun could not be found nor contacted! I had no idea where she went, since I was at the Arts Room earlier, and she must not have brought her phone with her, cos I called and called but there was no answer :/ Hasrul had gone up to say a few words I think, but I didn’t get to hear him speak. I only arrived after that. Then, they presented me with so many gifts! The Teachers’ Club, the Choir Club, the English Language Panel etc.

I suddenly felt the urge to say something. I always get this strange anxious feeling when I feel there is something that I need to say/do. My heart starts beating really fast and I get a little breathless. They were almost ending the assembly already. Should I say something?

I asked Pn. Koh if it was possible for me to address the students and teachers. Just a few words. It was! :O So they gave me the floor. I thanked all the teachers for their guidance, and making me feel like a part of the SMK PP 14(1) family. Then I thanked all the students; although, this profession is very very challenging, I have had some sweet moments with all of them, moments that I will cherish and bring back with me. So, with the Principal’s permission, I would like to dedicate a song to all the teachers and students of SMK PP 14(1).

And I sang.

In front of everybody! :O

Just the chorus though, from Shila’s Memori Tercipta. I felt the lyrics were very apt:

Di sini jua

Memori tercipta

Walau seketika

Terjalin kasih kita

Mungkin di sini

Kita kan terpisah

Kenangan bersama

Tiada kulupa


When I had finished, the teachers told me they tak puas lagi dengar. (Later on, during the potluck the Teachers’ Club organized for us practical teachers, they requested me to sing again—the full song this time! @.@)

After the assembly, I was swarmed by students who had come to wish me well and say goodbye. Goodness, there were students already crying very badly, with teary eyes and runny noses. When I see that, I always feel like crying too. 😦 It made me sad, but it felt good to hug all of them, tell them not to cry, and to wish them the best in their studies.

I had some time before my classes, so I took the time to go round handing out the gifts that Sun and I bought for our guru pembimbing and Pn. Koh and a few other English teachers. Very small and simple gifts, as a token of appreciation for everything they’ve done for us 🙂 I felt quite sad and extremely grateful to Pn. Koh, but the usually stoic Sun actually cried! :O Understandable though, because Pn. Koh is one of the nicest, sweetest, most thoughtful person I have ever met. She “took care” of us more than our own guru pembimbing did, frankly :/ I will truly miss her 😦

I settled all the last minute matters, like handing over all my books and PBS sheets to Pn. Kartini and Pn. Shahril. I gave them my “work”sheet of when I recorded every time the students handed in their work to me. I had two columns for each book—for when they are on time, or late in handing in. And black/red-coloured pens for when their work was complete or incomplete. And shaded red boxes for when their work is unacceptably bad/shoddy. And also the complete list of everything that I had done with them in the past 16 weeks. Hope that that helps them to continue from there. 🙂

Also took the time to say goodbye and thank you to all the teachers, and to ask for forgiveness for anything that we might have said/done to hurt them. 😦 The rest, we said our goodbyes after the potluck lunch.


Class with 1 Buck and 1 Best were similar. The program was: 1) Chicken Goggles, 2) Awards Ceremony, 3) Last Words and finally, 4) Song: Count on Me. Both classes were laughing hysterically during the Chicken Goggles game! Uncomfortably loud, however. I was glad they were really enjoying themselves. But at the same time, I cringed every time Hamzah or Aswad screamed with laughter! @.@ I was so afraid of disturbing the other classes >.<

But they really seemed to enjoy the game. The reason why I never played it in class before was because it wasn’t really a language game. It was just an ice-breaking/for-fun kinda game. And it takes up time. More than half an hour to reach the Top 5 =.= I’m glad that they loved it so much though. Maybe they can play that together on their own next time 🙂

Then, I presented the awards. I gave 5 different awards: 1) Best Results (for the person with the highest marks for English for the Mid-Year exam), 2) Most Diligent (for the person who consistently handed in and did his/her work), 3) Most Participative (for the person who is most active and always volunteers in class), 4) Most Creative (for the most artistic person) and 5) Most Courteous (the student who is most polite and often offers to help me carry my things) 😀

For 1 Buck, the winners of the Awards were:

1) Ilham

2) Maisarah

3) Hamzah

4) Iffat

5) Azrina

And for 1 Best, the winners were:

1) Hannah

2) Nabihah

3) Aswad

4) Nisa

5) Hilman


I enjoyed giving them gifts of “certificates” and choki-choki chocolates and jellies 😛

Then, we had the Last Words. Speaking to them, I actually felt emotional, and for BOTH classes, there was a moment when I almost couldn’t speak because I was about to cry. But “thanks” to the boys who kinda made fun of me and some of the girls crying, I did not really cry. Couldn’t, really. When the boys made it into a funny matter =.= (Everything’s always funny with them >.<)

Then we sang the song together, took some photos. And that was it. My last two classes for my practicum! 😀

Now that it has ended, I can look back and see that I have learned a lot from this experience. It has been challenging, to say the least. Every single day was a challenge. It was exhausting, and frustrating. But we can only learn new things when things don’t go smoothly, isn’t that right? 🙂 I have learned from my kids, how to handle them, how to control them, how to draw them in. And I have tried my very very best to give them everything I had. I know I still have a lot to improve on, but it warms my heart when my kids tell me, “Teacher, you’re the best teacher I have ever had!” :’)

And they gave me such lovely gifts too! Here are some pictures:


Isn’t it all worth it in the end? One day, I hope to see them, successful and happy. I would be proud to say that they were my students, once. I sincerely wish them the best, and success.

We’ll keep in touch. On Facebook! 😉

One chapter of my life has ended, but another opens up. To new challenges, and new learning experiences!



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! 😀


Day #78 – 4 July 2012

Dr. H came today.

I was so nervous because I didn’t know. Sun had her class first, and I was expecting a call from Dr. when she arrived so I can show her to Sun’s classroom. But no call came.

I got worried that she didn’t come and we’d have to make more arrangements so we can be observed on Friday—which I totally did not want because I wanted so badly to sad goodbye to my kids and have one lesson of fun and games as the final one before I say goodbye :/

I needn’t have worried. She came, alright.

Oh, dear. I had a very antsy half an hour between knowing she was here and I was definitely going to be observed today, and my lesson.

I was a bit unsure of today’s lesson because I didn’t really know what to expect. I was a little worried that I had overestimated the time a little bit and that I might not have any activities to do to fill the time. At the very least, that would count for poor time management. Yikes. :/

Anyway, for the induction, I asked Hamzah, very sternly, to “Close the door” and “Sit down” then told the rest, “Keep quiet!” That certainly got their attention for a while! xD But it was only so I could write those sentences down and explained that these were directives/commands/instructions—sentences that had an action word as the head of the sentence. I had initially planned for just a few minutes discussion to get examples from students, but extended it instead, because I thought then it would be clearer for them, what directives are.

Then we moved on to the PBS worksheet. There were incomplete instructions on how to make a paper plane, and I gave them recycled papers to make the paper planes with as visual aids. I taught them vocabulary like “fold” “crease” “bottom right corner” “top left corner” etc. Then we were supposed to work out the rest of the instructions together. For example, “What can you see in the picture? What can we write as instructions? What do you call this corner?” etc.

However, since it’s instructions to make a paper plane, which, almost everyone knows (duh!), some went ahead and made the paper plane. But that’s not what I wanted. What I wanted was for them to come up with simple instructions on how to make one. @.@ The reason I chose a paper plane was because it was simple enough for them to focus on just forming the sentences/directives and not on the how.

Anyway, that took less time than I expected and I was left with too much time on my hands! Had a minor panic attack, trying to figure out what to do next! >.< Thankfully, I had the next activity.

Honestly, it was by God’s grace that I had this activity in my lesson plan. See, last night, as I was going through my lesson plan in detail once more before my observation today, I was struck with this thought that I had overestimated the time. It wouldn’t take as much time as I had specified in the plan. So, as a last minute decision, I added another small activity into the plan, which meant that I had only printed the new amended lesson plan just this morning and pasted it over the one I had prepared before.


Because that activity was what saved me! Since the objective was so students would be able to write simple instructions, I thought to really assess that, they could also do it orally. So what I did was create a scenario where they would do a mini role-play. The situation is like this: A boy/girl desperately needs to know how to make a paper plane because his/her nephew is crying for one. He/she calls a friend to find out the instructions on how to make it.

In my plan, I had wanted only one pair of volunteers. But Hamzah and Harith were such a riot that I decided to call more pairs up to act, to fill in the time. Thankfully, I also had enough sweets to give all of them as reward! 😀 For the next two presentations, I had 3 people each, with one more even acting as the baby! xD The boys were naturally witty and funny, as always. The two girls, however, were too soft-spoken, and when the class couldn’t really hear them, they became bored and restless and noisy. Something I could not really handle very well. Hm, either I reduce the number of volunteers, or choose the boys for these kinds of presentations.

Anyway, that brought me back on track in terms of the time. 🙂

For the final activity, I made them listen to instructions to make a Double Hearts Bookmark. But I didn’t tell them what we were making, though. They had to listen carefully and follow the instructions carefully if they wanted to find out! xD

THAT, however, took longer than I expected. Many had trouble with some of the steps, because it was definitely not as simple as making a paper plane. I kept reminding students to help each other. Some were alright, but some just left their neighbour flailing, trying to figure out how to get the step right. Maybe I should have more help-your-partner kind of activities next time, to nurture a more caring attitude. Some of them are just so selfish! @.@

Anyway, because I didn’t have much time, I kind of rushed through the last few minutes for the closure! >.< Didn’t end as well as I’d hoped. But all in all, the lesson was a success! 😀

Got very good and constructive comments from Dr. H and I was really grateful for her. When she gives you her feedback and suggestions, you know that she only wants you to improve 🙂

At this point, I really want to thank God for everything. I never thought that getting an A would be possible. I doubted myself so much that I didn’t think I had what it took to achieve this, but now, look at me! I did it! 🙂 Everything was just right—the timing, the last-minute amendments, the split-second decisions… They all added up to this moment 🙂

We have been truly blessed, Sun and I. To get this school, to get the classes we have, to get Dr. Melor as our supervisor, to get Dr. H as our second observer. We are so very fortunate. So so soooo very fortunate. Thank you, God!

Dr. H wrote in my Record Book, as her last sentence, “I am proud to have taught and trained you.” Awwww. :’)

I’m (almost) FREE! 😉


btw, These are some of the cards that the students handed up to me from yesterday’s activity 🙂

Day #77 – 3 July 2012

I had an awful day today 😦

Today was a little nerve-wrecking because a second observer might be coming to see me teach. (Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going for the A, so I shouldn’t have a second observer, but………it’s a long story. So in short, I am now going for the A—not really much of a choice—and Dr. H is supposed to come and observe me and Sun in these two days.)

I didn’t have class on Tuesday and Wednesday according to the new timetable, so I had to take some of the periods from other teachers so I could enter 1 Buck to teach them. I tried very hard to adjust the time, but unfortunately, the most convenient time for today was their two PE periods—which I felt really bad about, knowing how much the boys really loved PE. 😦

I didn’t have time to explain to them last week, because our Thursday and Friday lessons were postponed, due to the Sports Day practices. The only way I could inform them was through our Facebook group, and not many actually check there often, I suppose.

So, I was going to enter their class after recess today. I went to the class just before they took off for recess to talk to them, and request that they come back to class on time, please. Just in case Dr. H comes.

They were all crowding around me after their teacher left, and I told them the news. Some of the boys, who obviously had not known that their beloved PE periods were going to be taken, immediately reacted: “Alaa, apa lah Cikgu ni!” “Cikgu ni, kenapa ambik masa PJ?!” and their faces showed, very clearly, how displeased they were about the arrangement.

I don’t exactly know why, but I got very angry. I was practically begging for their help. >.<

And besides, is that the way to talk to a teacher? I was already feeling very bad for taking their PE periods, but if I had any other choice, I would take it >.<

I quite angrily remarked that this would be my final week here and that after this, I will never kacau them again. That this would be the LAST favour they would ever have to do for me. Would that be fine with them?

I was really upset with what they had said, and how they had reacted. It’s not like I was doing this for fun. It’s not like I have nothing better to do than to steal all their periods and enter their class. It’s not like I want to enter their class that badly, anyway. >.<

I was so mad when I told Sun about it. But after a while, I felt bad for scolding them. It was their initial reaction to finding out their favourite time of the week was taken away. I guess I can get that. :/ But that still does not excuse the way they spoke to me. And I just didn’t like the way they made me feel, when I just had the very best of intentions, and even the decency to feel bad for taking their PE periods 😦

But you know what was worse?

How they were in class. They showed me, unabashedly, how unhappy they were about me taking their PE. They were uncooperative, noisy, disrespectful. Every few minutes, they were walking around the class and doing their own thing without bothering about me, standing in the front trying to conduct a decent lesson! I had to keep going, “Hamzah, can you please sit down?” “Amir, why are you walking around?” “Haris, SIT DOWN!”

It was frustrating! They would give me this, this……face, and then ignore me! It was tiring, and…….hurtful. I felt that I had no respect from them whatsoever. It was very painful to realize that.

Anyway, I tried to teach, but kept hearing students talking in the background. I had some nice activities planned for them, but it was so difficult to carry out! >.<

What I had planned for this lesson was, to be able to write short wishes/greetings in a get-well card. So, for the input part, I gave them the five parts of a simple get-well card that I analyzed from a sample and came up with myself:

1. Greetings: eg. Dear…….

2. Sympathies: eg. I am sorry to hear about/that…

3. Wish/Advice: eg. I hope you get better/recover soon! or You should be more careful next time/rest more and drink lots of water.

4. Parting comment: eg. Hope to see you in school soon! I’ll come visit you sometime!

5. Sign-off: eg. Sincerely, Lisa (signed)

So, after writing this on the board and giving them more examples, I told them to fill in their worksheets with the appropriate sentences, referring to the ones we had discussed on the board.

For the next activity, I thought it would be fun for them to draw lots to get a cartoon character to whom they would “write” a get-well card to—which they will present orally. They have to make sure they have the 5 parts of a get-well card. And they can make it as creative/funny as possible! For example, if they drew the lot for Popeye, they could say something like, “Dear Popeye, I am sorry to hear that you have come down with the flu. You should eat more of your favourite spinach! Hope to see you soon. Sincerely, Lisa.”

Each volunteer would receive a small reward—sweets! 😉

The boys were excited to volunteer and try out, which was good 🙂 And they seemed to be able to do well, though they kept referring to what I had written on the board. Maybe I should’ve erased it off. But I didn’t want them to be left completely on their own either :/ Anyway, things were going well. The boys were doing great, then I had girls to come up and present as well. They were shy, and their voices were too soft, but they knew what to say too 🙂

Still, there were many of them still walking around and doing their own thing, or talking and not really paying attention to what others were presenting that I had to keep shushing them and walking around to stop the noisy ones from talking. It’s so very hard to concentrate, have you ever felt that? >.<

It was then that Ezzul, the monitor, came up to the teacher’s table and just said, “Teacher, I want to go to the toilet. I want the pass.” I was annoyed because quite a number were walking around and not really focusing on the lesson, so I told him NO and to sit down first. Do you know what he replied to me?

Alaa, Cikgu. Pergi tandas pun salah ke?

And believe you, me. It wasn’t in a very nice way. It was in an irritated, angry tone, complete with angry frown and hand gestures.

I was furious. Is that the way you talk to a teacher?

Honestly, it was very hurtful. I scolded him, saying that it wasn’t the first time he had talked to me in such a disrespectful manner, and I was tired of it. I asked him if he talked that way to other teachers, he said no. So what was so SPECIAL about me that he has to talk to me that way? Treat me this way?

It’s not like I want to demand respect, but tell me I don’t deserve to be spoken to in a civil manner? Tell me I don’t deserve to be treated with some common courtesy?

And it’s true; they don’t treat other teachers like that, but they do to me? Why? WHY?

I felt the tears coming. I handed him the pass without another word. Tried to take deep breaths without making it too obvious that I was about to cry.

Thankfully, Rayymond had paused earlier when I was scolding Ezzul, but had resumed his presentation the moment Ezzul had left with the pass. So I had the opportunity to jump right back in. :/

Lesson resumed. After half an hour of that, I gave them coloured paper and asked them to create a get-well card for a friend, or even one of the cartoon characters that came up earlier during the presentation. They could cut, colour, design the card however they like, and write to whoever they like, whatever they like, as long as they made sure that the message had the five parts that we had learned earlier.

I was glad for this activity, because students were more quiet as they worked on their cards. And I also liked the fact that it gave some of the more artistic+creative students a chance to shine 🙂

Lesson-wise, I think I was able to give them enough input on how to write a get-well card. Even more than was provided in the PBS worksheet. From their presentations, they seemed to understand the five parts of a get-well card we had learned, which is great. However, I think I should have erased the notes on the board so they had no choice but to depend on themselves. My rationale for leaving the notes on the board was as a form of scaffolding. I guess it just occurred to me that I could have erased the examples, but left the main skeleton on the board! Silly me! =.= Anyway, they seemed to enjoy the presentation part, as well as the creating-cards section.

But I can’t shake off the feeling that my students don’t treat me with enough respect/politeness. Sometimes, I think that they genuinely don’t know they are being rude/disrespectful. Sometimes, it’s because they’ve been allowed to get away with it for too long. To be fair, not all of them are like that. Most of the girls are fine. It’s just, some of the boys…. >.<

I was quite hurt today by their behaviour. I didn’t know how badly until I felt tears welling up. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. Or maybe, it’s the cumulative effect of having been treated this way the entire time I’ve been here.

It’s already my last week. I thought things would get easier. But it seems that I still lack control over my class. And because of that, I feel that the lesson I conducted today was a failure not in terms of content, not in the delivery, but in the extraneous factors—class control. If I could control my class better, there would be less distractions and those who really want to learn, can truly learn and receive the full input.

I can’t help feeling like I am a failure as a teacher. It reminds me of my 2 Gem days, when some of the good boys had told me that they felt like they couldn’t really learn properly in class because of some of the problematic students who disrupt the class. I should be able to control these students, and I have to learn to control them, for the sake of the other students. Basically, I control the learning environment in the classroom. Seen that way, when I don’t, or can’t control these difficult students, I am failing the rest as a teacher.

Maybe I’m just not cut out to be a teacher. 😦