Thursday, March 30, 2006

The One with the No Uniform Day

Actually this is a misnomer as it only applies to the students. Teachers in general found themselves in shocking similarities as we donned the school uniforms for the day. As part of the fundraising efforts, the teachers put on the attire of the kids and experience the pride/uncomfortable material/sweat associated with the uniforms.

In fact the teachers found themselves difficult to lift themselves beyond the mentality of the students ( sigh we are wearing uniform anyway) and it was quite difficult to get the students to start lessons, especially when quite a large number were also involved in our school celebrations.
This is indeed quite an eyeopener to me as we dont really have it in IJ. But a rare glimpse for those who want to know how I look like in a similrarly-TJ uniform. :P

I know this picture dont do justice for I have infact slim down alot. It must have been the sushi buffet I had yesterday night with my colleagues. Haha.

Teachers do sometimes entitled to a bit of fun in school, even as "students"...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The One with a god daughter

Guess what? (rhetorical question) I got a god daughter.

And I am really happy about it. I was about to decorate the blog with pretty flowers and sparkling stars but I was too lazy/technophoic to do that.

And Guess what again? I shudders when I think what I have to go through when my baby Vernice is out.

And Guess what again(x2)? It feel nice to love and be loved...
The One about going home late

It's 6.15pm
It's late
And I am still in a deserted corner (ie cubicle) conscientiously doing my work.
And I decided to blog...

Sometimes I wondered whether the school has changed the way I work, or maybe it is the added responsibilities. The school is going to be having some major events for the next 3 days and *shudder* as a KAH, I am actually not involved (read: no planning, little duties etc) in all these whatsoever. Maybe it was because I am new to the school and that's why they had decided to "give me time to adjust" by keeping me out from the hectic work. But I am really feeling guilty as a member of the school for not helping out in this. The whole school and most of the staff are still busy planning/rehearsing/running from place to place/tired. I feel this guilt pangs of being there in school even though I am not really able to do/contribute much at this moment of time.

An irrational thought, I guess.

Your thoughts?

Monday, March 27, 2006

The One about teachers blogging

It is always puzzling that teachers by nature of their profession are always under constant scrutiny. The latest in this whole non-ending issue is about teachers who blog. Being a passionate blogger who happens to be a teacher, I should proffer my 2 cents worth.

Unlike many professions, teachers are not expected to have dual personality. (Not to be mistaken with the psychiatric phenomenon known as schizophrenia.) As teachers, and imparters of values and beliefs, we are supposed to be the one who stand in front of the classroom 24/7. Unlike other professions like an engineer, accountant or even an actor, we are supposed to be smart in decorum, proper in manners and of course lead by example. Let me now spell out the 10 commandments of Teachers.

We are expected NOT to:

1) mouth vulgarities, four-letter words for fear that students will pick up the bad habits from us.

2) skive as students are learning the importance of hard work and striving for excellence from our every day actions.

3) have undesirable hobbies, like playing mahjong, excessive playing of computer games, excess surfing of the internet and buying 4D as students may learn the wrong things for leisure.

4) show any para-political view, or deviant political views, for it may create wrong impressions to students

5) be too apolitical as we want the students to know the good work of our government and how Singapore had developed over the years.

6) buy pirated stuff, ie VCDs, music CDs, DVDs or even do illegal download as we should teach students the right values of being HIP, being Original and saying no to piracy.

7) be under-dressed even when out on the street or even to buy a packet of mee pok from the nearby coffeeshop. Showing anything above the calves are a definite NO. It would be good if your appearance could be distinctively that of a teacher ( for male, long/short sleeve shirt, long pants, leather shoes ( track shoes optional)). This will tell students the importance of attire and respect. Anything remotely look like something that should be worn inside should be *ahem worn inside, away from sight.

8) Hate/dislike the students who constantly give you problems in class. Or for that matter the parents of the students who constantly gave you problems. Students will learn from the teachers the importance of good service and the importance of care and concern. Even though the teacher is literally pulling his/her hair off trying to get this student to hand in work or even to the matter paying attention in class.

9) Speak in Singlish. We are expected to speak ploperly (sic) as students learn undesirable accents or even incorrect pronunciation from teachers which may affect their development in their future endeavours.

10) Say anything bad about your own profession. (opps!) Then we will be able to get more and more aspiring people to join the profession, and suck away their enthusiasm in life and *gasp inject them with cynicism. Then the 10 commandments will apply again. The vicious cycle continues :P

Of course all this are said tongue in cheek. It is however a reality check that sometimes people including ourselves, teachers forgot that we are merely human beings who is just entrusted in a sacred role as perceived by others. In this present society, everybody, with educational qualification has their take on the role of education and the way educator should do. AS such, the expectations on teachers become so immense.

But then again what do I know, sometimes I am constantly reminded that I am providing a service to others. Maybe someone do have to give us a GEMS sometime, for we don’t just go the extra mile, we sometimes go the whole way, back and fro.

And that's my 2 cents worth

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The One about the average day in school

when i finally plonked at my little prison ie work cubicle :p, it was almost 2pm in the afternoon. a couple of fast emails and a hurried lunch i was in the company of my colleagues for a meeting which finally ends at 5pm. Before i can catch my breath and start doing the pile of things on my table, i am rushing the deadline of trying to leave the school before the school lock up. Yes this is the average day in school.

Sometimes in the midst of getting busy, I started to appreciate the Hooke' law of human stress and endurance. As the law state, everyone has a breaking point which will lead to the so-called elastic limit. Anything beyond that is the plastic limit and thing can never be the same again. Not to stress all of you up with all these laws, but what is interesting is that I dont know whether I have reach mine already. Sometimes when I start to sprout nonsense, this might be a thing about people becoming xiao..

being in a new environment is an interesting experience as it gave me the opportunity to put on a different persona. In IJ I was this "ki xiao" (crazy) teacher who never failed to give a lame sarcastic remark at any girl who cross my path. It is also this that make it so easy for the girls to treat me sometimes with little respect, or not that respectful as a teacher and more like a friend. It is also difficult to establish that authority figure stuff especially when I am so pally with the students.

However things are different in this new school, as a relative new comer, a relative unknown, I can choose to be a bit different... u know like those brooding characters in those movies, where the smoke machine seems to work overtime and the whole world seems to move slow-mo around you. I remember 2 weeks ago I was giving a briefing for a trail to the whole entire sec 2 cohort and 1 peiercing look was all it need sto have the hall in perfect pitch silence. Yah 360 students in the hall and all i could hear was the sound of the overworked fans in the hall. In IJ i am sure there will be roaring laughter, as I could never pull it off. Anyway a colleague was so impressed with that, he came over and say, "woah, you sound like an OC giving a mission briefing"

How long I can keep up with this....

Before I degenerate into this:

Only time will tell.....

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The one about random thoughts

Recently I’ve not been blogging, I had not disappeared from the blogsphere or into the atmosphere or into the hemisphere but well.... a teacher got to do what a teacher got to do.

1. Work work work.
Talk about long working hours at work, the excitment related to the new entry into my family life. Not to worry, I’m not facing any problems, well i would say those are all happy problems (sans the long working hours). Just that with new responsibilities come longer working hours (as I shamelessly quoted from "spiderman"), that’s all!

For those who remember me blogging about my in camp reservist training, I also had to burn two weeks just trying and because of that, I had to rush out teaching materials for the relief teacher who covered me when I was not in school. And of course as a KAH ( I am not trying to be vulgar here, but KAH means Key appointment Holder, see how MOE personnel love to use all those acronyms, eg TRAISI and TLLM)

2. Mental Block
Words keep coming out of my head in no coherent manner and sometimes I was too tired to think of what to blog about. I was (and probably still am) at a loss for words. Little knew that I stayed in school till around 7 at times in school. And when there are school activities I was also in school till 9 to 10. And yes this is really a 24-7 job. At times I feel like just plonking on my sofa and watch paint dry, yes this is now more interesting that some of the things and deadlines that I have to do.

I know that much is expected of me and I need to adapt fast. However at times I do feel that I can really adapt if I have a little bit more time. There is even a saying, that if you can survive in this school, you can probably excel in other neighbourhood schools. I am not quite sure of the authencity of this statement, since the previous i taught in is a mission school but I am quite sure peoples' expectation of me is not just merely surviving but also to excel.

3. ...
Well in a different note, I do love the things I do as it made me feel useful. Things are definitely more fast paced here and I have learnt tremendously from the process. However in the midst of all, I do ponder that I have sometimes lost sight of the people I care most, my family, my friends and of course my students. Seems pretty paradoxical at times, contradicting, some will say, I guess this is what happen when you move up.

I know that there are some of you who wanted to keep contact with me, please do, I do want to continue to maintain the link. Don't feel bad about trying to get me, I will try if I can afford the time, and please don't feel offfended if I am too busy, because I am really busy. Drop me a line, a sms and even a call. would really appreciate that.

As for 4/4 I am happy that all of you have embarked on the next phase of your lives. Please do keep in contact with each other even if I am not involved :P. Maybe we can have a gathering in June. Then you all can see my baby Vernice.... :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The One about a Poem

I made the decision
Took the path less travelled
To see the world
To meet new people
To open my eyes

I walked away
Familarity diminished
Sights and Sounds so far behind

Away I am and did
My mind still lingers
Of things so much I held so dear

As I look back
Alas it's not the sights
Things I see beyond
The facades of the pretentious

I walked back
I can't, I don't want
For I see nothing behind...

I am sure this poem made no sense to all of you but it is just a juxaposition of my thoughts. If you can make sense of it, congrats, you are a contemporary poet :)