Sunday, May 21, 2006

The One about a Song
(sung to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean")

My Baby she wants my attention
My Baby she just won't go to sleep
My Baby she cries when she needs moo moo
Oh heck, she cried whenever she needs

Vernice Oh Vernice
Oh please give daddy and mummy some sleep some sleep
Vernice Oh Vernice
Please don't poo or pee, after you have been cleaned.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The one about Failing

I have not associated myself to students failing badly in IJ and it came as a culture shock the results that I have gotten so far. Colleagues offered words of encouragement. Infact they were pretty non-chalant about it, some were looking at the analysis and said that the results were quoted unquoted “satisfactory”. Difference in results, difference in standard and so different in expectations. I was immersed in a culture where students good results were a given, and I guess it is also the type of school culture that I was in, and the calibre of my students then.

Then again, much as I would like to give them a pass grade, based on my compassion as a teacher who witnessed how hardworking and motivated they were, I am bounded by my professionalism and integrity to reflect the full nature of their results.

Faces changed when they received their examination scripts. No gleeing in joy, just blank looks or looks of disbelief. A penny for their thoughts – the worry of facing their parents with high expectations, who find their hopes dashing with every fail grade their child get.

Starkly contrasting in classes and attitude - Disappointment, anger, frustration and silence versus “bo-chup”ness( couldn’t-care-less attitude) and oblivion. Have the students got so used to the negative thoughts that failing was almost by default? No matter what they do, the elusive pass will remained ELUSIVE. In fact it was the catchphrase of the day “I failed”.

Some said Humanities is a difficult subject to comprehend, difficult subject to study and memorise, difficult to understand and most importantly difficult to score. I couldn’t agree with it less. But then again, to coneveniently chuck this as a reason would be merely looking for excuses. Guess students and teachers alike just have to overcome this setback and try again, and if failed, try again, and again and again.

There will definitely come another time, another day, where maybe the same scenario will be, but whether I would have the same thoughts is an issue that I am still grappling with…

Monday, May 15, 2006

The One about All about Vernice

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The One about Happy Mothers' Day!

To two of the three most important women in my life

Happy Mothers' day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The One about Random Thoughts and Comments

Thought #1
The school turned "grave-yardish" even before 5.00 pm these couple of days. For the discerning, this is the period of the mid year exams. As a KAH who hadjust joined the school a couple of months ago, the school was buzzing with activities and the staff room would usually be bustling after 6.00pm. Maybe it is due to the mid year exams - the kids are mugging, parent-teachers or teacher-parents are rushing home to supervise their kids.

Enjoy the bliss of peace, said one colleague. For when the marking come, the tight schedule will suffocate you. For me, it is not too much of a difference. I will be marking throughout the long weekend.

Comment #2
A student asked during my revision with them for the History Sec 2 Mid year.
"cher, during the second world war, India under where?"
I have to stop and control from bursting out in laughter. The class was not so tolerant; they burst out laughing non stop and it took me a whole 5 minutes to settle them down again.

Comment #3
A colleague proffered his nugget of wisdom on dealing with wayward kids. You either give them T-L-C (Tender Loving Care) or R-L-C ( Right Left and Centre)

Comment #4
"class, do you know what is a metro-sexual?"
"Cher, i know i know, it is ah-kwa!"

Thought #5
A colleague never failed to giggle when she see me. Out of curiosity I ask her why. The answer was not really flattering. "Oh because you very funny, like the 周星驰! (Stephen Chow)" I guess I am in the wrong profession, should have join the loser show on Channel 8 "永不言败 "

Thought #6
A student raised his hand to get my attention. As I was standing by his side, he asked "cher, must I use what I have learnt to answer the question?" I replied "if not, what are you planning to use?"

After apparently an hour, the one student raised his hand, frantically to get my attention. he pointed to one of the question and asked, "cher i don't agree to this question, can I answer my own question?"

Pretty amazing the type of questions they ask...

The kids, the teachers here sometimes do bring smiles to me and my stressful life :P

Monday, May 08, 2006

The One with the Screaming and Shouting

Throughout my 6 years plus teaching experience, I have never experience a class so disunited and so disinterested in studies. Engaging them seem to be my biggest challenge, you know as teachers, you walked out of a hour lessons, drenched in sweat, feeling a bit of soreness in your throat, and you know that you have tried so much your best in giving your very best in a class. This class never failed to have this "miraculous effect" on me.

I do agree that I am not a very interesting teacher but it is a challenge to engage them when half of the time there will be disruptive behaviour - whether it is a curt remark, a snide comment, flying pencil cases/ pen caps, or even non-sensical laughter. I have to admit I do dislike the class especially a couple of them who are recalcitrant cases never failing to get onto your nerves.

An incident happened today in class, Boy A was in class putting his head on the table when I was busy trying to highlight the key ideas for the students for the midyear exams. After warning him not to do that in class for upteenth times ( from putting his head on the table to sitting with 2 legs of the chair with head supported by the classroom wall) I lost my temper and asked him to get out of the class and stand outside. In an act of defiance, he kicked his chair and banged his hand on the table. This incensed me and I told him louder to get out of the class, not before warning him to take the notes out with him and followed the lesson from outside of the class. Upon reaching the corridor, he put his head again on the locker top which of course was corrected angrily by me.

It was only after ALL these, that one boy told me, "cher, A not feeling well, he a bit feverish..."


Anyway to keep the long story short, I reprimanded the class for not telling me when I warned A not to sleep in class the very first time. And of course I got the student back in class and in front of the whole class, apologise to him...

Could I have handle this better? Did I let my "flawed" perception got the better of me?

What will you have done?
The One with the change in me

Sometimes people realise they change when they have other priorities in their lives. All the while, my career was always the utmost one. However when Vernice came into our life in the form of a little thing in my wife's tummy, I still did not have the full impact. Work, Friends, family still took priority in the following order. Then when I witnessed her, I realised what I want more than anything else - to be able to see her grow up to be a fine lady. I realised I have changed, my focus have changed, my priorities have changed, my perspective have changed.

I know I have been blogging alot on my little bundle of joy. She can be a bit of a handful especially with her irregular sleeping hours and her unforseen and highly unpredictable "big and small business". It has been tiring, however it is going to be as happy a journey we can experience, amidst the black panda eyebags and incessant yawnings throughout the day.

But then again, what's that compared to the happiness i got. :)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The One with the Candle Light dinner @ the hospital

I never realised that hospitals provide this service. but it was a pleasant surprise. I guess it is a ceebration of many: 1) Our ROM anniversary, 2) the birth of Vernice as a new addition to the family, and 3) sadly the end of couplehood. But I am quite sure it would be a most wonderful experience.

Last night, the two of us enjoyed a belated celebration. It was a nice leisurely dinner with talks on our aspirations, our dreams and of course our hope for our little baby. The two of us were equally excited about embarking on our new phase of life.

Our candle light dinner

Check out the spread. It was not hotel standard but it was a great experience.

Anyway i have put pictures on Vernice's blog. U know the link?
The Ego One