The One with the results
The mad rush this morning to clear the sec 1-3 results with the Principal before giving out the examination scripts to the kids. As usual the age old issue of "geography-results-better-than-history" and "what-are-we-going-to-motivate-the-students-to-do-better-in-history-so-that-they-will-choose-history" thingy surface..
As usual, I refrained from giving my two cents worth knowing that it is a perennial problem which I will not be able to resolve within my level. :P Sorry for the cynicism at play, but as usual I see this year results as an indication that we, the history teachers are closing the gap if not going on par with the geography results.
Then again the bottomline is still pragmatism - I have seen students who "inherit" the "disdain" of the History subject from their parents who were tortured mentally by some old history teacher fogeys who wear black long-sighted glasses which could magnify a fire from a bush of twigs. It was always "Geography-more-relevant-and-easier-to-score" and "history-is-all-about-the dead-people-and-dead-things" You see things in geography, you learn map-work which ensure that you dont get "lost" running away from your parents or the general orientation of Changi airport and Jurong Shipyard. You understand why people love to go the seaside in the night ( Not just for the privacy but also cooler there!), why the stupid haze is poisoning all of us in singapore and how our economy will be affected because of all these environmental conditions.
Sad to say the recent nuclear testing by North Korea and the 'hoo-haa' in terms of the UN sanctions and US and China and South Korea protests failed to ring a doorbell in the thick head of the kids who feel that this has nothing to do with me - haze -yes , North Korea - no. There is no need for them to learn about how this issue came about, how this was implicated by the past history of these countries. Sad to say Geography 1 History 0
Not that I have anything to complain about it, for there is always the school priorities to look out for. Call me insensitive or call me impassionate about my subject but I would always advocated kids to give up my subjects when push come to shove. Many teachers were aghasted by my lack of passion but I was really grappling with the kids' well being, results and finally school ranking to say the least. I always ask myself that if the kids cant even do well to get a basic advancement to the next level ( EMS to say the least), there is no use for them to appreicate the fine points of the humanities which I so strongly believe in. I told the sec 4 kids that they need to do well in their Maths and Science and most importantly EL so as to advance to the poly of their choice. Forget about the humanities as they would not need it in the poly (they dont even need to count it in their L1R4). So where do humanities stand? At the edge of the cliff I guess.
I know that I will ruffled some feathers, with my frank comments about the realities of the world. Don't get me wrong, it is not that I am not passionate about the subject, it is just that I am being pragmatic about...
Saying that, maybe I should have taken Geography instead :P