Special Watch

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hiking through the country wide

Hi hi,
Hiked from MacRitchie to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with 6 busloads of children, some of them TAF club members. Hmmm.. This will definitely be a 'walk to remember'. Here's the teachers' t-shirt for the event. It is so cool! Unfortunately, there weren't any for us TTs. So, I can only snap a picture and shower glances of admiration over it. Sigh...

And Kim will find this place familiar, where we used to hike from Bukit Panjang to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Just that the new Dairy Farm road linked to BKE has cut across it.

This pict looks good. But can you imagine the bottle neck on the Tree Top Walk, where only 30 at any one time are allowed on? We held up the 'traffic' for so long. But luckily, most members of the public were good natured over it. :P I would be pretty unhappy if I was stuck up there for so long, having no way of retreat since it is a narrow 'one-way street'. But we were lucky to meet understanding people. :)


Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Hi hi,
Ended my day at school in a joyous mood, a change from before. Will leave the reason for this to the end of this post though. :)

Day 1 at SSS (hmmm... dun like the sound of that because it stands for staff suggestion scheme which I have not affection for) saw all of us TTs a little stoned over our time table and over the amount of info about the school we have to process. And I am not referring to the induction which was not done that day. We had some issues with what was assigned us but the SCM managed to justify why things were done in those manner.

For me, I have been assigned CS1 Geog - 1NA, 2NA, 3NA, 5NA; CS2 Lit - 2NA; SS 1NT (pair-teach with contract teacher). I was really sure my hair will turn all white by the end of 10 weeks. Hee, imagine the shock on everyone's faces if that really happens. :) Also, there were lots of adjustments needed, like the 2 week time table they function on, certain days flag raising is done at the quadrangle but other days national anthem is sang in class, lessons after recess involve picking up students from gathering point (can be at quadrangle or the foyer - this one needs a bit more figuring out, especially when we are taking relieve classes, and they have 3 recess periods), the location of classrooms and perhaps others I have not yet discovered. So, teachers got to be info managers as well. :P And I just realized that there is no point in comparing schools, everyone of them are just different. Got to learn to accept that. Also, I have to learn how to lower expectations of students.

Oh, I really love the VP, such a lovely lady. She brought us around the school personally. :) As for CTs, hmmm.... 1 is away at HQ and will only be back next week, the other is a contract teacher whose classes I am taking over, but he is at most an 'acting CT', and the SCM herself who is my Lit CT. I also shadow her for her form class to learn from her how form classes run. She has been really forthcoming and pretty strict with me. So, I am sure will learn heaps from her. Spoken to my other official CT via phone in the late afternoon and we ironed out lots of issues, as well as her letting me know what she wants me to do till she comes back. That's good. Some progress there. A really forthcoming lady as well. :) Yeah!

Day 2, we met the P. He too helped iron out some issues we have. And he really wants to treat us like we are full-fledged teachers, having chances to see how form classes are run. And I worked out when and where I take over from the contract teacher, after speaking with the CT the afternoon before. So, that's good. Need to mug up on content now. The good thing is that, the topic will be Map Reading for both 1NA and 2NA. And Agri for 3NA. Maybe can get stuff from YP. :P So, my hair need not all turn white after all. Hee...

Day 3, began sitting in other teachers' classes to learn from them. Got the following wise advice:-
Always set ground rules before commencing.
Do not continue with lesson if someone disrupts the class/not behaving properly etc. Quell the disturbance there and then.
Insist they write down the assigned homework in their diaries (oh, they have such nice diaries even I was jealous).
Not to assign homework in workbooks or files, because they will never appear in the school again. :)

Will try to sit in more teachers' lessons, whether or not they are my CSs, since this is the only period of time I can do that. :) And teachers here are helpful so they welcome us. :P Cool!

And ah, here comes the fun part. I was looking thru some web resources my CT wants me to download, in the staff room, when the homec teacher came and asked if I wanna go learn cooking from the homec students. All other TTs except for the homec one have gone back. And I was hesitating because I just wanna complete my tasks and go home. But in the end decided to take a look. It turned out to be really fun. Now I know how to make tauhu goreng. :P Yummy. And the students, although nervous, were helpful. This is a really good example of getting students to learn, by getting them to teach. (Don't know if there is a cheem name for it but I don't really care). Students will have to internalize everything before they can teach. :) All the teachers and even the P/VP were rather excited about the whole affair. It ended at 6pm, but I really had fun. In fact, I am looking forward to the challenges ahead now. But first, I must go zzz... I just hope I am not unique in feeling tired everyday.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Another chapter

Hi hi,
For those who have been disappointed with the lack of posts here for the past 1.5 months, aren't you glad to see something new here? :) And for those who have been asking for 'entertaining' posts, hmmm, I can only say that this polar bear cannot be sinking in the mud every other day, can she? But because all of you care enough to drop by to check how I have been getting along, I will try to make your visit worth your while. :)

Ok, this post is mainly to close one short chapter of my training. Another important chapter is about to begin next Monday - practicum. So, to all my young classmates, all the best! Here's something that will either make you laugh or cry. :)
And a rainbow pict I snapped recently.

When things seem gloomy, cold, unforgiving, dark, rainy, just remember that they are merely ingredients necessary for a rainbow you will see if you persevere.

I am also very grateful to the people around me who provided all the distractions these few days (wedding, LOTR 12-hour movie-marathon, shopping, gatherings). If not, I could have become a bundle of nerves and started irritating everyone around me. Ok, I am exaggerating, but I really do not know anything about this school and hence am not sure what to expect. But not to worry, come Monday and I will be too busy to have time for fretting. :)

And what else have I been up too lately? Nothing much apart from finishing assignments, completing the service learning presentation (oh, the video was very well-received, hee), searching for rainbows and gaining weight. This is the calm before the s.... .