Special Watch

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Just do it

Hi hi,
Just a short one to chart me own progress.

Am currently at the 'Just-Do-It' phase, after getting over The Shock in week 1, The Why-Is-It-Happening-To-Me aka Why-Am-I-So-Unlucky aka I-Need-to-Ventilate phase in week 2, The Exhaustion phase in week 3, The Catching-Up-With-Sleep during the 1-week hols or whatever that was left of it. Am glad I finally progressed (or is it degenerated) into Nothing-Can-Get-To_Me-Anymore phase. :)

It kind of came about after I was so so demoralised while sitting in a meeting on what a t'cher should do, to ensure pupils pass their tests, in what was called 'content mastery'. Sigh... Got to do what's got to be done, whether or not I like it or however much I felt against it.

Just do it, and do it to the best of one's own capabilities. Nothing else matters. Anything goes wrong, learn from the experience, don't repeat it, if need to rectify, just go ahead, any new tasks, just take it in one's own stride... Don't think too much. Don't compare. They only make you feel worse. :D

Am also glad the momentum has kicked in and sitting down to work for hours after hours on the pc is no longer a chore. The only regret I might have in future is the deterioration of me perfect eyesight I am so proud of. Sigh...

And most importantly, knowing that friends are also working hard together (although in different places), via msn helps a lot. :P Plus all those exchanges in ideas, tips, sharing, feedback... Hhmmm... I have to count me blessings. :D


Monday, March 13, 2006

Life of a pendulum

Hi hi,
Finally had a power nap, the kind that is deep and long, pretty much like going into a coma. So, am happy now. :)

Life for the past few week has not only been hectic as ever. The emotional pendulum never stop swinging. On some days, life is easy and on others, life is full of struggles. Some days, life is full of laughter, but on others, frustration takes the lead. Some days we deliver energetic lessons, but on others, exhaustion seems bent on taking control. Sigh... And I bet it is fun watching us (the tts) attend meetings/briefings in the afternoons. One after another, we will slip into energy-saving mode and heavy eyelids threaten to slam shut forever. So, we had to take turns keeping one another awake. :P Good thing we are all so united. :)

Learning from the real t'chers
Sat in a really wonderful SS lesson on the conflict situation in Sri Lanka. The t'cher showed a Tamil movie (with English subtitles) titled - 'Kannathil Muthamittal'. The story is about a young girl's search for her mother, who gave her up for adoption because of unrest. The mother subsequently joined the Tamil Tigers. From the movie, the students can see for themselves the shoot outs, the refugee situation, children guerillas in Tamil Tigers etc. Show them the right segments, and visual impact is really powerful. Plus it was a really touching movie. One female student actually cried while watching it. Hhmm...

Having fun in class
Sec 3NA
Made students do skits (in groups) on the benefits and probs brought about by the GR. My, some of them can really do it well, bringing in what they have learnt in previous lessons, although I was so sure they have not been listening in my previous lessons. One of the most problematic boy (never bring his textbook, notebook, and will only take notes after repeated warnings, will walk around in class for no reason, does not own anything in the likeness of foolscap paper etc) acted as the minster mentor to some country's President. Firstly, I was suprised he could bring in what was covered before. Secondly, he created his own role as MM out of nowhere, when I asked what role he was playing because he was talking to the President. I almost died laughing because it came from him. It was a breeze delivering such a class (of course dangling the M & Ms as a prize for the best group helped too). Try it if you have the chance.

Sec 2NA
I think I was lucky that day. Another lesson was a breeze too. Chose a song and took out some words for the pupils to fill up on their own, posing them a challenge to create something better than the original, bearing in mind rhyme scheme and alliteration. Song title:- 'A Whole New World'. I blanked out the word 'World' in the first line that goes 'I can show you the world'. This boy filled in the blank with the world 'toilet'. Hmmm... I know it sounds silly. But the next line actually goes: Shining, shimmering, splendid. And the word 'toilet' is really not out of place there. :P For the rest of the poem, he managed to find words that rhyme and still continue with his toilet theme. Read this wonderful creation to the whole class and everyone was laughing so hard, including my CT. This is certainly one of those lessons I will remember for the rest of my life.

List of confiscated items
1. The usual textbooks or test papers or notes pupils were frantically reading during their mass reading period reserved for novels and National Geo. So boring hor. But the next one is where the fun comes.
2. Eyeliner, confiscated from a Sec 3 boy in my form class, during form t'cher contact time. He was applying it all round both his eyes. Don't ask me why he did it. I am clueless. Gave him the usual tongue lashing when I was almost bursting with laughter. He looked absolutely ridiculous. The next day, the same boy came and ask if he could have the eyeliner back. Mischievous - yes. But also simple-minded, spontaneous and not the sort who bears grudges. This is why I like neighbourhood schools.

Feeling stressed
Everything sounds fun thus far? That's but one end of the pendulum. The other end is full of frustration when pupils do not co-operate, the sense of helplessness when arrows come shooting from all directions, the serious lack of time for both work (lesson planning and digging out resources; marking) and rest/sleep, and also feeling stressed about not performing up to the expectations of different people. Was feeling really drained one day and a student unknowingly spurred me on with this song she sang during assembly - 'I believe I can fly'.

So, this well-deserved break, or whatever that is left of it (after camps and remedials etc), is a time to rest and to replenish energy so that no problem becomes too difficult to overcome. :D Remember: Believe you can fly!

Enjoy the hols, everyone!