Saturday, 26 January 2008

Peace reigns

On Wednesday, I went back to that darn class with a vengeance.

The moment I stepped into that class, I pointed to those few rascals, including a girl, and asked them to sit at the back of the classroom, because 'I don't want to see your face!"

It was peace and quiet for me for the last two days. :)

I believe in according respect to people who deserve it. And I believe that I should first show others respect if I want respect from others. But these kids have not given me the respect that I deserve although I've been respectful to them. So off they go.

The bag-boy is starting to like me. He's realised that I don't blacklist him like some teachers do. And I'm impartial. I scold whoever gives trouble, even the monitor and monitress. I don't accuse him of things he didn't do. He doesn't have alot of mood swings in my class compared to my colleague's. A colleague was surprised that he is willing to do work even.

He's not stupid. I feel that he probably believes that he's incapable of learning, and that's why he gives up without trying. I hope I can motivate him to be on the fringe of passing at least.

Monday, 21 January 2008

A kid called me 'siao!'

A P5 girl called me 'siao!' aloud in front of her classmates today.

It started after I threw her book back at her. She wasn't paying attention and was constantly amused by the boy next to her. As a result, after my going through of the answers twice - one written and one verbal, she still gave me rubbish.

I wasn't exactly very upset, but I had to retaliate,"You then siao! You say that the location is no good and you are choosing that location."

I didn't even want to greet them goodbye nor did I want them to greet me. I ran out of the class the moment the bell went off. I just didn't want to see them.

I'd thought that they might be better than some of the P5s I've encountered in other schools since they are supposed to be in the 2nd 'best' class. Apparently, they are the same kinda idiots who only demand that you respect them and not want to give you any respect.

To think I went online to do research on the topics I'm teaching them. To think I actually put the information on powerpoint slides so that it's easier for them to digest and is more attractive to them. To think I tried to make the lessons interesting. To think I went to find interesting clips on the atomic bombing effect. F those ingrates! From now on, I don't want to be nice to them anymore. I'll just lecture to them from the book. They are just not worth it.

Sunday, 20 January 2008


I'm just very amused by my little big girl.

On our way home from the library earlier on, just as we were about to reach our flat, she said,"I discover that some of the boys like me."

Curious, I asked,"Oh, how do you know that they like you?"

Without any hint of shyness, she replied,"They try to hold my hand."

I pursued,"Who are the 'they'? And how did they 'try' to hold your hand? Did the teacher say,"Hold your partner's hand'?"

She clarified,"They are Gregory, Joshua ... (and a bunch of boys' names which I can't remember). The teacher didn't say that. They come very near me during recess and try to hold my hand. When (her best friend) goes away, they come and sit beside me. Then they'll put their hand beside me and try to hold my hand, but I move my hand away. When (her best friend) comes back, they say 'bye bye' and go away."

So cute!

Incidentally, I was checking my email when I saw a facebook request from an ex-student. I consented to it and went into her facebook profile, and subsequently, her blog.

She is a typical neigbourhood secondary school girl, using the f word and other conventional terms a teenager 'should' be using. It's funny how fast they've grown. She's already in sec 3 this year. From her blog, I went to another ex-student's blog. And he's got a girlfriend. My my! And they are not afraid to show it all ... I mean, their statement of love, profession of "I love you"s. Simply typical of teenagers who think love is all what life's about.

No time

I haven't got the time to blog. I've been occupied with the menial jobs and manual tasks that come with the title of an English level rep, so much so I don't even have the time to mark although I stay in school from 7am to 4pm. I'm literally swamped with work every second. Did I mention I have my first meal at 4.30pm very often? Because I simply don't have the time to eat. I even have to run, literally, to answer my nature call. Yes, and only once at that, because I don't have the time to drink much water either.

The principal finally shared about the Grow package. It's abit different from what I thought it was. Apparently, there would be some 'goodies' if we choose to opt into the new scheme in April. Well, it's better than nothing. And there isn't much choice to it. It's basically a choice given to you, with the option taken out.

At school, the 'bag boy', as William calls him, is starting to get better. I kinda win him over a bit. I wanted to laugh when I feigned ignorance at the reason why his mother wanted to scold him just because I get him to stay back in school to finish up his work,"Oh dear ... why are you crying? Why should your mother scold you? You're just staying back to finish your work. Oh dear ... stop crying. I'll explain to your mother ... oh dear ..."

I realise that this boy does want to please teachers. He's not that slow in the intelligence department either. He needs alot of assurance that he's on the right track. He needs some praises.

I hope that I can get him on my side real soon.

At the school level, we're going to have a level remediation program, which I can't quite agree with. It gives everybody alot of work and makes everybody accountable for the children's results. Within two weeks, we're supposed to fix our targeted group of children, come up with a curriculum on a remediation program and complete it with individual detailed lesson plans and worksheets for every remedial lesson we have with the kids. I think it's unreasonable to expect so much to be done by two persons within a span of two short weeks. And the amount of workload that adds on will just demoralise everybody. I doubt it'll be effective.

Why can't the ministry see that teachers are also human beings who have morale to be boosted? We're just thrown heaps and heaps of work, and most of them meaningless and laborious at that, just because we believe in some idealism. Why can't changes in the education system be good? Why can't changes to the benefits for the education officers be good? Why are they 'never good', as put by one of the teachers who has taught for over forty years? Why are we never given a voice? Why are we never properly represented so that the public knows what kinda injustices we've been suffering? Why is our education system being dictated by people who know nuts about children and a decent education? Why should our children be struggling with the curriculum if our curriculum is effective? Why should we need Enabler program, LSProgram, remedial program, supplementary program if our curriculum is right for our children? Why should teachers battle with time just so that they could complete the curriculum 'on time'? Why should the enrichment and tuition centres be laughing all the way to the banks if our curriculum is designed around our children's needs instead of our children around the curriculum?

People ride on the moral high horse and chide teachers who are in the job for the money. What's so bad about being in the job for the money? Who doesn't work for a livelihood? It's people who harbour aspirations and ideals who go to the asylum. I don't want to add to that statistic. I want to remain sane and have time with my Coco. I don't want to take my frustrations that this job brings on her.

It's the menial and meaningless parts of this job that make me realise that I do want to 'teach'. I like the children. I feel for them and I want them to do well. I like to be in a classroom. Despite doing all the crap, I still want to think of better ways to reach out to them where contents are concerned. I still want to dress up the classroom with their works. I still want to make them feel proud of themselves, even their birthdays.

A friend suggests that I look around after my bond is up. All I want is to teach, yet 'teaching' as defined by the ministry is so different from what most teachers desire.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008


I was stepping into the library to look for Coco at the children's section when a Mainlander stopped me in my track and asked if I could help translate the conversation between him and the librarian.

It turned out that he wanted to use the internet at the library. So after some hassle, he finally got onto the internet, but just as he was connected, he asked,'IQQ ne?' I got a shock and was wondering if he meant 'ICQ'. A guy from the opposite answered,'You can't use it on the computer here. You need to go to internet cafes.'

So it ended with the mainlander asking if I could tutor him English when he learnt that I teach for a living and I saying no and with him wasting a good fiver on an internet service which was as good as being useless to him.

William and I had an argument over the issue over whether we should help such people. He insists that people from PRC can't be good people but I feel sorry that they are helpless although they appear to have a genuine wish to learn English.

We argued over every possibility of what the mainlander could be after, ie. sex, money, and every reason why we should or shouldn't help them, ie. we may get ourselves into unnecessary trouble, no time, they can't afford the rate, no way we can lower so much ...

I don't know if it's right of us to assume that every mainlander is unkind. I did write on a forum that all men and women from the Mainland are cheaters because I had a very unpleasant experience with them - they cheated me of $10 and accused me of giving too little. I later read from the papers that they were of a syndicate made up of their own kind. From then on, I tell myself never to trust them ever again, especially when it comes to money.

But is it right to make such dangerously biased assumptions because of one very unpleasant experience?

Friday, 4 January 2008


All of a sudden, the number of visitors leapt, well, considering that I'm just about the only visitor to my own blog, the number does look significant to me. It turned out that my post MC King comes under some sort of furious search today, because the celebrity MC King passed away suddenly this afternoon.


Would like to air my grouse about my job obviously.
I'm quite, ok, it's 'very', upset about what transpired during yesterday's Contact Time. We were told that childcare leave ought to be 'planned' and not applied on the same day that you take it. I'm shocked to hear this and couldn't believe my ears because in all honesty, I've tried so hard not to take childcare leave. For goodness' sake! Kids fall sick almost every other day and we only have 5 miserable days of paid childcare leave. And who can predict or anticipate if his kid would have a fever surging at 39.8 degree celsius the next morning?!! I think it's preposterous and highly ridiculous to expect us to 'plan' for childcare leave. I'm thoroughly, positively upset!

What followed was: we are not supposed to apply for urgent private affair leave or take MC on Monday and Friday, reason being it would give us long weekends!!!

I think it's unreasonable. Plain unreasonable. Pathetic job, man!

Crazy morning

Whew! It's been a messy morning.

The day started with me walking towards the MRT station and William called me to tell me he was locked in the house. I had to go back to open the door for him. I was quite grouchy because it kinda spoiled my morning.

At my workplace, I only got to collect some reading test papers this very morning, and I just got to know that the 'banding' that they mentioned is not what I thought it was. This particular test has a banding system on its own and nobody's told me about it! And I didn't even know that this test comes with a reading passage on which students are not supposed to write on - if that's the case, then for goodness' sake, DON'T PRINT 'NAME', 'CLASS' AND 'DATE' ON THE COVER PAGE!!! At the same time, I had to sort out the issues of a missing class' deskcopies while struggling to verify if the old '3A' represent the current '3 Persistence' and so on.

And I don't know what's got into me. I kept thinking that 12th has passed and so I threw away the old timetable which is supposed to be valid until today. I went to the wrong class, just to have my department head telling me that we are to follow the old timetable still. I just came back from another class I was supposed to be at but wasn't because I don't have my timetable with me, and I was late for the class for 25 mins when it's a 30-min lesson!

And in the hall, right after the morning assembly, a student's mother wanted to know what her immobile son was to do during P.E., and another child with a bleeding mouth came to me, asking me what to do with his tooth that's about to drop out! And you have some idiots who raise their hands in the hall just to tell you they don't have a partner when the arrangement is not supposed to be like that in the first place, and they just have to do it when your vp is standing right beside them!

It's been a really crazy morning.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

My high EQ girl

I got home feeling down and discouraged after the last entry, especially when a colleague gasped upon looking at my class list and said,"Oh dear, you got many rascals in your class!"

When I picked Coco up from her schoolbus alighting point, the bus driver called me,"Auntie" (!!!) and informed me that we've to wait for the bus five minutes earlier from tomorrow onwards. I was like "#$%&!*@ Five minutes earlier means sacrificing five more minutes of sleep. Every minute and second is extremely crucial during such an unearthly hour."

That would mean waiting downstairs for the schoolbus at 5.35am. I hope we can make it. As it is, we often go down to the pick-up point only at 5.39am or 5.40am, which is on the dot, and it's already quite a hurry.

I was expressing dismay at the term 'Auntie' when the user was obviously so much older than I was. To make me feel better, Coco said,"But before I went down the bus, when the bus was still at the corner, a small, Primary One girl said,'Look! There is a beautiful lady waiting for you!'"

So cute.

First day of school

School's just ended for the morning session.

The future doesn't look promising. I got a kid who's stubborn as a mule, refuses to communicate with me and doesn't listen to what I say. He openly defied me by doing the opposite of what I asked him to do. With me is his bag. He had refused to follow me to the staffroom and struggled to get my hand off his back. I ended up with a bag in my hand and had to lug it back to my cubicle.

I think he saw through me that I'm actually not fierce. I can't scold him like a particular teacher could, who left him in tears. He simply ignored me.

I'm at quite a loss with him.


Overall, the class is quite pleasant, save for this wretch. I knew I might have problems with him, but I didn't expect it to happen on the first day.

School's reopening

I can't sleep.
I think I'm too excited. It's been a long while since I get morning session. I feel abit lost, overwhelmed, hyper ... a mixture of emotions.

I need to wake up at 5 later to prepare Coco for her schoolbus. I hope my hyper-ness can last till at least 1.30pm.

Rather than tossing and turning in bed, I thought I might as well get up to do something constructive or useful. I got a few things ready, in case I don't remember to pack them in tomorrow, er ... today, like a storybook to read to the kids, the Spelling Stars chart, the medical receipts to claim, and Coco's stuff, like her umbrella, a coldwear, some tissues, and tagged a bookmark on her silent-reading book Animal Farm.

Then it occurred to me that I could blog about how I feel, and here I am.

I was transferring the images from my digi cam when I came across a few that I wanted to upload here and forgot.

This is my wood burning project for my 'O' level Art:
It's copied from Da Vinci's painting 'Madonna and Child'. I took a shot of it because the interior was infested with termites some time ago. I thought I would have to dispose of it and I wanted a piece of memory of it before I totally forgot I did something like that when I was 16. Subsequently, I seemed to have knocked out the termites residing in the wood, so I retained the piece still, until I really have no choice but to throw it away.

We went to Sembawang Beach again on Monday.

It was really fun this time because we went with my elder sister and my fifth sister's family, but William didn't make it because he had something on.

We went to the beach where the kids played a long time with the sand and the water.

It must have been at least an hour before we could get them to change into dry clothes, reluctantly. They went to the playground after that. Coco got to get onto the much coveted swing after standing around, supposedly queuing up for, the swings for quite a while.

After that, Coco went kite-flying, or 'kite-racing' rather. She ran very hard to make the kite fly. Well, it did fly in the sky for a while.

While Coco was busy with the kite, Xavy skated up and downhill along the park's walkway. I was impressed that he's become so competent in inline skating. I still remember how he struggled so hard to stand on the wheels, and was so determined to master skating. He was the youngest in the group. We'd expected him to give up after 10 minutes. We were all impressed (yes, there's no better word to describe how we felt) with his effort and perserverance. My elder sister was especially so. She went out to get him a pair of K-blade skates upon seeing his determination to learn skating.

Later on, we played with a frisbee. It was difficult to capture shots with frisbee though. I only managed to capture the little cutie trying his utmost to master the art of throwing a frisbee.