Saturday, July 12, 2008

Good Morning Ms Kang...

" Good morning teacher..."

"Good morning Ms Kang..."
( after a few days)

"Good morning Pn Kang..."
(which is when I instinctly snapped back, "teacher is not married yet la...", or on some occasions when i enthusiastically mouthed "Miss, Miss" when the whole class when into the unison of "Good morning Pn Kang" when I went into some relief classes"

Sigh, do I really look that old? Or is it maybe my make-up is too gaudy? Vanity aside, I really appreciate all these greetings though. Chee Hwei and I are actually in awe of how courteous the students are in SMK USJ 8. Overall, they are well-mannered and I'm not sure whether it's the school's training or they are very well brought up children who respect teachers. We even witnessed a 90 degree bow from a girl once! It's actually quite uplifting sometimes to be acknowledged by your students at the school corridors and it does serve as a booster to remind myself time and again that I am a teacher now!

I have been assigned to 4 Arif and 4 Cerdik and true to their name, they are all very arif -arif and cerdik-cerdik belaka. Technically speaking, I think I am teaching in a very ideal English classroom where the level of proficiency of the students is generally above average. Gosh, I have so much to pour out now but nothing can make a bigger entrance than my first day at school.

Day 1
It was our official first day at the school and Chee Hwei's Ah Kam ( her white Honda Civic, you must know that she has a habit of calling all of her cars by boys' name, just like one of the blokes who is married to their cars) was cruising on the Federal Highway on the ungodly hours of 6.35am. We decided to play safe to depart earlier since the traffic on the at-times-notoriously congested Federal Highway can be quite unpredictable at times. Anyway, nothing can possibly be worse than arriving late on your first day at work right?

After we had reached the school and parked Ah Kam in a rather inconspicuous spot ( don't want to step on any of the teachers' tails by taking up their parking spot), we were swiftly briefed by the PK 1 and hurried to join the rest of the school for their assembly. I breathed a sigh of relief when we were seated in the last row ( again, wanna keep the low profile) but somewhere in my daydream while gazing at the students in front, I was brought back to reality when the principal made a roll-call on the presence of the new trainee teachers and the rest of teaching staff had a frenzy of encouraging us to introduce ourselves. I stood up sheepishly and Chee Hwei later told me that she was only awaken from her own daydream after seeing me springing to my feet suddenly. The principal further urged us to say something to introduce ourselves and I think that was the first litmus test for us in speaking in front of the crowd. Psst, I think I had a rather silly smile plastered all over my face, be kind, rewind please!

Next, we met the teachers whom we are taking over from and I just hoped that I had asked them all the relevant questions. I went to 4A later after refusing the teacher's offer to chaperone me there as I did not want to think about the students' responses of getting a new teacher in front of their old teacher. Then, I had a taste of how good their English is by the adjectives they have used to describe themselves in assonance with their own names. Come to think about it, "Tenacious Theresa, Advocative Adrian.." just sound like a very promising lot. Overall, the whole ice-breaking session was not too bad but I think they were still missing their old teachers##
p/s : Did I also mention that some boy in my relief class asked me what does "tits" mean. Talking about a red-faced first day!

After that, I started teaching a real lesson when I entered 4C the next day after going through the same ice-breaking activity ( this is the class-control-proof one which most trainees favour). Lesson plans could be a bit of a headache sometimes as we trainees would always strive to do something out of the box. My "Simon Says" activity to teach prepositions did not really work out that well with 4 C, perhaps it was a bit too childish for the big 16-year-old-kids.

On the third day, 4A improved my impression of them because I thought they were a little bit cold on the first day. Overall, I had a rather satisfying lesson with them on the poem If. The kids are responsive and very good in their proficiency, which made my job a lot easier. Besides, I find that they are very attuned to the latest development around the world, eg. 75% of the class had watched The Inconvenient Truth. Thus, I can talk about any issues with them without meeting a sea of blank stares. In fact, they are so smart that one boy even questioned my rationale of asking them to state the challenges that they think they may face when they are 25 as a set induction to the lesson. 4C is also not that bad, but they are also quite advanced in their sexual lingo though. I have to learn to be more careful with my choice of words with them. Come on, who could have thought that threesome is that threesome to 16-year-olds?

Overall, I had my ups and downs on the first week although the downs could be a letdown at times. To sum it all up, these are the things that I have discovered on my first week at work :

1. It may sound repetitive, but I want to say again that it is not easy being a teacher.
2. To teach is to learn twice.
3. I finally understood what ethics mean, I am learning to maintain a professional relationship
with my kids because I think that I am too friendly with some of them at times.
4. Notes on a Scandal is so disgusting to me right now.
5. Preparing questions, i.e. the stem of the questions can be very challenging.
6. My biggest problem is getting all of the students to understand my instructions clearly.
7. And lastly, teaching can be quite fun and I think I am starting to fall in love with my kids.

1 comment:

Labyrinth said...

wow...your students are a dream come true..'tenacious'? on lingos..even 12 year olds have such knowledge, now. Careful on choosing activities that may be too childish for them,kay? Good that you realized that about 'Simon Says'. What's with No. 4? You said something about your unclear instructions?What happened?Sometimes it takes time for the students to get your instructions. They may used to their old teachers' instructions. Give time, kay? If you think you're overly friendly and that's affecting your lessons, do what's neccesary, kay? You may want to check out Ange's dilemma.