2019 is a year of major changes. This is the year I teach a big class of mix ability. I have always deployed myself to teach the weakest of all pupils, but my previous principal insisted that I change.
The challenges I faced teaching the class is small compared to the immense satisfaction I had as I see them grow and progress.
I am glad all of them pass with flying colors in PSLE. I had hope to produce at least 1 A*, and would have create history if I succeeded. Looking back, having pupils in my class fighting for an A* and believing that they could is already an achievement, because most came to me, just passing the subject. I remember the look in their face, when I told them they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, if they fight for A*. No one will expect it from them, no one even talks about it with them. It is a high point in my teaching, when those who are already achieving A did not rest on their laurels and continue to push themselves.
This is also the year, I lost my dad. It was a painful year for him, as his health deteriorated. Care-giving could be tiring and frustrating at times. It is also a challenge trying to juggle work with care-giving. I remembered asking pupils to come back for extra lessons during the June holidays and my dad's conditions took a turn for a worse. I didn't cancel those lessons, and I am only 1 day into the week lesson when my dad passed away in the evening.
Strangely, the feeling of lost struck with me for a while, but the grief went away quite quickly.
I was getting ready to return to school when I suddenly had the symptoms of a heart attack. I went to A and E and was admitted to hospital for 3 days. Luckily, its a false alarm and the doctor said the cause could be due to the nerves at the neck being strained.
My health in 2019 was really bad. I had difficulties breathing and need to be put on inhaler. My annual health check also show red flags regarding the liver.
However, I was generally still grateful and happy for the year, as I prepare the biggest change in my worklife. I decided to step down as a HOD and prepare to be a senior teacher. The building up of the portfolio is quite painful as I hate report writing. The OPEN Class experience is also a painful one.
But as I wind down the year, I realize I am happier, looking forward to 2020.
However, perhaps because I grown so close to some of my pupils (I would think the feelings might not be mutual), I actually missed them, and I am quite surprise and sad that some did not come over to talk to me or say good bye during the day of results release.
I ask my wife to bring my son, niece and nephew to visit the "playground". It is actually just that, with competition of SPARK at suntec which is within walking distance.
There is also bounce, concept or thematic playground.
None of the kids prefer Nerf over the other 2 experince.
I interview my wife and the kids in detailed. I think they make poor business sense. First, the place is small, and hardly crowded. (Granted it is a weekday, but hey, it's the holiday)
Second, out of 4 stations, only one is about shooting experience. There is a high element course, which I thought is common and can be seen anywhere. (U can find it at the zoo, not I am not kidding)
The unique experience of "compete" of shooting , need to be booked in advance and is fully booked when my wife and kids went over. Luckily the guide let them in for a quick game. Otherwise, there is totally no Nerf experince.
My kids prefer bounce at cinesleisure or spark at suntec.
My business sense is if nothing is changed for the experince, I have doubts over its survivability, nevermind profitability.
I had wanted to acquire Kingsmen as a possible turnaround play. Now, I passed.
Recently, I was considering a career move. Due to a recommendation by a friend, I explored a partnership in a potential venture.
The discussion didn't end well. I gave the matter some.thoughts and decided to talk to more people.
After that, I realised I might be jumping from one hot pan to another.
Made me feel better although nothing much has changed. I do not think I will continue that venture.
Another blogger made me realise there is a big difference being wanting to start your own business and wanting to be self-employed.
So... I decided to be manwhore one more time. Since now I have a different boss and going to have a different job scope next year.
I given up my chance for any future promotion or pay increment with this lateral movement to another job scope. But I am very happy.
Today, I finished my last appraisal work. No more. While I know there will be plenty of challenges in the future, I know I will be more at peace. Better to do what I am good at then trying to convince myself that I can do something I no longer believed in well
I really like the 3 questions Jack Ma asked himself. What do I have? What can I do to what I have? What I am willing to give up for what I have.
I know what I am not willing to give up just yet. So is time to shut down and be at peace.
I might still keep that option open and look it for various angles.
Here is a picture I find really interesting.
The grass is always greener at the other side; there is always a more shitty job.
It's been 3 years since I start asking my P6 pupils to make name cards for themselves. I told them to think of what they like, and that the job they want need not exists in reality. I quoted past years examples like Pokémon Trainer and Hacker.
This year is really fun. The session is a good opportunity for me to talk to them about their interests.
This year, the choices are more varied and interesting. I have
1) Kept Man
2) Housewife ( Although I think they are referring to Tai Tai)
3) Gym manager
5) Female pilot
7) Game Streamer ( Something I learned)
9) Ah long (She keep saying "legit one, legit one")
It is really fun talking to them. One very guiet girl designed a name card of a singer with a studio company. She looked up at me and suddenly start rapping, saying she wanted to be a star and that she think she can do it. I replied with a rap (cannot shu Sia)
The assassin wannebe name card is the design of death note.
I tease many of the pupils as they talk about their "dream"
Hope they remind innocent and dreamy. Is a hallmark of youth.