Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Random thoughts: Twice bitten, twice the pain

My pupils just finished their CA test. 

Both classes I had did not meet expectations. 

However, after analysis of data, I realised my better P4 group is underperforming more. I am not whinning for sympathy. I have done difficulty correlation test, relative comparison etc. My better P4 is underperforming compared to a weaker group. Very obvious, the problem has to be me, the teacher. 

This is the second time I underperformed. Why? I did as much if not more than what I used to. There are more practices and more measured time allocate for "fun" activities. After some ample time reflecting ( thanks to a useless conference where I am sitting through but no longer listening) I realised there are many assumptions that I made that were wrong.

I am aware that there are colleagues (teachers) within my readers. So let's go. Hope we don't make the same mistakes. First, the excuses:

1) different pupils, differeny profile with weaker cultural assets, and also pupils are not used to my teaching where answers are not forthcoming. They just need more time. 

The above where true, is simply not the cause of underperformance. 

I wrongly assumed the following:

1) obedience and quiet pupils who did their school work diligently as motivated pupils who need no scaldfolding. Do note that I am not blaming my pupils. I am blaming myself for complacency. I did not break down the notes into small parts, be I thought I should not spoonfed them too much, expecting them to go beyond the notes, in actual fact, I again wasted a good 10 week window. 

2) I believed my pupils have better foundation than my previous school pupils. I think I am right about them but wrong about the assessment difficulty. I taught too slowly. The bag of tricks which is sufficient is not inadequate. 

3) Well-behaved pupils need less monitoring. I used to be always at my pupils' neck because they are mischievous and have problems passing up homework. I do not have such issues here. What a blessing. Such that I do not insisted that they show me the notes taking etc. Again,my pride lead to fall. 

4) It is not the engagement and social activities that I planned for them that I should remove. I should really not barked up the wrong tree. The paper which did determine their marks is really different, and I am still living in the past thinking how can brighter pupils who are also obedient do worse. They can, because the difficulty is different, and also their misunderstanding of concepts, no matter how small, is masked by their obedience and diligence in handing in work so much so that I slack in monitoring.

Twice bitten, twice the pain. Hope I get it right next term. Cheat me once, shame on you, cheat me twice, shame on me. The shame is mine... Sigh...


  1. Hi SI,

    Understand how you feel. There are two kinds of inattention. One is active and the other is passive. If it's active, you can observe them because they are making noises and disruotinf the class. If it's passive, it's harder to detect because they zone out mentally. I find that to handle passive inattention, i will take up more emotional energy than that of active inattention.

    I hope you find your mojo again! And soon!

    1. Thanks LP,

      If I dun find it by this year, I can go fly kite liao!!

      Cannot short change kids, rite?

  2. Sillyinvestor,

    What is CA test?

    I've lost touch with the modern curriculum of today...

    1. A... LOL! Uncle SMOL,

      My time also have CA test lei. Oops forget you are 12 years my senior, u feel more like a pal than a full zodiac cycle elder.

      It's a term test. Many schools already phase out term test and have only semester test ...

    2. Sillyinvestor,

      Uncle your head! I am still "yan-eh"!

      My primary school is from 1974-1979.

      We only got mid-year and final exams that's recorded in my report book :)

      I'm not going to ask you what's the difference between term tests and semester tests...

      CA stands for Continuous Assessment?

      I'm not suited for the academic model. Too bad my time we don't have the Swiss or German apprentice system. I think I'll do better in an apprentice model since I do better with learn by doing ;)

    3. Yup CA stand for continuous assessment. I am not supposed to say that as it should be part of holistic assessment. WTF. Is the same thing, you do one test during the 10 week term.

      Hmm.. You like to be "yan-eh!" I rather be call me "say-eh" Wu say can liao.

      German, Swiss system is like vocational training? ITE??

      Well, u are doing well after graduating from university of hard knocks...

      Ah.. When you are a manager or whatever, if you staff do better than u in sales or operating matters and u underperform, very MaLu right? How u manage?

      Sorry, I just asked a stupid question. LPPL, just embrace and treat fallen sun as blanket?

    4. Sillyinvestor,

      As a Leader (or Coach), staff SHOULD do better than us ;)

      And we rejoice and take pride in that. We stand in the shadows.

      As a Manager (or Fireman), we take pride we can solve the problems for staff ;)

      We want to be Superman, to be in the limelight.

      Hell hath no fury like when a staff attempts to outshine us...


    5. LOL,

      Thanks, inner evil ...
      It's not about staff. It's about myself LOL

      cheers !!