Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Random thoughts: Days in school

I must say i really missed the days teaching face to face in school. It is the 3rd week, and I realise there is no other place beyond my home I want to be.

These days, I try to avoid the air-conditioned staffroom, because a "running nose" is big problem nowsaday (I have sensitive airway).  I was looking for an empty class in the afternoon, I strangely just went into my previous form class instead of my current form class. I realised I have not bonded with my new class of 2 months (Redeployed in the middle of a term), and as I sat down in the classroom marking, memories of the FTGP actitvies i did with my pupils flash in my mind. The fun and laughter we had.

I know I sound silly, but I always feel that the pupils in the top class can never appreciate my antics and my lame jokes. You know, when you tried to hype yourself up, performing in front of the kids, trying your best to entertain them with words and actions, you would like the class to respond. Sometimes, I feel out of place, in the top class. I made a joke, became a drama mama, and only a few pupils would laugh. Many just stared at you blankly.  It sucks the energy to "perform" out of me.

I do have a class where we are comfortable with each other. It was fun today. When I start the class, I ask them to take out their homework and complete it quickly over the next 10 minutes, as I believed most of them would not have attempt them. I told them I know their antics too, and ask them to start their work quickly. One of the pupil said "How did you know we have not done our work?" I replied that I think I know them well enough and if 25% of the class actually did my work, I would do push-ups in front of them. Surprised! A few of them did out of the blue moon, completed their work, and after glancing through, there is effort in their homework.

I did my push-ups and we had a good laugh. At the end of the lesson, I could not finish the difficult reading comprehension questions, I asked them to try it at home. Many were asking, if at least 25% of them do it, would I do push-ups in front of us again? I said I need to increase the benchmark to 40%, and they very excitedly reminded each other to do the work. I am very pleased, becasue when you teach the weakest pupils in a particular level, you will realise that many of them actually do not have a conducive learning environment at home. Almost all of them face some neglect and as a result, some of them are addicted to social media. I am happy that they are reminding each other to do the work. Suddenly, one pupil challenged, "what happens if all of us do our work?" I laughed. This homework is not an easy assignment. I replied that if I have 100% submission I would do the push ups first thing when the lesson starts for consecutive 2 weeks

The pupils got really excited and some of them are cajoing the "famous bad debts" to start doing this peice of work. I don't know if my experince sounds ridicilous to you, but I am actually quite happy with my interaction with them

During our staff contact time today, when our principal ask us over google meet what motivates us, within a second, my answer is "pupils" and the image of the "weakest" class pops in my head. They are reall quite a bunch of nice chaps. They always ask some personal questions and we can tease one another without worrying about being nasty. The sweetest part is when you are upset with the level of effort, and you get serious in your tone, they immediately seem able to sense it, and kept very quiet. I would think they have quite high EQ and is rather street smart and independent


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