Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chai Chee Sec: Réflexion numero deux

I stopped using the tablet and latop to teach this week for 2N2.
Because I think that the tablet is causing to much distractions to the students.
They keep asking me to let them try the tablet.
To them, the tablet looks so interesting and high tech.
I guess I am the most high tech teacher in school.
Teaching with tablet.
The limit about my tablet is that it is the wired version, meaning that I am restricted to only a certain distance away from my laptop.
I cannot walk far when I am writing on the tablet.
Perhaps oneday, I shall upgrade to the bluetooth tablet.
So that I can write and at the same time, walk around the class and also get students to participate.
I think using tablet to teach is useful as you leave the important things to write and teach in class and you are constantly facing the students most of the time.
Maybe the students in this school are not yet exposed to heavy usage of technology as a teaching tool.

The students have not in anyway improve in their attitude towards study.
Today, I had class with 3NA and 2N2.
4NA students are having their language intensive program so I would not be seeing them anymore unless they approach me for consultation.

For 3NA, I went through quadratic formula and started on fractional equations with them on the topic of quadratic equations. I'm glad that 2 students sitting at the back are listening to my class today. That makes a total of 5 students following the lesson. I have not spoken to them about my thoughts in maths class and also to answer some of their reflection feelings. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. The rest of the students couldn't even care to listen to my lesson. They were either talking amongst themselves or sleeping away. I even caught 4 boys chewing gum away and told them to either spit or swallow. Seriously, I need help in managing these students who are not interested in study.

2N2's lesson was no where getting better. Although we had a split class today, the boys are still making a lot of noise and disturbing their classmates. The foreign students are still in their little corner and couldn't care less what I am teaching.
The 2 girls who kept complaining that they don't understand when they did not even bother to listen to my class. My reply to them was simple: "You don't want to listen in class and now you keep telling me that you don't understand."

Some of the student are glad that they will not be changing maths teacher until the end of the year. They finally understand that I will accompanying them till the final year exam. To them, they are sure that now there will be safety nets to catch them when they fall.

The amount of planning seems endless. Though I have more free time to spent in school, I am always busy. Busy typing notes and creating documents. I need my afternoon naps so afternoons are always gone and I'll continue doing my work in the evening till about 10pm when I turn in for the night. I think my work management is not there yet. I should make a list of things I need to complete when I get home so that I would not feel disorganised. Planning in my mind is not helpful at all.

Well... I'm looking forward to every holiday and weekends possible. That's the only time when I can totally relax and enjoy myself as me. Teachers' Day is coming and so is the 1 week term break. My goal is that when term 4 starts, I will be ready and prepared to run the exam marathon with the students.

It's sad that lessons will be as usual for the first half on friday...

Happy Teachers' Day advance,

Monday, August 25, 2008

I want to be a cloud painter

I want to be a cloud painter
And fill the sky with clouds
The endless sky as my canvas
With endless space to paint with

I want to be a cloud painter
Filling the sky with my thoughts and feelings
When I am happy
When I am depressed
When I am angry
When I am furious
The clouds will show it all

I want to be a cloud painter
To paint my sadness in the sky
Fill it with dark clouds
That covers sunshine

I want to be a cloud painter
To paint my happiness in the sky
Fill it with white fluffy clouds
Under the deep blue sky

I want to be a cloud painter
To paint my anger in the sky
Fill them up with big tall clouds
And cause lighting to strike

I want to be a cloud painter
I want to be a cloud painter...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Singapore Fireworks Festival 2008

I went on an outing with the sExposers from ClubSnap to the Singapore Fireworks Festival.
The weather wasn't helpful at all.
It rained the whole day and I endured the constant light drizzle throughout the whole evening, camping at the field behind NTUC.
The group was estimated to be about 20 Exposers, ranging from experienced fireworks shooters to first timers.
It's a pity that the big field was closed to some art event next month.
So all the photographers had to move to a smaller field further up.
Luckily due to the constant rain, there wasn't many campers at the field.
The fireworks started at slightly past 9pm.
Here are some images taken during the performance.

The first shot, clean with no smoke yet.

Vetical crop of the view.

Looks like a bouquet of tulips.

The rest of the photos can be found here.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Chai Chee Sec: Exhaustion

I'm tired.
I'm emotionally and mentally tired.
I'm very tired of stepping into 2N2 to yet again finding the boys not interested in attending the class.
The boys are in a gang of their own creating a lot of noise in class, the foreign students are in their small group discussing amongst themselves, the malay girls are seated together chit chatting away. The only students who are listening are those who really want to learn.
Seriously speaking, I can't handle the boys' situation in 2N2.
How can I stop them from playing in class?
How can I get them to listen to my class?
When will they grow up and be a responsible student?

I asked the students of 3NA to do a reflection about the maths class they have gone thru since the beginning of the year. In the end, only 6 students out of the 15 who were present did it. One student wrote out her feelings. She wrote that initially, she liked math but due to the constant changing of teachers in that math class. Also, the noisy boys who keep disturbing the other students from concentrating in class made her difficult to continue her interest in maths and eventually, she lost interest in the subject.

I understand her feelings.
Who doesn't want to have a good conducive class to study in?

Can someone get me the martian zapper so that I can zap the not interested students and sent them to another dimension at the start of the class and zap them back when the class ends?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chai Chee Sec: The air is my student

Finally, I've settled all the markings of the 4NA prelim paper and common test papers for 2N2 and 3NA. It's tiring to do markings, especially when you have to measure the constructions.

Today I had 2 classes, 3NA and 2N2.
For both classes, I returned the common test papers to them to check through and went through the answers with them.

The boys in 3NA had no attention span at all. Once they come into class, they started talking to their friends and do their own things. The teacher does not exsist in the classroom at all. All the time, they are causing distrubances to the other classmates.
When will they ever learnt to keep quiet?
When will they ever learnt to keep quiet?

I gave out the common test papers back to them and they didn't even seem to be worried that they have done so badly for the test. Instead of thinking of how to do better for the final year exam, the boys were laughing at the marks of each other's paper.
What does test paper mean to them?
What does test paper mean to them?

2N2 had a split maths class today for 2 hours. The students noticed that I have brought down their common test papers and they were so eager to see their results. Though it's a 2 hours lesson, I've planned for the first hour to be used to continue with lesson and the next hour to give out the test papers and go through the solutions. Obviously, the class were more excited to know the marks than to listen to the teaching. Finally I gave the papers out to the class.

The boys in 2N2 can never sit still for that mere split second. They are always running around, causing trouble around in class, disturbing those who want to listen and interrupting my lessons.
They fight, argue, shout, bang tables and chairs. They walk around in class like nobody's bussiness and they are rude towards teachers.
Where does the teacher stand in their respect?
Where does the teacher stand in their respect?

Everytime I teach, I feel like I'm talking to the air and only a few students who are really keen in learning and improving their grades. The tables, chairs, lights, fans and books are all my students. They will be still all the time listening to me teach. They will not walk around and distrub the class and neither will they make any noise. Many times in class, I stopped and felt very miserable and sad. Why is it that none or only a few students care to know what I am teaching in class?

This isn't fair to me.
Why do I have to spent so effort explaining math concepts and solutions when no one is listening.
Why do students still bring bag to school when inside the bag there's literally nothing at all except for a pencil case and a reading material?

Teaching to the air,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chai Chee Sec: My mentor

I'm glad that I've finally got a mentor.
I didn't when to find a mentor for myself but rather, my mentor volunteered himself to be my mentor.

The previous post was the reflection which I had to write for my mentor so that he can understand how I am doing in the school.
Today he orientated me with some admin stuff and we talked about the classes I'm teaching.
Actually, ever since I've taken over the classes of the maths teacher who left school without a word, I could sense that the students have lost their way in the woods.
As a new guide to lead them out of the forest, I was unable to gain their trust in me.
I understand how they feel cos these classes have been changing teacher time after time.
They are now uncertain about who should they really be following and when will they be getting a real guide that will stay with them till the end.

Sometimes, I wish that the remote control to mute the noisy students, to freeze the hyperactive students from running around, the play button to wake the sleeping or not listening students.
I want to throw them in obedience class or throw them off a cliff so that I'll never have to keeping stopping my teaching to scream and shout at them.

They are not the only ones who are lost.
I am lost too.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Chai Chee Sec: C'est ma réflexion

It’s raining outside now…

Today marks the 4th week in my contract teaching at Chai Chee sec.
Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to this school when I received my posting from MOE.
I never had a good impression about the students of the school and till now it still stay as it is.
Stepping into the school, the environment is very old school.
Everything here seems to stand still in time from the 1990s.
The school gives me the feeling of my primary school with the old canteen and facades.
This is a small school with small size of teaching staff in my opinion.
Small school to the extent that canteen closes early after the students finish their lunch.
Also, the school is like a mini international school which students from many countries coming into Chai Chee to pursue the Singapore education system.

I felt very lost on my first day of school.
There was no one to orientate me around the environment and the very first task I got was to relief a class right after the racial harmony celebration.
Initially life was easy as I was doing more of relief teaching.
Last week, things changed when I was told that the teacher I was tagging along had left school. In my mind, I was cursing and swearing about that irresponsible teacher as he did not inform me that he’s leaving and neither did he leave any instructions/plans behind. Basically, I started off from scratch.

Luckily I started typing teaching materials for the sec 2 class as I had the textbook with me. Typing with LaTex was much easier as compared to Word as everything is programmed into commands for the system to generate documents.
Very much thanks to my prof. who introduced LaTex to me.
The only problem with LaTex is that I have to keep checking to ensure that the commands are correct.

I’ve already started teaching. 2N2, the super duper hyperactive class where the boys can never keep quiet or still for just 1s, 3NA, no one seems to be listening to what I’m teaching and 4NA, the N-level class which 70% are working hard.
I’m trying out teaching with tablet using PDF annotator in class.
This means that I can write on my PDF document, which all students will get one copy as the handout.
At least I don’t have to write word to word on the whiteboard and I can still maintain face to face contact with the students in class to ensure that they are on the right track.
I was so used to enjoying properly planned celebrations that to me, celebrations in Chai Chee sec fell greatly below par.
Even the PA students looked like their training was on site.
Sometimes I wonder where the students will end up after they finish their secondary school education regardless how long they take and whether their discipline would ever change after that.
Or will they become the Ah Bengs and Ah Lians in the society?
I wonder if the international students are seeking the correct school.
I’ve noticed that some off them have integrated into their classroom culture and started behaving like their classmates.

There are times when I felt very discouraged and wanted to give up teaching because that I cannot handle the kind of students in this school.
My friends tell me that I looked fierce but I guess the students here find me friendly.
I just have to tell myself that it is not my teaching that is not good but the attitude of the students in class.
They come to school and treat it like an entertainment centre, not a centre of learning.
With the advance in technology now, students think more about playing than studying.

Students have changed.
We weren’t that misbehaving that badly during my time.
Well, the good thing is that at least I get a taste of a really neighborhood mix school. (I come from a girl school.)
One thing that puzzled me, what’s the use of the school tie when the students don’t even wear it during assembly time?

Let the thought of a girl be read,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jazz@Southbridge - James Flynn

I never knew how cool Jazz@Southbridge was until Gerald invited me to join him to watch a special performance by James Flynn.
Jazz@Southbrige, I would called it a jazz pub.
Today was my first time there and I enjoyed the place very much.
It's not that noisy like the other pubs where groups are fighting over the noise level for their friends to hear them.
Jazz@SB is relaxing and easy for the ears and mouth.
There's no deafening music blasting away.
There's no need to shout across the table.
Just sit back on the couch and enjoy the music.

Cloud painting - waves. Just when I left home.

Jazz@SB menu. They got vietman dishes in there Derek!

James Flynn and the musicians (piano, base and drums).

I'm so going back to Jazz@SB when I have the chance.

Jazz-ing away,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Clouds that paint the sky

Was waiting for my bus to come at the school bus stop when I noticed the distinct separation between clouds and blue sky.
Not very often would you get to see such nice clear light blue sky with small fluffy clouds that paint the sky (minus the humidity and the heat).

The images were taken with my 5mp SE phone.

I love watching cloud patterns.

Cloud painting,

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Holga Roll Cinq

After starting off a new roll of film in my holga half a year ago, I've finally finished that roll.
To me, film is expensive medium so I treat each shot with care thought its coming out of a toy camera.
(seriously, the "don't think, just shot" idea is for those who got money to spend on films cos it can waste film shots)
Thanks to Gerald for helping me to scan the images.
Here are some images.

Think a bit,

Batam Trip - Film

Following up to the post regarding my to Batam last month, I shot some images using my holga.
So far I've only got 3 images cause I was finishing up the roll in the holga.

Credits to Gerald for helping me to scan the images.

There are a few more images in another roll which I've just finished it. We shall wait for the rest.



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