Monday, 26 February 2018

Just a random rant of what happened in class today

So I went into a school as a Teaching Assistant under one of the 2017 TFM fellow, Sui Yang, today. It was all well, until I took over a relief class.

The feeling of defeat and hopeless was real today.

Students were running everywhere, screaming and shouting, pushing one another off the chair. One student even broke a plastic chair in class (yes, I saw it happening in front of my eyes).

I was totally not in control.

When I tried to get them to play a game, half of the class were cooperative and the other half said they would rather sleep, and the classroom was drowned in shouting. In the end I had to tell the other students (who were rather keen on playing a game) that the game cmi. T___T

" have to be more fierce, or they won't listen to you," suggested one student, who probably felt bad for me.

Having attended Chinese Primary School (where, discipline can be as strict as a jail), I really wouldn't want to put on a super strict teacher's persona - Replicating and imposing my childhood nightmares on these students would be my way last resort.

In the end, I decided to let the students buat kerja sendiri (translation: do whatever they want to). And even so, a few students managed to sneak out dash out of the classroom under my nose. The students only came back to the classroom when Sui Yang came over to check on the class T______T

Thank goodness the relief class was only about 40 minutes.

Yes, my confidence level as a teacher definitely took a plunge today. But even so, I won't give up. This is just the beginning, and I know I might face challenges that are far worse than what I've experienced today.

My confidence booster song from Sound of Music always cheers me up when I am down!

Time to prep for a (okay maybe 10 or more!) contingency plan for situation like this again.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

PSP2017: Thank you for the memories, for giving it to me

It's been two months since our Pre-Service Programme (PSP) with Teach For Malaysia (TFM) came to an end. 

Looking back, every day was a memorable one. There were so many moments where I wish to clinch on and never forget. During our opening dinner, we were told to appreciate every single moment, and snap photos whenever we could. I really wish I took that advice more seriously - I wish I have taken more photos and videos. I'm always a firm believer of being in the moment, enjoying the moment, rather than being obsessed with capturing the moment - I guess now I have to decide on my middle point of enjoying and capturing the moment! 

Before all these memories and wonderful moment slip off slowly, here's a photo diary, documenting part of my wonderful PSP journey!

29 October 2017: PSP Opening Dinner!
Carpooled with Gee Keat, a long-standing TFM kawan ever since our TFM assessment center in London back in March, to Vistana Hotel. I can vividly remember the conversation we had in the car - how we were feeling nervous about PSP, but at the same time excited to finally meet our cohort in person, and how PSP is finally happening, after so many months of waiting and those huddles (UKCG, documentations, medical check-up) we had to go through!

30 October 2017: First day of PSP! We received our Cikgu name tag, and my table mates and I decorated our notebook with star stickers given by Amanda. The exhaustion and information overload-ness at the end of my day is still fresh on my mind!
2 November 2017: Pasar Malam & Dinner squad! Back then when everyone was still free to enjoy dinner together, before compulsory night sessions and lesson plans took over our lives whoops. I remember jumping in joy seeing a popiah vendor in the pasar malam!

6 November 2017: Start of Week 2 of PSP! We were told to design an interactive poster/learning material during one of the session. That day was the day I introduced my coconut ideology to the group.
*plays coconut song in the background*

7 December 2017: Our first jamming session right outside of the gym at Vistana! While the other fellows were attending their first Mandarin class led by Hong Jin!

8 November 2017: Our first Karaoke session!

That was the day where so many fellows really shone and show their hidden talent! Like my colab, Oni, and her amazing rapping skills. So many of my batchmate have such wonderful singing voice!

At the end of the session, one of the fellow, Ooi, asked a few of us for supper. Most of the fellows were tired, so it was only Ooi, Fiona and me. We were striding out of Vistana (after trying to convince more kawans to join us, but to no avail), Ooi had a lightbulb moment.

Ooi: "Eh there's a really good burger place at Setapak, and Setapak is not that far..."
Me; "Joms la. Gu Gu Ji Bai (Translation: once in a while in hokkien) "

And off we go, in Ooi's car, to Setapak for burger bakar....
Post-Karaoke Supper @ Kaw Kaw Burger, Setapak. Unnecessary calories but, the memories & experiences was all it matters!

I was dead tired the next day but.....

10 November 2017:
Survival day! The facilitator conducting the sessions for that day decided to spice things up on that day, and reshuffled the sessions. We had to create classroom display during a short span of time.
What my colab and I came out with - an interactive model of cause and effect of climate change
Some other interactive displays by other colab groups!

Session about formative assessment. I remember we were laughing non-stop while drawing and colouring in this poster - art therapy!

My "twin" and I !
11 November 2017: My first weekend social - ice-cream social! We were given opportunities to "speed date" the alumnis.

 16 November 2017: A heavy day - we had a "cross the line" session and most of us were emotionally drained. Post art therapy therapy session lead by Kula
21 November 2017: The day Eileen, Bong, Fatimah and I invented a fictional character, Ah Bong Man (ABM)! We even came out with ABM's theme song!
ABM: Creation by Bong, Eileen, Fatimah and me! 
"Ah Bong Man, Ah Bong Man, Throw the pau, Ah Bong Man!" *Sing it in the spiderman theme song tune*

23 November 2017: Our last day at Vistana Hotel!

Last Bodacious PLC meeting session, 1st floor outside the gym
On that very day, a bunch of us gobbled down our lunch, braved through the rain to go to the stationary shop, just to stock up on our Cikgu supplies before heading to Johor. We were quite disturbed by the smell of wet carpet

24 November 2017: Moving day to Johor! A few of us attended the 2016 closing dinner.

I sat with Hong Jin on the way to Johor, and I had so much fun sharing stories with her about travelling :) 

25 November 2017: Planning rubric lessons with the placeholders! 

Working on our lesson to teach the students about rubrics till midnight, with Christmas songs playing in the background! Loved working with this bunch - our ideas and thought flow somehow just complemented one other well! Well actually, I went out and these three are the heroes who did most of the work, really grateful to have them

26 November 2017: First Day of KemSkorlah. The nervousness was real.
Our class's toilet pass! 
We set our class cultures and rules on that day, and these are the discussion outcomes with the students of 4 Coconut:

Time just seems to fly after KemSkorlah kicked off - everything seems to move very fast after this!

1 December 2017: Our first weekend in Johor! Means we won't be going home and we're stuck with each other. Had lunch at Todak Seafood restaurant courtesy of Gee Keat's family!  

Sophie: "Guys let's do a reflection photo! Reflect about your life and look across the causeway...."

And after that it was Zumba, swimming (more like main air but who cares!) pasar malam & board games night!

3 December 2017: The day when our class invented their own Coconut cheer!

Homebaked cheese tart from our students! 

4 December 2017:
Coincidentally traffic-light coordinated dinner squad 

5 December 2017: Taught Simile to my students. Allowed them to walk around the school to record any simile they observe and this is what one of the student observed:

"ONIIII I realize we don't have much photos let's take some photos!"

7 December 2017: Dinner Squad at Big World Food Court, before our Bollywood dance night session! Everyone really let go of looking good and danced their heart out :D

8 December: Our last weekend at Johor, and also one of the more memorable weekend!
Hong Jin managed to borrow a car from her ROS ambassador, Ras! And hence, Hong Jin, Hazwani, Jason and I embarked on our Gunung Pulai hiking trip!
We made up stories on the way up, did some video recording of us doing KemSkorlah cheers and our Bodacious cheer! Do you want to hear the story of how Gunung Pulai got its name? ;)
We also had our own photoshoot session :D
And had wanton mee and otak-otak at Pontian!
Shopping at a random RM2 shop (+GST so everything is around RM2.12 after tax) at Pulai after hiking.

Wanton mee at Pontian!
And at night we attended 
TFM Christmas Party @ TFM South Office 
Post TFM Christmas Dinner Lepak Session @ 8th Floor D'Carlton

3 December 2017: We got tickets to The Voice Singapore & Malaysia Semi-Finals, thanks to 2016 alumni Wei Ken! Mad rush to finish our lesson plans on the bus, in the bilik guru during our free period but it was all worth it!

5 December 2017: Bodacious PLC Dinner at Southern Spice

Still one of my favourite place for dinner (other than Beach Jesus, our usual dinner spot)! That particular week, we went to Southern Spice for dinner consecutively for three nights. We were like "WHY DIDN'T WE FIND OUT ABOUT THIS AWESOME PLACE EARLIER?!!"

After that we were really busy prepping for the rest of KemSkorlah and open day...

14 December: Closing dinner :'(

Last group photo with Bodacious :')

And my favourite Placeholders! 

15 December 2017: Moving out day #overlyattached

Final breakfast with the dinner squad at Wang Wang :)
Coincidentally colour-coordinating!

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