Saturday, 31 March 2018

Conflicted

Wednesday 28 March 2018
Today, I feel drained.

A student in my school shared a glimpse of his life . I knew that a lot of the students from our school have complicated background, but I couldn't help but to feel helpless and disturbed after listening to his story.

Ah Wong* is a 17 year old boy, studying in the last class of form 4 in my school. He has been out of school for more than 2 years. He worked with his father during that period of time, before deciding to return to school, with the aim of getting his SPM cert.

The school principal placed him in the last class, perhaps because he missed two years of schooling and the principal thought that he might be behind in his studies. His English is okay, he managed to pass his test, but he failed in BM and Sejarah paper.

His father is hospitalized, his mother has mental illness and is staying in a mental hospital, and he has been staying alone since Chinese New Year, and living off the money his relative gave.

How much can us teacher do for a student like this? This might just be one out of plenty of students who have complicated background.

How much time can we spare? When we have so many students to take care off, on top of paper work to settle, co-curricular activities, our other teachers duties.

Classroom hours? One subject typically have six period in a week, and a one period lesson is 30 minutes, 5-10 minutes is lost if your class is right after an assembly, or when the students are coming from science labs/the school field. Sometimes assembly might overrun so there goes your class. Sometimes students are out of class for extra-curricular activities and they miss out on more than one lesson.

How much can we help the students, financially? When we have to pay for our stationary, pay for our printing, and we need to live - there are bills we need to pay, our food to settle and we have our family and loved one we wish to treat occasionally.

I offered free extra classes for this particular student after school hours, but I honestly not sure if I can commit to this as my DPLI (Diploma Pendidikan Lepas Ijazah ie Postgrad Diploma in Education) coursework might start piling up soon and I foresee more responsibility and workload from school as I settle in. I do hope I can at least help him in achieving his dream to obtain his SPM certificate, but right now with his level of proficiency in Malay, a lot of work must be done, a lot of hours must be poured in.

How can I achieve minimax outcome to help my students?
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