End of Semester 1

End of Semester 1

*super long post ahead*

HELLO!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for MIA-ing! I haven’t been particularly busy but just couldn’t find the energy to blog. I know I said I won’t be talking about teaching in this post but I seriously tried sitting down to think about what to write besides my life as a teacher…and I couldn’t think of anything! I guess I live, eat, and breathe teaching. My whole life revolves around it so much that it’s so hard to separate cikgu suet from normal suet.

But the good news is…school holidays are coming!

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS HOLIDAY you have no idea. For the last school holiday, we had to go for training 24/7 and had tons of assignments to work on, but we’re absolutely freeeee this holiday! It’s TWO glorious weeks of not having to think about school! Well, not really. I have lots of exam papers to mark and to key data in to analyze. I also have to dedicate at least a whole day on planning better for semester 2 of school. My class culture is spiraling down to the depths of hell and I need to reinforce the culture of achievement again in class.

But can you believe it?? Semester 1 is coming to an end! I’ve been a teacher for half a year! This is both a happy and scary thought, because although I’ve survived 5 months, I also realized that I haven’t actually done enough. Progress has been excruciatingly slowwww and I need to work much harder for the next semester. I can’t let my kids finish this year without making incremental changes. Actually, I can’t let myself not be a good enough teacher to make pivotal changes for them.

Will think about that later, right now I just can’t stop thinking about next week.

I will be going to Perhentian next week so I’m incredibly excited about it! Sun! Sea! Sand! Serenity! I can now finally read a book for fun (been dying to read my unopened 1Q84 for months now)! I just want to lie at the beach reading my book with my Ipod and with amazing company. I’m going with my fellow fellows and since we’re all poor teachers, the trip is gonna be super low budget too so don’t have to worry about overspending!

Here are some pictures I took over the last few weeks, most of them are quite interesting! (of course, my life is super interesting ok. I was just telling my boyfriend that I cannot imagine how it’ll be like after the 2 years. ANYTHING I do after that will pale in comparison in excitement since it’ll definitely be nowhere as challenging anymore. I really should cherish the remaining year and half!)

So let’s start from where I left of the other day. Remember we got into the state championship for choral speaking?

These are my choral speakers practising hard in the bus on the way to the competition. It was a 2.5 hour bus ride so we were really nervous and went over the script a few times!

Unfortunately, we lost 🙁 The competition was crazyyyyy and my kids were so intimidated when they heard the other schools speaking in English to each other too! We lost to SMK King George V but they were absolutely amazing! Top-notch performance so they deserved the win!

We were sad but also inspired to try better next year. When I told the kids that we’ll still have KFC anyway (that was what they wanted if they had won), they were ecstatic! Ah kids, so easy to please.

This is my most challenging class. I took this cause I was so happy that they were very engaged that day! This is an activity where I divide them into groups and give each group a plastic sheet (cheaper alternative to a whiteboard) and marker pen. I’ll write questions on the board (usually grammar ques) and they’ll write the answers!

One student’s depiction of me with glasses haha I look like catwoman with baju kurung!

Ok this is SUPER cute! I get my best classes to keep a journal each where they’ll have to write about the topic I give them and about their reflections of the class. This really helps me to know them better personally, and especially if they understood what I taught that day. I also get them to write about what they like/dislike about my class so I know what to improve on.

The topic of the week was on “love” and the girls went crazy with it! They divulged pages and pages of their innermost feelings on the crushes they have and it was so nice to read! Haha actually I’m just a kepoh teacher.

I love getting them to write in their journals cause it shows them that English is beyond just memorizing grammar rules and churning boring essays for exams. English should be fun! and they need to practise more than just writing in class.

So after reading a few journals about crushes, I was laughing out loud when I saw this:

HAHAHAAH! This was written by a boy and it was soooo adorableeee!

These are all from students from my best class, who are all averaging at about 60% right now. Quite a depressing figure, so can you imagine students from other classes? Lots of work for me to do still.

The scary road I take to send some kids home after extra class. They did well that day, so I rewarded them with burgers from this burger stall in the middle of the darkness just a little further down this road. We ate our burgers in the dark in the middle of nowhere while discussing about the huge snake (7 ft long!) they saw and how monstrous it was etc.

I looked at them in amusement while they were animatedly talking about the snake and thought to myself, “these kids know more than I actually do in some aspects, and to think that I pity them for being illiterates when they’re probably thinking the same about me not knowing their world”. It’s defining moments like this…….

One of the journal entries. hahhahahahaha!! Never thought me wearing makeup will make that much of a difference! She said my eyes are too small without makeup and it makes her feel sleepy!

How to write a narrative. This is why it takes me forever to prepare lessons, I usually have 3-4 mahjong papers for each topic!

The sad reality of our current education system, where students literally lift model answers from books and memorize them for exams (something I was guilty of doing before too). How do you learn the language this way?? This was for their BM class. Say no to spoonfeeding!

With Angie and a few other teachers for Teacher’s Day! My first ever Teacher’s Day T____T We had to play bola jaring, I missed it so much!

With some of my Form 1 kids. I need to take more pictures cause I know I’ll miss them so much later!

Teacher’s Day gifts! So nice of them to write me cards and buy me stuff *touched

So I wrote them thank you cards in return 🙂

After the other students saw this, a few started making belated cards for me too haha

Invigilating is the most boring job in the entire world. Being a teacher has given me the superpower of having 360 degrees eyesight, so no one dares to mess with me when I invigilate. Kidding..they mess with me all the time cause I’m not strict at all T__T

One time, they were done with their exam papers and were making so much noise, so I had to resort to creative means to quiet them down. So I put a bottle on my head and walked down the middle of the class to divert their attention. I started putting more things on my head and tried balancing them. They probably thought I was a super sohai teacher T_T

Half the stuff that were donated to me and sent to my school! Thank you so much everyone for everything, these things have been soooo useful! I give the gifts out as rewards and my kids love the wordsearch books 🙂

Recently, an anonymous donor donated a whole bunch of stuff to me, and these are very very expensive stuff too so I feel incredibly blessed! Thank you so much for all your support *tear

I was so excited when I did this cause I’ve always seen teachers back in my high school doing this and it looks so convenient!

But my excitement quickly dwindled down when I realized that it’s no longer fun when you have hundreds of them to do. Still got essays to mark *wails

And marking is the easy part. Data tracking and analyzing will be hardddd. Who wants to help me key in marks?? I belanja teh tarik.

Boys watching nervously as the girls check their bags during spotcheck. Super nostalgic! I was once a prefect too haha

I was marking papers in class and when I looked up, this was what greeted me  -_________-

This boy is super cheeky but in a adorable loving way! Once, he came to me hurriedly when I entered the class and asked if I’d like to see my future. I was like “errr..sure…” and he drew a very old wrinkly woman on the board, explaining how I get the wrinkles and how my hair will be white and eyes will be blind etc. -_________-

Bought this yesterday cause I was so depressed after marking their papers. They didn’t do very well and it made me doubt if I’m doing enough but it’s okay, will work harder!

Came back from class today and saw this on my table!

It’s a bunch of letters by this girl and she thought she’d write to me a chronicle of her life so far since she was bored during exam one day. and the best part is, they’re all written in English!!! 😀

Lastly, I really wanna end this post and semester on a good note so I’m glad I saw this while flipping a student’s book! I wrote her a comment after her essay, saying that she’s doing really well in class and asked her to keep it up. This was her comment to me after that.

T__________T

No, thank YOU for inspiring me to soldier on everyday.

Okay that’s all for today’s update! Gonna watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy since I don’t have to lesson plan for tomorrow (exam week). Thanks for reading!