Truth and Hope

My life in a nutshell right now, the reason why I haven’t been blogging religiously lately (not like I ever did this past one year ha ha):

So basically right after our school holidays started, we had to spend days organizing our data of our students’ achievement (in my part, lack of achievement T____T makes me question whether if what I did this entire one year was even worth it) and reporting them on an online portal. It was excruciatingly tedious so I haven’t had much time for anything else.

The week after that, our postgraduate diploma in education’s classes started and life has been crazy since. We have to attend classes five days a week, from 8-5, and we have TONS of assignments to work on just like any other college student. Presentations, reflections, papers to write, readings to read and generally just no time for anything else.

I’m not complaining, since technically I’m getting my second degree but I just really realllllllllly need a break. I need time to plan for my next year and it’s absolutely crucial I enter my classrooms next year very well prepared, but I have NO time now to even think about next year. Not only that, every TFM fellow, in their second year, will have to run a community project and we’ve been up nights thinking about what we want to do next year that can help change the school and community.

I’ll talk about my project later but if you went to my TEDx talk, you’d know!

Speaking of next year, I’ve been feeling really stressed out for a multitude of reasons.

1. My last one year in school has been somewhat….wasted. I mean, I’ve worked extremely hard but it’s so painful to see almost no improvement in my students. I know what I’m doing is not going to be successful overnight, but it’s been a YEAR! A WHOLE freaking year, and what did I do? Absolutely nothing. My best class’ results increased…by 2%. TWO percent.

Lately, I’ve been trying to adopt a more positive way to think of things. I’m going to look at things and compartmentalize them into two categories: TRUTH and HOPE.

So here it is. The TRUTH is, I did not transform my students’ lives. There was little to no progress, and my illiterate students are still illiterate. I’ve failed to be an effective teacher to my students.

But here’s the HOPE part. I’m still going to go back to school next year and I still truly believe in this mission to end education inequity. I still believe that my students can achieve so much more, if I find better ways to help them. I know there are so many of them just waiting for me to help unleash their potential in them. Their hope is me, and my hope is them.

Which is exactly why I’m feeling so stressed, cause I know I can do so much more for them but I don’t know how to. I need to plan plan plan PLAN better for next year to make sure our goals are achieved this time! I need to because it’s my last and only chance. And I hate to think this, but it might even be their last and only chance.

2. It might seem like it’s too early to think about it, but I’m really thinking of what I want to do after the fellowship. I know when next year comes, we will not have time for anything else. I need to think about what I want to do after next year and start planning towards it. I want to continue teaching, but at the same time I want to try out sooooo many things as well. I want my Masters, I want to work in a corporate firm, I want to get all kinds of experiences, I want to be challenged in ways I cannot comprehend, I want to do so much, and yet I don’t even know what I want.

These thoughts are seriously driving me crazy! I have a stack of articles to read and papers to write, but my mind is so occupied by all these worries that I can’t even focus on anything. I’ve spoken to people about career options, but the more I talk to people, the more I realize that I want to do everything!

So here it is again:

Truth: thinking about all this is making me go crazy.

Hope: my enthusiasm is what fuels me. I realize that despite all this stress and worries, this is potentially the most exciting part of my life right now! Here it goes, one more year to change lives.

p.s: I want to take this opportunity to thank all my readers for going through this journey with me. I started this post feeling so overwhelmed, but writing about my hopes and dreams make me feel so energized and enthusiastic about everything. Now I feel like anything is possible!

277 comments

  1. HiLo says:

    Success is not always measured by results. Press on despite discouragement. You never know when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to keep prodding and prodding. Pause if you must, but don’t give up.

    You have gone this far. What is one more step and another step and another.

    The challenge you have taken is beyond your imagination. It’s already very daring of you to plunge into it.

    Little victories add up to one great triumph.

  2. Sherlyn says:

    You have us back u up girl!!!!!
    I know how it feels cz m going through the same thing now.

    There’s so many things that I want to do! N m worry about my future every single second!
    But I know as long as we don’t quit, we will get there.

    Gambateh!

  3. Sherlyn says:

    You have us back u up girl!!!!!
    I know how it feels cz m going through the same thing now.

    There’s so many things that I want to do! N m worry about my future every single second!
    But I know as long as we don’t quit, we will get there.

    Gambateh!

  4. blueicecube says:

    i don’t know what i want to at time, i want to experience it all. i’ve grabbed all opportunities as they come up & i ended up nomad-ing around – never slept in the same bed for more than 2 years since 1997 😐 sometimes, i wish i’ll settle down, finally, but i guess, my final destination hasn’t popped up yet. i guess i’ll just keep going, so should you 🙂

    and yes, feeling serabut and writing it down, and feeling good at the end of writing, that’s how I cope 😀

      • hx says:

        You mean like the effort you make for your students?
        but i thought you said there was ‘little to no progress’!
        action without knowledge and understanding leads to disaster.
        confucius say! “The superior man sets his person at rest before he moves; he composes his mind before he speaks…”

  5. Anna says:

    One of a teacher’s most important impacts goes beyond grades. It imparts a passion for learning, both in school and outside (and so paving a way for future amazing teachers), and an inspiring mentor can also have a great influence in someone’s personal growth by leading by example. I’ve had the same experience before and I am now 26-years-old. Maybe the grades don’t reflect improvement and maybe your kids don’t even care enough to work hard or work smart, but from your blog it really sounds like you have made a difference in your students’ lives by making school an interesting and subtle learning journey. Best of luck and really admire the work you’re doing! 🙂

  6. Johnny Tai says:

    Hey, recently I’ve been following ur blog. Probably it could be how you actually performed as a teacher which maybe requires some change or improvement. Normaly I like a teacher that connects to the student who is also strict in making sure they exceed in their education. Some sacrifices may be needed to give extra lessons or maybe change the format of teaching, improvise something. But according to your post, you are a good teacher. Maybe the kids needs more fun in their lessons. Try doing something out of the ordinary in your lessons and see how it goes. Other teachers may not like it cuz ‘not following protocol ,or shits like that’, but it’s about the students… Not the teachers.

    I wish you all the best in 2013, have a fun New Year’s Eve 🙂

  7. Jan says:

    hi suet..
    u are right, anything is possible! u just have to do it one by one. we all want too many things and hope to get them ASAP. but it’s the process of getting there that’s fun! =D enjoy, with sweat and blood and laughter, to achieve your goals.

  8. Elena says:

    From my personal experience, you can help yourself by analyzing:
    1)who you are at this point in life,
    2)what you like doing the most now,
    3)what you think you can do for the next 5 years,
    4)the steps that are necessary to achieve what you like doing the most, and
    5) how you can branch out and experience something new at the same time as getting more experience in the main thing you like doing the most.

    It takes time, and in this busy world it feels like it takes FOREVER to get any insight, but it’s worth trying. I dunno, make good use of pooping time?

    I wanna do everything too, but I selected one big thing that I can dedicate my energy and attention to, and decided to figure out ways to expand it and include other things that I wanna try doing. It might sound weird or rude for me to say this, but I think education is the field where, with a lil creativity, you can easily branch out. You have creativity and passion. Gather yourself and your thoughts, organize and plan the next steps.

    Also, don’t be afraid of failure. I think this maximizes the feeling of anxiety. Free yourself of this crippling thought. It looks like you have a group of strong and patient friends who support you and who will support you no matter what your decision is. Failure is just as good of a lesson, if not better, than victory.

    And remember this Japanese saying: Fall 7 times, stand up 8. In the meantime, I’ll be reading and supporting your ups and downs 🙂

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