on Tuesday, 28 September 2010
This month was all about the festive celebration of the Muslim's Hari Raya. It's a really big occasion no matter where you are in Malaysia. Trust me, the number of open houses you will go to is proof of the grandeur of this festival.

So important; my class had a version of it

Being the usual prying and nosy teacher, I tell my students to write about their celebrations.... which of course leads to....


10. My kampung is come by all family during the 1 syawal.

9. My hari raya is the eat eat eat only.

8. My hari raya I watch TV only. I am boring.

7. I eat biskut bangkit, kuih, ketupat, chicken and a lot of eating time.

6. I steal RM1 from each family's prepaid to my phone and SMS my friends very much.

5. I'm very much happy because for visit a house, the tuan rumah give me RM5.

4. I have not so many ang pau this year.

3. I have many housekeeping to do in the kitchen.

2. I talk at my cousin the whole night.
... and...
I shake my mother and father and apologise.

*insert big band jazzy ending with sounds of meriam buluh shooting every now and then

Totemic Figure

on Monday, 27 September 2010
I think it's natural that students find it a little intimidating that there is someone else other than the teacher in the class. Students tend to become very alert that there's a person behind them and they do divert their eyes to the person behind every now and then.

Well, not really ALL the time.. just enough to make it a distraction.

Especially if the person seems to be observing the classroom while ticking boxes in his/her checklist. It becomes a distraction because students want to know what's going on. Of course, being the usual spontaneous me, I NEVER tell them when there is an observer and they are always caught by surprise. I want that genuine response and I don't want them to fake it out when they know another teacher is going to observe them the next week.

It looks like sometimes, this can backfire. They aren't going to be themselves anyway. They become very reserved, more tentative and less daring to try the things that you throw at them in the class. It's a complete back-flip to what I usually get in the class if not worse.

Should I tell them the next time? 

Maybe I should. 

First days

on Monday, 20 September 2010
Coming back after a long holiday requires a teacher to be a trip wire or a jump start. 

You have to be able to jump start 200 over students from 5 classes to make sure they get into the groove of studying. They've been lazying around for a FULL 2 weeks. Trust me, getting them started won't be easy.

You can choose to do some other thing or something more subtle to get them warmed up but that's not how the sadistic teacher would do... no no no... you wanna spice things up right?

Well, go ahead... I was subtle. 

*yawn.... wasn't it tough trying to get up this morning?

Cause I looked like a zombie too.

Bite me.

Trembling knees..

on Wednesday, 1 September 2010

My school held a Choir Competition for Patriotic Songs just last week before the Merdeka's Day Celebration. It was divided into 2 categories - upper and lower secondary.

My kids were pestering me about entering the competition. Of course I encouraged them to enter but I told them to check with their History teacher instead since it was the History Department's program and their History teacher should be taking care of it instead of me.

The next day, they came to me again telling me about the rules and regulations of the competition. They told me that the History teacher was not really helping them. They looked disappointed.

I asked, 'You all betul-betul nak masuk?' They nodded their head frantically. They were really eager in entering the competition, it's just that there was no one who was willing to help them..train them. Therefore, I agreed. The competition was like 2 days away! That night itself, I went back to search some simple songs and downloaded them.

The next day, I sacrificed my double periods of English to train them the song and movements. They chose to sing Warisan by Sudirman and Warna-warna Malaysia by Siti Nurhaliza. Simple songs that they can memorize and sing within that short period of time.

I was suprised that they can actually sing! They remembered their movements..their lyrics and sang their heart out.


It was a different story on THE day of the competition...

First we had problem searching for a power supply because it was held in the canteen. (I know..not conducive at all!) Thank god for a few good fellow teachers, we managed to get one. Second, my kids had to perform first! They were already practically shaking in fear!

They lined up and faced the audience. They bowed at different time because they were so nervous.. they were like robots forced to sing..they forgot all their moves! Poor kids.. As I was recording it, I was laughing at their performance. Their head hung low...refused to look at the audience..they were so shy!

When it was over, they came to me and said,

'Teacher, teacher...takut sangat tadi!'

'Teacher.. kaki macam kaku sudah tadi!'

'Teacher... kami macam robot kan?'

I just smiled and told them, 'It's ok...yang penting kamu sudah cuba'.. the next minute they were back to their active bubbly self.

I guess this is what stage-fright can do to you. You can be very confident and sure...but when you're placed in front of hundreds of sets of just turn into jell-o. To me, it was a good exposure to them. And more importantly they enjoyed themselves!


They won the second place for lower secondary category! I can't describe how happy and proud I was. The teachers were amazed...amazed that the weakest class can get second placing..

1 Al Biruni.... Teacher Hoong is so proud of you!

There's Always Room for Improvement

What better way to start the new month than having a whole new look?

The Feminine Touch

With wise feminine opinions (see, I knew I needed that in my blog) by my beautiful co-author(ess) peNakLukduNia, we finally came to an agreement to put this whole cheerful with lots of things going on at the header of the blog as a reflection of what the writers are feeling about the blog right now. I always like to change the outlook of the blog to keep it fresh and new for the readers...

Honestly, having a lot of spare time helps~

After a grueling night of modifications and browsing, finally, the site is complete (hopefully... until I find another irk that bothers me) with new functions that I think should help upgrade the website into another level. First of all, the most important function that I've added is the Facebook Like button at the side below the Blog Archive. Talk about vanity by the Author. I also added a Share It button on each blog-post so that readers can easily share it if they feel it's worth clicking. I see this to be a popular function in websites and many people find this better than linking it by themselves which is a real chore. This way, just click and share... 


I don't know if the summary of blog-posts is helpful but I think it should be good - readers  don't have to scroll a long way down to look at the previous entries. I know now that they need to click the posts to read more but I guess... since I've added the new clicking Share It button and the Facebook Like button, no harm adding another clicking option to the blog site.