Waiting for Superman

on Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Waiting for Superman

That is the title of the latest documentary movie that has been released.

This movie is about education or more specifically what is lacking of it in the US education system. It states and I quote a lot of good and effective English teachers but also containing a lot of very ineffective ones. According to The Oprah Show and the guest starring in that documentary Michelle Reed, this is one of the major reasons why the education system is failing and the fact that even a few of these ineffective teachers are in classes everyday, 5 days a week is detrimental to the vision and future of young ones.

If you have 3 effective teachers going in for 3 straight periods, versus 3 ineffective teachers going into class for 3 straight periods, it heavily guides or misguides the path of students - Michelle Reed in The Oprah Show

I think this is phenomenal and not to mention not new. It has been under the rugs for too long that the acceptance of ineffective teachers are always compromised. At what expense? The education of the students. Michelle Reed purportedly fired more than 1000 teachers in the public sector in the US for not being effective teachers even with a system similar to ours; a teacher's union that heavily guards the security of not just the teaching profession but the security of being a civil servant as well.

Being a civil servant and a teacher gives a lot of security blankets to individuals. Not only is it difficult to fire a teacher, it is also difficult to make that teacher's life difficult. You can, but it is not easy. It isn't new that there are a handful of teachers who abuse this sense of security and abuse it the best they can. Some are smart about it and tend to fix their attitudes every now and then to ensure that they are safe just in case there are people watching over them.

I find this sense of security to be VERY unchecked. Don't get me wrong, I think that having security and a union is brilliant and ultimately necessary but if this leads to unchecked abuse of those within the system, then you're just covering up one hole by digging another. Job security should not immediately equal to I-can-do-whatever-the-hell-I-want-and-no-one-can-talk-smack-about-it. Once again, I'm not saying that the system is impervious and invincible, I'm saying that it is made so difficult to crack, it'll take more than a sledgehammer to break those walls.

I can understand the sentiment brought up by those in the Oprah Show. I also hate it when I see some slacking off around me while others are doing their mighty best to improve the people around them. I hate it when I see people giving tonnes of excuse while others take it with a don and force themselves to work harder for the betterment of others instead of themselves. I feel that our system of Guru Cemerlang is excellent in paving the way for teachers who want to become better and strive to improve their students. I think that there should be a thorough check and balance system to make it easier to recognise these tireless teachers and credit them for their uproaring efforts and success.

Until then, I really wanna watch Waiting for Superman.

Why doesn't it appear in ARES?

Freshman Year Part II

on Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Following up with my year end analyses, I think it's important to keep things brief as well. I think being a civil servant and teacher has taught me a few lessons rather painstakingly.

Well, some things can't be taught or told. You have to experience it yourself. It really is very 'eye-opening' to work with civil servants. You really get a mixture of a 'variety' of characters. I hardly want to divulge detailed information about these relations... Because it's just not professional.

I think keeping your workplace and work ethic tip top is the key. I know this has nothing to do with professional development but it helps you stay focused. In the end, it's very easy to feel imbalanced and untethered to your duties. You feel like you're leaving too many things hanging and you don't know which to commit to first. Organised - that's the keyword for the year.

Following up to the word 'organisation' is management. I think student management cannot be undermined here. The idea is - you manage them well, you can have any activity. You 'teach them to self manage' and they become 'instintively creative'. My ultimate goal and resolution for 2011 would be just that.

Get students to become their own managers and think-tanks. Make their dependancy on teachers to be near zero.

2011, here they come

Freshman Year Part I

on Tuesday, 9 November 2010
As the year draws to an end for school, it's important to have a little bit of reflection about the year. I can't seem to put it in more comprehensible writing so I guess I'll be splitting it into parts.

First up, the students

i think they have been very appreciative of what i've been trying to do. I feel very blessed to have them not to be my students but to teach me how to become a better teacher. Seeing it's my first year as a full-fledged teacher, the things I've learned are important and will stick for a very long time.

... No matter what they give to me, i'll give back two-folds.

1 Dalton Storytelling Competition

on Monday, 8 November 2010
I had a storytelling competition with my form 1 class and it proved to be quite the hit among the kids.

I should do this more often to boost the confidence of the students to speak in English. I've already posted the album in my Facebook account (link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=266075&id=507101837 )... So I'm not going to post it here. I'll just post the winners here as a small prize of appreciation.


Consolation prizes:

2nd Runner-Up:

1st Runner-Up




Painful Pens

Since this is the first time I'll be going graphic, it's kinda... sad that I'm posting about punishment. This kid skipped my class and had the nerve to hide from me as I spotted him from afar. I just had to punish him but I did not want to resort to barbaric and crude assaults.

So I assault his brain.

*note: some of the images could be very graphical. A teacher's assistance while viewing is advised.



I should have given more...