Monday, 27 June 2011

The Day I Became a Teacher.

Today was my first official day as a practicum student in SMK Taman Desa, KL. Nothing much had been done today.

As soon as we arrived, we met the Senior Assistant Teacher, Miss Nur Elisa Tee, who talked to us for a while and later introduced us to the teachers and students during the assembly. 

After the assembly ended, we had our briefing with Miss Nur Elisa Tee, who I found very welcoming and approachable.  She shared a lot of things which were very relevant and useful to our development as teacher trainees. Then, we met Miss Michelle Liew, the Head of English Panel.  Just like Miss Tee, she was very nice and helpful. She told us that an effective teaching should be clear, inspiring and dynamic, with a balance between firmness and fun. She also reminded us to be careful not to get so friendly with the students or else, they will 'eat' us up (well, not literally)! I’ll remember that! In the afternoon, we attended my first teacher meeting. It was interesting. Yes, interesting. We were quite sleepy though. Hehe..

I was assigned to Form 4K2 and Form 4K5 English. Well, originally I was given Form 4K2 and Form 4K4. However, when I went to see Mr. Teh Wee Liang, the English teacher (who was also my super2 senior from Cohort 1) for Form 4K4 to find out what topics he had already taught, where we should pick up and other stuff related to the class, he was very surprised you know! He said, 'No, no...You can't teach this class. I'll go talk to Mrs. Lau'. Of course I was very curious and worried. He then explained to me that Form 4K4 was a problematic class. They were like the students of 3D Class in Gokusen or the students of Room 203 in the Freedom Writers. So, he said he won't let me take the class because he knew that the students would definitely 'attack' and 'challenge' me and there's no way that I could handle them. Sounds scary, right? 

The funny thing was, I wanted to say 'Please give me the class. Who knows I can be that teacher who can inspire them to change?''. HAHAHA..ya, I know what you would say about that. I sounded too ambitious and poyo! Haha..maybe I watched too many movies/series such as Gokusen, Great Teacher Onitsuka,  Freedom Writers, and many other and therefore I believed I would have ways to handle those students. 

But of course it did not happen. Like I said previously, I was given Form 4K2 and From 4K5 English class. Form 4K5 was the last class out of 7 classes. The level of proficiency was quite low, but discipline-wise, it was better than Form 4K4. That's what Mr. Teh told me. 

Anyway, I should be grateful for getting both classes. It was their destiny to be my first group of students and it was their future which I should be responsible to for the next couple of months. Through this practicum, I hope to gain firsthand experience with all the aspects that must come together in order to for me to be a great teacher for the next forty years. Insya-Allah :)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Friends don’t question, they ask.

You meet someone and become friends. As time passes by, you get closer and closer and eventually he/she becomes your best pal. Both of you spend time together doing things that you believe would strengthen the relationship. You tell him/her stories that you will not share with everyone else including your mum. You believe he/she will be your best friend forever. You announce to the world that he/she will be your Best Man/Made of Honor on your wedding day. And you live your days believing that you will never bring damage to the relationship. And you enjoy your life assuming that you will always be there for your best friend whenever and wherever he/she needs you.

Unfortunately, in any battle against the reality, human always lose. Living in the real world forces you to make sacrifices. You experience new journeys, you meet new people, you face new challenges and you also find new reasons to build a better future, for you. Your life has changed. Your circle of friends has changed. Your views and beliefs on life and relationships have also changed. 

You soon realize that your life is no longer a playground. The reality teaches you that life is no longer about you. It is about you and the world around you. You are not just your parents’ child or your siblings’ brother/sister anymore. And you could be the bestfriend to not one, but two, maybe more people around you. Whether you like it or not, you are committed to every individual around you. Now you have to live your days doing things that you believe would strengthen the relationships between you and those people. You need them. 

Also, you have to admit that you are not perfect. As much as you want to make people around you happy, you are still you. A human. A normal one. Without you realizing it, some of the choices you make today will lead to resentment towards you.  

They question your choices. They question your love. They question your commitment in the relationship. They keep on questioning but sadly, they can’t find the answers that they need to know because they never ask you. Then they decide to leave you.

You blame yourself for being ignorant. You also blame them for questioning your decisions. But you never ask them why are they doing that to you.  In the end, you choose to let them walk away from your world.

You are not the type of person who would want to ruin a relationship. Ironically, a relationship is destroyed because of you. You blame YOU and they blame YOU. Is it really because of YOU? 

How can you tell?

This is my story. This could be your story too. :)

P/S: Life happens and sometimes you just need to ask.