And finally today, normal classes resumed after 2 weeks of sports related activities. I still think middle-of-the-year sports is not good for the psyche of the students. The one good thing though is the cool weather. It wasn't hot at all this year!!! 8) But it disrupts the lessons and mood for those in the exam classes.
It rained right from the start of this morning. Whenever it rains, it is not uncommon to find half the students absent. Rain equals to absence! Almost equal numbers of parents seem not to mind their kids not attending school on a rainy day. My mom would throw a fit if I dared suggest skipping school because of rain. She'll tell me there's always the umbrella.... or just be late. The teacher will understand.
My second class for the day was a Form 4 class, notorious for high truancy rate.
I routinely check the names for students who play truant after work is given. The recalcitrant ones are usually the same and today was no exception. But I was told that they only usually make it a point to miss my classes! So today, I decided to wait at the corridor for the 5 who skipped my class after my lesson was over. It was only mid-morning. One head soon appeared from one corner but disappeared just as quickly. I guess the owner of the head must have seen me. After a while, I moved to the other end of the block, anticipating them to use the other stairs to get up to class. Sure enough, the same act. I stood at the corridor for about 15 minutes... heads would pop up from the left and right every little while but disappear just as soon.
I usually make sure students hand in their work. I will 'go after' those who skip unceasingly. And ever since I got my iPad, keeping track has been made even easier. Hence, I will still go after their work even after a fortnight of MIA from certain students. And this is where the problem begins. Because of this, some of these kids prefer to skip classes. Apparently they are allergic to written exercise.
I was thinking whether I should take this as a failure to inspire them to learn. But then again, these are kids who refuse to take any responsibilities for their learning. And neither do their parents. I walked up to the class again later in the day just to see if they were in. A teacher was in. 3 of the 5 were in the class. They were sleeping. I don't know about the other 2. They would apparently stay in the class if not made to do their work.
In the days when we used to have a really fierce PK HEM, just a mention of her name would send these same students furiously writing to complete their work. These days, opting for the soft approach, the kids are getting the better of us. I think kids don't understand the language of reason sometimes... especially such kids. They can tell you that they come to school to study but exhibit no behaviour to show it. In fact they would miss classes. They know the right answers but do the wrong thing. Kids today may be more exposed but they are no wiser than kids of old. In fact, they might even be more foolish for they know not any fear of their future. Too much of a good life, crutches a-plenty, what is there to spur them? Half of my students were given a 1Malaysia netbook, many of whom had deplorable sets of results. You do badly... you still get rewarded. What incentive is there for one to work hard?
A failing system, poor parenting, distracted kids.... the list goes on.