Monday, April 28, 2014

Busy

My time is kinda filled up these days. There seem more things to do with the same amount of time. Co-curricular activities... they're not just for students. Lol! They have been taking up quite a bit of my time these past few weeks. Getting my students ready for debate, followed by the FLL robotic competition, with coaching volleyball in between were my extra-curricular activities. I've basically been functioning as if on steroids.

And oh yes.. SPM results were released in between too. Am quite pleased with my students' results. For the last one year, the iPad has enabled me to use mind maps and engage students in a more meaningful and interesting way. Overall, there was marked improvement for my History classes. There were one or two moments which will always be etched in my memory. There was this boy who had been flunking his History until I started teaching him. He got an A... And I was overjoyed with him. He came to see me after he got his results and before he left, he muttered a word of thanks in a tone that only both of us understood... it was a poignant moment. I used to challenge this boy to rise above himself. He did. His BM was atrocious but somehow, simplifying things helped. And he got lucky too...

I learned one thing though. We talk a lot about modern learning concepts these days. During my days as a student, they key words were read, write, arithmetic... These days it's all about the Cs... connect, collaborate, curate, critical thinking, communicate, create... I don't know whether there are any more to add on. Anyway, no matter how we phrase or present the words, one thing stands out to me. There is a need for guidance. Maybe guidance is hardly the right description since we are very into all these high powered words. Mentoring... Mentors make a difference. There is only so much a person can know. Somehow the length of one's life on earth still makes a difference in how we act or think. Experience still very much play an important role in shaping character and forming habits. And this is where teachers step in.

But I think what makes a good teacher good is a good teacher inspires. Everyone of us needs to be inspired one way or another. I think there is way too much emphasis on results that we fail to focus of character building. In other words, we teach but I think teaching is mainly skewed towards getting the A(s). We rush through the syllabus and focus on answering techniques. All these come with a price and that price is often indicative of the sacrifice of the soul.

Anyway, I am currently embarking on another project, one that will hopefully enable me to try out all these learning concepts... Flipped, flexed, blended and what have you not... And am fortunate that my current boss is very supportive.

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