Giving and Receiving

4 Comments// Posted in course, learning, teaching by on 05.14.10.

When I received this joyous news, I told my students that I would give them a treat. I felt it’s only fair that my success is shared with all my students, those who made me who I am today. So as promised, I went to KFC and brought along a few students to carry the goodies back to school. It was amusing to watch the shock on the employee’s face when I mentioned 6 barrels for takeaway. I think it’s the first time they’ve ever received such large order at the drive-thru. Sure, it’s a dent in my pocket but seeing how they appreciated my lessons all these while, well, to me that’s priceless. I didn’t realise that my initiative moved even the rowdy ones until they approached me that day and fumbled through their thank-yous. Miraculously, they became more cooperative the next day and even hand in their homework on time! Oh my god! Now I know how LouAnne Johnson must have felt. If I knew feeding these kids greasy fried chickens can change their attitude by leaps and bounds, I would have rushed to the KFC earlier, hehe.

When I went to SMK Gelang Patah for the Immersion Programme the next day, I’ve discovered that all teachers face various adversities in teaching, some may vary depending on situation and circumstances. Dealing with troubled adolescents, especially ones with discipline problems can be tough. Without doubt, good class management is vital in ensuring the flow of the lesson. The teachers I’ve met are dedicated teachers who had to deal with a challenge, engaging weak students to enjoy English Language class.

I had my fair share of teaching the last class, the one where not many teachers would be rubbing their hands in glee whenever they need to enter such class. You’ll find a lot of sleepyheads, troublemakers and some of them are clueless, not sure why they need to be in school. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to coax all your students to hand in your work in time. Well, hopefully not because they’d copied the work from their friends. *shrugs*

I’m no expert in teaching. I’ve only been teaching for 9 years but I believe that regardless of your years of teaching, your success in teaching depends on how you engage your students in your lessons and how well you control your class. Voice projection is essential too. Apart from that, we need to accept students’ criticisms as well. Once, my students in a class I’ve taught confessed that they thought the lesson for that particular session was boring because it was just worksheet and textbook. I know it’s easy to feel demotivated once we receive such comment but if we reflect it positively, it could actually turn us to be better teachers. After receiving such feedback, it’s only fair that we try to improve ourselves as teachers. Turn lemons into lemonade, they say. Hence, any feedback from students, positive or negative, fueled me to find engaging teaching alternatives to cater to their needs. Songs, language games, pop quizzes, multimedia and Internet-based learning are some of the catalysts for engaging and meaningful lessons.

In my honest opinion, all teachers face adversities and challenges in schools, regardless of whether they teach in a good school or not. It’s unfair to label teachers just because of the demographic aspect or the attitude of the students per se. Nonetheless, I believe that teachers have strong impact on students’ engagement in learning. In order to receive good results, we need to give good teaching as well. It’s a reminder to myself that I need to be a constant learner and always try to give the best in everything I do.

Next Monday is the Teacher’s Day celebration. Ironically, right after the T-Day’s lunch, I need to tear myself away from the celebration to attend a meeting. Yes, that’s right, a meeting. I’ll be in Pontian to attend the ‘Mesyuarat Peningkatan Akademik Matapelajaran Bahasa Inggeris Negeri Johor‘ for 3 consecutive days. Happy Teacher’s Day to all the teachers out there. Kudos for being the resilient multi-tasking experts. YOU ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES!

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