At this point as I'm writing this post, I've already survived my 1st week in school. Waking up at 5.30am (even at 6am) is torturing. Dragging my feet on the car's pedals into the school is even worst. Counting the days to week 12 seemed like a never ending counting. How I wish I was in Ipba listening to boring lectures. Because then, I could still off-task as long as I wanted. When we received the news that all students in practicum were ordered to return back to Ipba next Wednesday 10-2pm for our beloved Director's retirement ceremony, I felt blessed. Oh, God! Only You know how I felt.

I got form 1(the last class) and form 2(the 1st one): 1L and 2Y. Both classes have around 30++ students.

1L's general proficiency level was very low. In the previous tests, all of them except around 5 students have failed. Only 1 student got an A. So, imagine me giving simple English instructions, and the students were staring blankly at me. One period = 40minutes. Out of that 40minutes, I think, 15-20 minutes was used for behaviour management. During this 1st week, I have tried a few different methods in managing their behaviour and to learn about the best learning strategies for them. And yet, none of those suit this class. This morning, my mum called asking me about my 1st week in school. And of course, she shared all her wisdom in handling such classes to me. But, sharing info is not the same as applying it. How am I supposed to apply what she told me? Where should I begin?

A bunch of chinese boys were always talking and doing something else at the back of the class. The Indian boys always sit nicely on their seats but, once a while they would eventually crack a small fight which can be very destracting to the class. There were a few Malay boys in my class. Half of them were quite obedient and good in my class. But, the other half was very active in class, in the sense of, they just love to move around the class, walking around me while I was talking in front of the class, and disturbing others - and that will be referring to Ahmad and Afiq.

There are 2 academically and should I say emotionally/mentally problematic students (according to their former English teacher). When the first time I entered the class, I realised a very cute, handsome boy sitting in the front row. Jeremiah was his name. What a lovely name. He was very quite. But, one very special thing about him was that, the first time I asked him something in English, he answered me very politely but quietly, in PERFECT ENGLISH! Walla! The problem is he seemed lost in his world almost all of the time. During recess, I saw him sitting alone on a bench under a staircase, behind locked bars (grill tangga-watever paham2 la sendiri). That scenery really touched my heart. What's wrong with this boy? What really happened? Why is he always alone? That's when I decided to asked his former teacher more about him. According to the teacher, the boy's parents came to meet the teacher before and explained the boy's condition. He's always lost in his thoughts, his own world. He's also very afraid of teachers. Thus, I should speak nicely and softly to him. Another boy, I called him Ah Sen. Well, that's the easiest way to remember his name. It's very difficult for me to remember people's names. I think his name was Kok Sen. This is another difficult case I am facing. According to the teacher, he has learning disorder/difficulties. He only understands chinese, not malay, not English. So how? You want me to go and take Chinese class pulak? Gosh! He does his work very very very slowly. Nobody wants to be his friend and he seemed okay with it. Cause he seemed blur most of the time. He needs a private translator and maybe that annoys some of the boys. Doesn't matter what happen in the class, he would always look at me, look at everyone, everything blankly and with confusion.

I enjoyed teaching 2y and I hope they enjoyed my class as well. Their proficiency level is Intermediate - Upper Intermediate. Except for maybe one or two students who find it difficult to understand, what else to converse in English. And for this one boy (as for this one week, he was the only one that I could detect with learning difficulty in this class), being in a class full of students with good English made him very fragile, remote, and passive. I realised that he was embarrassed to ask questions, to participate, etc. In other words, he has a pride to maintain and therefore, revealing his weaknesses would lower his pride. I have to approach him very nicely, and make sure not to provoke or offend him in any way. But, how? I dont want any of my students to be left behind. This is hard.... T_T

Who say It's Easy to be A Teacher?
Who say teaching is the easiest profession? I really want to snap at those mouths. Being a teacher is not only about teaching. Well, of course "teacher" and "teaching" come from the same root word "teach". But, being a teacher also requires the teachers to handle with all the clerical jobs, extra curriculum, meetings, courses, school functions to be handled, colleagues, and the politics in school. Especially being a teacher in Malaysia. Our culture of seniority is very strong. As new teachers (me being a trainee teacher will be worst.. like duh~), I really feel uncomfortable initiating a conversation. Everybody has work in the stuff room. So, should I randomly go to people's desks to socialise? If not, we'll be called a snob. Like what happened last few days: there was a photography session for all the teachers. The teacher in charge in it asked us to join them. But, politely one of us decline his offer. It was because we were not even a teacher yet. We are trainee teachers. Not even NEW teachers. Plus, we were only arrived few days earlier. Takkanlah da nak bergambar for the school magazine. Besides, we would only be there for 3 months. So, we decided not to go. Unfortunately, all of the teachers and the PRINCIPLE was waiting for us. They even sent prefects to call us. But, as soon as we got there, they already took their picture. Afterwards, kene sound la ape lagi. Sitting in front of me in the stuff room is a very handsome PE teacher. He asked me, "Kenapa tak turun ambil gambar tadi? Tak sudi ke nak bergambar dengan kami?" Ouch! That hurts. Well, I explained to him why. Then, he said, "Eh, ambil je lah gambar. I dulu masa practicum pun I ambil je gambar dgn cikgu2 sekolah I." Easy said. If our cooperating teachers/the principle/the penolong kanans were the ones who instructed or should I say offered us down, then, maybe we would be slightly more comfortable to join them. This was not just the thing I hate about school, I really hate writing the super lengthy lesson plans. Really time consuming. Everyday, I slept at around 3am. Sometimes later than that. Then, we have to do Head Counts. Head Counts here means the analysis of the students' performance throughout the year. It's not counting the heads for attandance purposes, okay (well, that was what I thought before). *sigh*

Who say it's easy to be a teacher? Yes, it might be easy to be a teacher. Everyone can become a teacher. You teach one simple thing to anybody and you are already his/her teacher. But, to be a super good teacher, you need tonnes of inspiration to aspire your students, mountains of patience to cope with them, and 1001 ways to educate (not merely to teach) them.

And as for me, it's still a looooooooong journey for me before I could reach that stage. How I wish I could be just like my mother. How I wish she could impart all her knowledge and experiences to me. And my goal is to be a Guru Cemerlang just like her but, of course, in English not Physics. But, will I ever be there? When will I ever get to that point? It's week 1 and I am already exhausted, lost my mind, lost my temper, fell sick, spent a lot for teaching, and stressed out.
This breeze... it reminds me of New Zealand. How I wish I am in Nz now. I miss evryone there. I miss listening to Sheryll's screaming and lectures added with all her complimentary gestures and funny expressions. And her famous tagline, "Suck it up, folks!". I miss collecting craccum every week. I wonder how's this year's craccum. I mean honestly, nothing much being discussed in craccum and they are all boring crap. But, still, craccum is an evidence of my unique uni life abroad in comparison to some of Malaysian local students. I am proud to have that short but memorable exclusive experience.

Okay, cut the crap, cut the crap!

Yea, tomorrow is my first day of practicum. I am going to officially report myself to school. No idea which form(s) am I going to teach. No idea about my timetable yet. I am very blur and in the know of nothing, currently. I wanted to prepare some lesson plans but, as I said, I dont know which classes am I going to teach, and not to mention, I have no clue about the school's weekly/monthly planning or whatsoever. So how? I pray that the school will not ask me to teach during the first week. Oh god, please let me settle down and get to know the school and students first during my first week there. Btw, I am going to SMK Taman Yarl, near Old Klang Road. I've googled about the school but, to my disappointment, I couldnt find much about the school. *Sigh*
Gosh! Scary, scary! First day of school is always scary, creepy and nervouse.

My preparation???
  • Okay, I've always loved to collect materials, activities and exercises. So, for the past few days, I have been gathering, rearranging, and collecting some activities and organise them according to their difficulty levels and forms.
  • Ironed all my clothes for next week. -and I realised how I need more, and more baju kurung. Sangat boring okay, rotating the same baju week out week in.
  • Printing and compiling a few stuff for my Practicum Portfolio.
  • Went to the school to check out the route to that school.

Hope I wont forget anything tomorrow. Oh, fyi, since 2 days ago, I have been dreaming about teaching and being observed. That shows how nervous I am now.