“our perceptions are always clouded by what we fear, what we hope and what we love.”
is it ok to say that sometimes the more we expect, the more disappointed we get. this year, has already had its great ups and great downs. and im only half way through it.
2010 has taught me so many things, my thought processes are almost entirely different from when i first started teaching in 2006.
in 2006, i was one of those newbie teachers who wanted to make a difference in as many students’ life as possible. i made the effort to remember the names of ALL my students in ALL my 6 sec 1 classes and my 1 sec 2 class.
after 3 yrs, even with only 2 sec 1 classes i didnt bother remembering their names. i figured, im not going to teach most of these students in upper sec cos not many of them take bio anyway and i probably wont have much to do with them.
after 5 yrs, i understood that kids will be kids. and no matter how much i love them and try to get them to know and do whats right, kids will still be kids.
afterall, i might say that i only started doing things right when i was in…………. well………… im still learning to do things right……..
so, while im wondering why im expecting my babies to be perfect, why cant i let them grow at their own pace? why the need to protect them or prevent them doing wrong? whats the urgency to do whatever i can do make sure they are the best they can be?
why did i allow it to become so personal that when they do something wrong, i feel it became a reflection of how ive taught them. (i actually feel very dejected)
my teachers didnt really bother to see whether i grew to be a nice person. they just made sure they did what they could with the time they had to teach me.
so this new generation of teachers who want to make a difference, or do something abt character education or personal growth…….. where do they stand?
my teachers never had students with them past 6pm. we do.
my teachers never photocopied stacks of past yr papers. we do.
my teachers never spent hours talking to us abt why we shouldnt do certain things. we do.
my teachers never tried to develop as many leaders as possible. we do.
but we still turned out just as fine. because we learnt somehow and made it.
why has the responsibility of student learning shifted from students to teachers? why do teachers have to work as if the results that the students get are actually their own examination results? it’s their O levels, not mine. and yet, each year, it feels like as if i’m getting my O level results.
i shouldnt compare. afterall, generations and idealogies are different.
but sometimes it makes me wonder why i am doing so much. why i feel like i have to do so much.
so you can imagine my disappointment over the prelim papers.
i had this great vision of wanting to scold them after their mcq paper. but, on that day of their last prelim papers, it occured to me: “why bother? they are nice kids. they are old enough. and they do want to study. they just didnt think it was impt enough to study for the first prelims. so, why scold?”
my only concern is that if they start revision late, they might not get as fantastic a result as they may get if they use every possible test/exam as a platform to assess their standards. but again, thats their choice isnt it? in the end, i have no doubt that they will make it. and how well they make it or how much better they could have made it if they started studying earlier is really their choice.
realisation isnt about doing what the teacher tells them to. its abt knowing what you want and what you have to do to get it. its abt believing that a change is needed.
and some of them still dont understand the depth of what i said, when i was almost in tears a few months back.
so why this post now? because i thought i was over the disappointment. but today, when i walked into class, i realised i couldnt face them. i was lost for words. i saw KW scolding her class. but i couldnt do that to mine. i just couldnt find the words to say. and thats when i realised how much i was disappointed and how much that disappointment had impacted me. telling them that i was disappointed would have opened the flood gates in my eyes.
i turned to face the board, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. and i told myself, “i’ve always wanted the best for them. and i think i’ve done everything i could to give them the best.”
i guess maybe my best wasnt good enough.
sometimes when you expect so much, put in so much of effort in coming up with an original an exam paper, challenge your students into satisfactorily completing your paper – and you see that they couldnt even answer the simplest questions, you wonder why you even bothered to put in so much of effort into doing the paper. you might as well have picked questions from past year papers and submitted that as the prelim papers. it wouldnt have mattered anyway.
so, while i still love them, ive understood that kids will still be kids. and when they do succeed, its because they made the choice to do what they need to do to succeed. and they will make it. that much i know.
but whether they reach my expectations, i understand now that i shouldnt take it so personally. and my expectations shouldnt have to be their targets.
have i failed?
through the eyes of a teacher who wanted to create a legacy of a class…………….