Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Nine Months and Nine Days Later

Has it really been exactly that long? It's been almost a year but I like the title that way, it's more catchy. Putting that aside it has been a long time since I have last logged in much else wrote any entry to my blog. I bet a lot of people who knew me will be thinking and saying that "that is just typical of Faisal", you're partly correct in thinking so because I do blame myself for the happenings in my life lately. Before you jump into conclusion, let me just state here that nothing real bad has happened, it's just life as we know it (or should I say, life as most of us are learning to understand). For those who expect to skim and scan I'm sorry… my promise is that this will be a lengthy one. I haven't been writing for quite some time and would have problem in deciding what to write first.

To be true to the noble purpose of this blog, let's talk about my life as a teacher in SMK Tongod. If I have to be honest, I would say that in the sense of being a nine-month-old teacher, I have failed myself. Not miserably, but I'd say, I have failed and I'm not proud of it. To those who've been waiting for this moment of my downfall, savour it while you can because I'm telling you, I'm not going to quit. This is what frustrates me even more. The fact that I know (deep inside and all over the outside) that I want to be a teacher. Ever since I entered the twinning programme, I was convinced that this is what I want to do. But only after nine months of being in put into the reality, I'd be lying if I say that it didn't occur to me that maybe, just maybe, I should have a peek at other alternatives. I know, I haven't gone into the detail of why I felt that I am a failure as a teacher, don't worry we're almost there. As a teacher in general, I felt that I am just a decent teacher. On a scale to ten, I'll put myself at 4and a half and this is in a school where most of the teachers are 6's and 7's with some 9's. How do I rate myself in the general category? : Ability to finish tasks and complete paperwork on time, ability to be punctual and remember specific duties and the ability to converse and deal with parents.

As an English teacher, I'm a '3'. Huhu, tears in my eyes (typical me aye?). I give myself 3 out of ten and do not try to console me by saying that I'm being harsh on myself because I wish that I had done that a long time ago. Long before the life and future of real human being are put at risk on my undeserving shoulder. I know that I have failed to be the English teacher that I was supposed to be for the last nine month. What do I expect? The people and government invested soo much money, giving me the education that I was supposed to make full use of in equipping the future generation with knowledge that they really need (easily put into words aren't they?). Frankly speaking, I would say that I am facing problems, not merely a problems but several ranging from the ones that I know exactly the solution, to the one that I'm clueless about.

Let's get to the obvious, I PROCRASTINATE! That would have to be a big No No as a teacher… in fact as a human being. I'm working on it now, so please help me… tease me, text me or email me when you see that I'm slowing down. I realize that a lot of inefficiencies in my work are usually caused by the fact that I end up doing them hastily… for the sake of just doing it. Plus, I'm lazy. It's a bonus and I don't see that it need any elaboration.

Secondly, and the most important thing is that I personally felt that I have been experimenting too much. There's just so many things that I try but usually it was not planned properly resulting into poor implementation. I have to start being objective and selective with what I want and have to do next year. I have to learn to be selective and also not to try to teach too much at a time cos no one win if I do. Next, I was thinking of getting rid of the idea of using L1 in class (I was a strong believer before… huhu), personally I felt that my students are getting more harm than benefits from it. My justification is simple; I used to tell everyone that the problem with my students is that they are not exposed to the learning environment and more importantly they are not exposed to the language. And there I go contradicting my own opinion by using about 50 percent of Malay in the class. I amazed with my own ignorance. I plan to bring the environment to them next year. Please help me with ideas if you guys got any. It's going to be hard work, seeing that I'm going to teach form 1,2,3,4,and 5 next year. Fuh! Wish me luck! I promise that I won't make it any easier for my students either, coz it's definitely gonna be hard for them to master English, but I'm gonna make it fun. Hope that I'll succeed.

For the sanity of my vanity, let me boast a lil bit with what's in store for me this coming year. I think that it would look more impressive if I put it in bullet form rite? So here it goes:

  1. Class teacher for Form 5 Beta
  2. English Teacher Form 5 Beta
  3. Moral Edu. Teacher Form 5 Beta
  4. English Teacher Form 4 Alpha
  5. English Teacher Form 3 Beta
  6. English Teacher Form 2 Alpha
  7. English Teacher Form 1 Beta
  8. Coordinator for Illiterate Programme (60% of form one students couldn't read in Malay)
  9. Scholarship Teacher
  10. Secretary for PISMP (Math Science in English)
  11. Co- coordinator (Library)

Fuh! I'm exhausted even just typing them. Will I survive? I don't know for sure. I really hope to shine this year, so wish me all the best that you guys can. K, that's all for now. Cheers mate!

What about a pictorial entry?

I love writing entries but I think it would be nice to let you guys have a taste of my life in Tongod so far through pictures. So, keep scrolling and I hope you guys will be entertained.

"A little bit about the scene, we are on a mid-size suspended bridge (jambatan gantung, am I right?). This bridge connects the Lilingkuon Village (where the school buildings are) and the Purutawoi Village (where I am currently residing). The murky river is the result of heavy rain upstream but the water got clearer quite fast. Usually, after a day without rain, you'll be able to see children diving with small spears to catch fish and prawns. It's a pretty exciting sight!"

Three teachers posing on a bridge

"This is one of the early pictures taken of me and my colleagues. To the left is Cikgu Ahmad from Sandakan, a Geography major and currently teaching Geo, History and Malay Literature. He's also a new teacher. To the right in Man U jersey is Cikgu Nasron, Kelantanese, a Bio-Math major,currently teaching Science and P.E and have been serving for more than 2 years in Tongod"

Leisure fishing at weekends

"Can you see how clear the water is in the picture? This side of the river is just next to my house, about 40 metres away. What are we doing? Fishing for udang galah (freshwater prawns). I was the one taking the picture though. On a good day, we can catch up to three prawns per individu in a couple of hours. This is not really a fishing spot as all the fishermen in the village went downstream to the larger river in their boats."

Work Hazard!

This is one of the few extraordinary experience of working amidst the nature. Yeah! this is not a camera trick, I did look a lil bit like Angelina Jolie rite? The tips; go and get yourself bitten by wasp. It hurts like hell! Embarrassing, and real funny at the same time. The story, I was in school ground at that time, a wasp (didnt know it was a wasp at that time) suddenly flew onto my not so luscious lips, I acted on reflect and shoo it away with my hand and this is what I got. So much for livin in the wilderness! Haha... laugh at me!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Okay, here I go… again…

I am green with envy. Hehe… to be frank, I'm not sure whether I have the right to feel jealous about this. Okay, let me tell you what is this all about. I'm talking about few of my friends becoming successful bloggers and writing brilliant entries that became the talk of the crowds. The reason why I felt that I don't have the right yet as to be jealous is due to the fact that I haven't even been able to surf the net and go read the stuffs. Nevertheless, I'd like to congratulate all of you my friends (anyone who'd think that their blog entries have been the talk of the town), for stealing the limelight from me. Hehe… just kidding, I'm sure your entries are brilliant and can't wait to sample them.

For this entry, I want to share with you the pictures of my '08 students. FYI, I am the class teacher of Form 4 Beta and I'm going to be their teacher for the coming year as well (school policy), which reminds me that I have yet another topic to write in mind.

Let's get back to the topic today; my form four class. As with all of the other classes in my school, the students consist of mostly Sungai people. Attitude wise, they are as good as any typical 16 years old boys and girls can get. Of course there are few 'major' ones but take my word for it, these bunch of students are angels compared to the form 4 students that I have had during my practicum days in SMK ... . This class is one of the two form 4 classes and this one being a Geography elective class is unofficially the second class as the students are streamed according to their PMR results.

Next year, I'm still gonna be their class teacher and I hope with a year of experience I've had with them, the road will be a lot 'smoother'. There's a story behind every faces, there's even a twin brothers in my class, not identical though... can you guys identify them. I think I'll save the anecdotes on few stories I knew bout these kids for later... I'll be bloggin again soon. Till then, Cheers!

Me and procrastination

I am a procrastinator and as hard as it is to admit it, I'll have to say that there's nothing good about it. I have known this for many years yet I have repeatedly failed from liberating myself out of it. It is frustrating, to know one of your biggest weaknesses yet not managing to push yourself hard enough to overcome it. I'm not going to list down excuses and reasons on why I haven't been updating my blog because the truth is that it all goes back to whether I am willing enough to find the way.

I'm not giving up though. This is yet another comeback after yet another 'realisation phase'. I have to push myself and make things work. And one thing that I'm really sure of is the fact that I want to make this blog works and all of you reading this are part of the most important driving force in making me a better person. God bless and keep the comments coming.

p/s: Just another scenery in Tongod that I have managed to capture on my way to the weekly market a.k.a. 'tamu'. There's so many more scenic views that I wanted to share and I'm thinking of getting myself a D-SLR. Guess I'll have to start saving from now then.