Saturday, February 20

You Can Help Me Choose!

I am very ambitious & my eyes are often bigger than my belly.
At this moment, I have too much on my plate & I need to downsize.
Initially, I set a goal to complete all 3 personal projects within this year alone.
On top of my daily huff & puff, I wanted to produce a School Magazine, a School Documentary & an Action Research.

However, after 1 month of teaching, I realised that this goal is a little too far fetched due the limited amount of resources I have to spare after taking into consideration the 'responsibilities' I have been given this year.
Doing only 1 fits comfortably into my schedule but I want to stretch my abilities.
Therefore, I have decided to choose 2 out of the 3.

The problem is they are all equally important & exciting to undertake so I just cannot decide which one to scrap.
This is where you come in.
Read about all 3 projects & help me choose which one to do.
The polls will run for 4 weeks from today.

School Magazine

Last year, I produced the Empurau 2009 school magazine. You can read about it by clicking here.
Even though I was a mere assistant, I was a one man show last year & had a terribly tough time.
Despite the obstacles, the magazine was completed & it was good.
God provided for me good friends who helped out & energy to slave long hours.
Without this assistance, I'd fall off the cliff of insanity & burn out.

This year is better. This year I'm the boss. This year I get to choose my team members.
So I chose the best teachers with complementing skills for the team.
We have divided the work accordingly & I have complete faith in our ability to produce an even better magazine this year.
God is good!

**Producing the 2010 Empurau magazine is compulsory so I will have to choose between the next 2.


Action Research


If you dont know what Action Research in Education is, please click here.
Early this year, I read about a Proactive Approach to Classroom Management, adapted it & started to put it into practice in my classrooms.
I have had some interesting observations which I have briefly noted down.
Last year, I was a very loud, aggressive & fierce teacher.
Misbehave & you'll be deaf for the next 5 minutes.
It was tiring & although students behaved, I was unsure if they were learning.

This year, I wanted to try a gentler approach.
Still assertive & teacher-centred but rarely loud & aggressive.
I want to help students choose between the desired action or a consequence.
This is also about keeping parents informed as well as setting up & enforcing a set of rules + consequences in the classroom.
It's all about preparing for all possible incidents in the classroom beforehand & then following through on a prearranged set of positive or negative consequences.

I will make personal observations, get other teachers to observe & note down their observations & thoughts as well as interview students on their preferences & thoughts.
I want to make it a respectable Action Research article with references & have it published.


Documentary

taken from sisterpower.net

My school is a unique specimen.
It is located deep within the interiors of the least developed part of Sarawak.
There is no road access to the school or to the nearest town. You need to take an express boat to the nearest town & then ride a sampan for 1 hour to get to the school.
The students come from actual longhouses in the forests & most of them have illiterate parents who couldn't care less about their academic achievements.

Despite the undesirable locality, lack of exposure, low expectations & little parental support, the school was able to achieve 100% pass rate (over 120 students) in the 2008 SPM examinations, be the #1 school in the division & rank within the top 50 schools in Sarawak.
The school has also got several state representatives in sports & continue to win an increasing amount of medals each year in intra-division competitions.

Not bad for a pendalaman school, eh?
How horrible are the living conditions actually?
How did the school achieve so much?
What are their secrets?
What can other schools learn from this school?

I want to answer all these questions and more in my documentary.
The documentary will be completely in English & will be kept to a maximum of 30-45mins.
I'm looking to complete it by the end of this year.
I want to make this an activity with students in the English Language Society.
It will be mailed to friendly schools & relevant government agencies.
It will also be available for public viewing on YouTube.

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