Tuesday, July 29

Why I Want To Be A Teacher

I have been asked many times by friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, students & other teachers, "why do you want to be a teacher?"
Few would be genuinely overjoyed when I say that I am training to be a teacher with the government in their Secondary Schools.
Some will pretend to be.

Many will ask with a similar tone...
Wondering why this man would choose such a profession.
A profession that has haunted & tortured them for much of their early years.
A profession with no promise of fame, fortune or status.
A profession regarded as the last resort to many.

Many think that I can do better in life & are blunt about it.
Blatantly arguing & putting down the profession.
But really...
Think about it...
Can I do any better?

My initial dream was to become a pilot.
I wanted to fly in the sky & be free like the birds...
I loved looking down on creation...
I loved to see harmony...
Every small piece working together to make a large difference...

But my dream was cut short because of parental denial.
Later on, I received a government scholarship to pursue a degree in English language teaching overseas.
My parents greatly agreed to this because they did some research and found that teaching was a profession that provided a secure future.
I detested the profession because my parents liked it.
I was the regular young & angry rebel.

However, as I progressed in the teaching course & aged like fine wine...
I began to mature as an individual & learned to assess critically...
That was when I saw it.
I saw the need in this country...
The need for a lethal linguistic injection.
I saw the need in the schools...
The need for a teacher who students follow.
I saw the need in the children...
The need for significance.

I looked down at myself & my two hands...
I asked myself, what shall I live for?
What is the purpose of my life?
Why have I been given so much privilege?
Then, I looked to my creator for an answer.
And He whispered into my heart.

I looked at the children & I saw their needs.
I looked at myself & found that I have been blessed with skills.
Skills which can meet these needs.
So, actually...
Can I do any better with my life & my skills?

My plan is to teach for 5 years first.
If I am a bad teacher & students dont learn anything, I will quit.
If I am a good teacher & I do good with the students, I dont see why I should stop providing a positive influence to the new generations.

From teaching, I may not receive fame, fortune or status...
But what I will have is memories & stories that are not only mine but shared by many little hearts all around the world.

What do you live for?
I chose to live for more than fame, fortune or status.
I live for blessing to be a blessing.

taken from letstalkscience.ca

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."
Genesis 12:2

Saturday, July 26

Punctuation Ministries: Whose Dream?

Punctuation Ministries has prepared another tantalising stage production for the pleasure of the masses!
Since its induction many years ago, Punctuation Ministries has produced many 5 star stage plays at a 1 star budget!
It has been 3 years since I caught one of their performances & they have never failed to delight me!

The play is about the conflict between father & child.
The child has a dream for his future while the dad has a completely different dream for his son!

I'm definitely catching it!
I can relate to the conflict between parent & child and I am pretty sure 99.9% of Malaysians will too!
So I am extending an invitation to all my readers.
RSVP by emailing me!

This event is open to all races & faiths!
All are welcome!

For more info & a map to the venue, visit this website.

Venue: Dream Centre, DUMC
Date & Time:
1 August 2008 (Fri) 8:30 - 10:00pm
2 August 2008 (Sat) 8:30 - 10:00pm
3 August 2008 (Sun) 8:30 - 10:00pm

Monday, July 21

When You Can't Get What You Want

Have you seen something that you really like?
Then, you researched all about it...
like it's name, address, phone number...
But as you were attempting to possess it,
you found that you couldn't?

Well, I have seen this something almost 6 months ago...
I have totally fallen in love with it...
and yet...
ever since the first sighting, I have never seen it again...
I have searched all over Malaysia & have yet to find...

I feel gay saying this but...
Just like a women, I have become obsessed with a pair of shoes...
I have given up searching for it on my own...
Now I'm opening it up to the internet & requesting that my readers assist me in my search for retail happiness!

It's a Converse All Star Jack Purcell
I saw it in a US Men's Health magazine 6 months ago so it should still be available.
For 6 months, I searched Converse boutiques all over Malaysia to no avail.
It looks like a Burberry design so I actually went to a few Burberry boutiques & enquired on the availability of their sneakers...
They had none that matched the beauty of this pair...

So do keep an eye out for it the next time you go shopping!!
Let me know if you have found it!!
I would be sooooo grateful!!
UPDATE: 24/7/2008
I sent an email to Converse.com & they have confirmed that this pair of shoes are out of production & is currently out of stock.
I was advised to look for any remaining stocks in retailers.
I've searched & there is obviously no more in Malaysia...
Anyone overseas willing to help out this poor sod?

Thursday, July 17

My Students Blog Too!

Image taken from classpress.com

Today, I got my students to start their own blogs!
Not personal blogs though...
But academic blogs!
This means that I will assign them written tasks to be completed, checked & then posted onto their blogs!

And because it is academic in purpose, it needs to be assessed.
Therefore, it is unpractical to ask every student start a blog each because I wont be able to check each blog.
Furthermore, the task might be too overwhelming for some students due to various factors.
Thus, I have grouped the students & got them to start their blogs in groups.

My purpose for getting the students in my high proficiency class to start blogs is to:
- provide relevant language enrichment activities
- expose to the most powerful media of the 21st century
- expose to ICT
- development of people skills / groupwork

For further information, check out this site:
Introducing the 1 Maju Student Group Blog Project!

As the teacher, I have started a separate blog to explain the purpose & objectives of this project as well as elaborate on the details of the project.
This blog is the hub of the project that will link you to the student group blogs:
The 1 Maju Group Blog Project

Do support my students by reading their blogs & posting constructive comments!

Tuesday, July 15

Lack of Aptitude = Lack of Apprehension

Today, I had to reluctantly remove one of my published blog posts because of a misunderstanding of it's content.
The language I use in my writing is complex and I usually write with layers of meaning.
It would therefore require a really well developed mind with good proficiency in the English language to completely fathom my poetic compositions.

Like I said, there was a misunderstanding.
Apparently one or more students from my school found my blog and read the post about the incident where one of my colleagues was harassed by some students.
This student or group of students came up with erroneous allegations against my colleague & myself; claiming that we hate the school and we hate the students in the school.

Au contraire, my dear readers...
These claims brought fourth from an inferior mentality is far from the truth.
I have only described events & reactions as it is.
I have not implied on anyone hating the school nor its students.

I am absolutely loving SMK Puteri Titiwangsa.
The teachers in the English department are cooperative & very helpful.
They offer help even before help is requested!
Furthermore, the administration is just as effective!
We get to photocopy material & exercises for FREE!
We get markers, manila cards, A4 papers, you name it, we get it for FREE!
How many trainee teachers get that from their school?!
Very few to NONE!
For this, I am very grateful to the school & its pragmatic attitude.

I am also absolutely loving my students.
I got 2 classes with two very different levels of proficiency & motivation.
I have a class with high-proficiency & high-motivation while the other is a direct opposite.
But both classes TRY THEIR BEST!
They listen to me in class & they complete work that I assign.
How many trainee teachers get that from their students?!
Very few to NONE!
For this, I am very grateful to my students & their positive attitude.

So my dear friends, family, students, colleagues, evaluators & censors...
Do not believe gossip for its purpose of creation already leaves much to question.
They were created to be juicy enough to spread.
And I bet the person who started these rumours is having a heck of a time being popular & the one stop exposé shrine into the lives of the new male teachers.
They had to make it something sensational so people would be interested!
And sometimes being sensational means sacrificing honesty.

Therefore, read my thoughts for yourselves & see through the eyes of koko'.
God gave you a brain for a reason.
Read, understand (dictionary recommended), critique and if you have a disagreement, leave me a comment!
Bring the issue to its source where something can be done!
Please do not waste the time of other people & please do not tarnish the reputation of people who depend on it for work.

p/s: the censored post will be silently republished with it's original date after I have completed my practicum.

Friday, July 11

How Do the Students View Me?

Do they see me as this?

taken from stemequitypipeline.org

A teacher that students are motivated to work with.
A teacher that inspires & brings them to new heights.
A teacher who works very hard into every night to plan lessons
that are engaging & a joy for students to follow.
A teacher who constantly wants to improve.

Or this?

taken from nilpixel.com

A walking meat on a stick.
One of the only 8 men in the big school.
Single, strong, charming, tall, young, broad chested, good features & commanding presence.
An object of feminine fantasy.

I opened up my eyes today to find, with great chagrin, that the student do check me out...
I felt like a man living in a jungle ruled by exotic Amazon women.
I get looked at like an exhibit in a museum...
Did they see me as a piece of art?
Or as a pole dancer in a strip bar?

What do the students think of me?
This is a question I still can't answer.
But one thing's for sure...
They think that I'm something worth looking at again and again and again...

I used to play ignorant to the obvious things that students would do as I came walking by.
I would protect my state of mind by staring at the sky, the walls, my fingers, my paper, my shoes & etc.
Doing so to avoid catching the less-than-innocent gazes of these adolescent girls.

Today, curiosity had the better of me...
I wanted to see if the girls were truly checking me out...
And boy...
What a discovery I have made!

But how do they think of me?
I guess different students will think of me in a different way...
I stimulate different people in different ways...
But I can be sure that there is a definite curious interest in me & my colleagues.

Thinking about it...
I shouldn't let how they think of me influence my effectiveness in the classroom.
I must be just like any other good teacher even when there are small groups of girls walking past my classroom window every 5 mins or so...

Who told you teaching is an easy job?!!
Being a teacher is NOT easy!

Monday, July 7

The Professional Divide

A student from one of my classes found me on friendster...
Last Friday, she sent me a friend request...
Last Saturday, she gave me a cute testimonial asking if we could be friends...
Should I approve her friendster add request or should I not?
What are the consequences of approving & of rejecting this request?
How do I divide between personal acquaintance & professional acquaintance?
What is the professional divide?

To put things into perspective:
I don't treat my friendster friends' list as a meaningless pool of names...
Each individual in the list has had a good conversation with me & those who could not be bothered to catch up with me are deleted.
That's why I dont have thousands & thousands of friends & multiple accounts.

In this school full of adolescent girls & only 5 male teachers to feed their testosterone hunger...
I want to be considered a teacher first; friend second.
I am willing to be friends with the students I teach but I still want to keep the relationship near professional.
I don't want to get too involved lest I spark unnecessary emotion.
Both in myself & in the students I come into contact with.
I want good rapport with my students but not so much that it makes them complacent.

If I approve her request, I will have to approve the future requests from other students who have heard of her success...
Either that or I will have the displeasure of rejecting many requests.
On the other hand, if I reject her request, she may not be mature about it & this may affect my rapport with her & her friends...

I will need to tread carefully here...
So far she is the only one who has stepped up to make a friend request, but I have reason to believe that there are many more waiting in the shadows for a window of opportunity...
So how do I pass off as professional and yet not aloof?

Today I did something that I hope was the best in such a situation...
I decided to go up to her & talk to her about it...
man to girl...
teacher to student...
I treated her as a mature individual & expressed my concerns & my struggles with this issue.
I wanted her to understand my predicament.
Thankfully, she expressed an understanding & was not offended.
However, she was disappointed.

Thank you, dear...
You have made what I had to do, easier for me to do.
Thanks for being wonderfully understanding...
Perhaps after I leave your school, I'll press the "approve" button...

Thursday, July 3

When Joy Turns To Fear

taken from smh.com.au

On Monday, something I found hillarious happened...
Today, the situation escalated to it's climax!
Joy has been turned into fear...
Check this story out!

At the canteen...
The 4 trainee teachers had finished their morning tea & were leaving the teachers' dining room...
Nesa & Shawn was walking in front of Aimi & I.
As we were walking by the throng of students stuffing their faces in the canteen...
I felt a peculiar sensation which made me very uncomfortable...
but whatever it was, I could feel that it was not directed at me...
I turned towards the direction of the source & my suspicions were confirmed...
It was directed at Nesa.

There was a muscular XL Indian schoolgirl staring at Nesa.
Actually, she gave him "the look".
It was unlike anything I've seen before from a woman.
She was leaning against a pillar with her arms crossed...
But her eyes...
Her head was slightly bowed with her eyes looking upward following Nesa as he walked by...
And the expression on the eyes!
She was looking at him with such intensity that it seemed like she wanted to grab him, drag him into a gutter, rape him & then, kill him so that nobody else can have him!
At her size... I believe was she unquestionably capable of fulfilling her desires...

Today, Thursday:
At the staff room...
It was near the end of the last period of the day so Nesa was holding his bag waiting in the staff room for me to return from my class.
Suddenly an Indian muslim girl walks into the staff room...
She waves at Nesa & said suggestively (in an Indian accent), *dragging the 'a's & 'i's* "Haaaaaaaaaaaiii, siiiiiiiiir!"
Then, she turns around & leaves the staff room.

Astounded, Nesa did not believe that she came in just to say hi.
After the door shut behind her, he left his seat & looked out the one-way window near the door.
He was horrorified from what he saw & heard...
There was a large group of Indian girls (including the mamak girl & the XL girl) outside the door.
He heard the mamak girl tell the group of eagerly waiting teenage girls...
"Wait... wait... Teacher is inside... Let's wait for him to come out!"
The horror made him return to his table & pretend to be busy with work.
After some time, the girls took notice & soon peacably left the entrance to the staff room.

But that's not the scariest part!
Soon after the Indian girls left...
Nesa left quickly too lest they return.
But this was where he made his deadliest mistake...
He choose to take the shortest route to the school's sole entrance...
Past the canteen...

At the canteen...
Nesa & Shawn was passing by when one of Nesa's students called out...
*dragging her 'i's* "Siiiiir! Siiiiiir!"
Nesa approached her to pass on some instructions for the class.
After he left her...
Something frightful happened...

The whole canteen started going...
"Siiiiiir! Siiiiiiir! Siiiiiir! Siiiiiir!"
They went on chanting & giggling until Nesa was out of sight...
This caused him great fear...
Fear made him walk faster...
Fear made him pretend not to hear them...
Fear made him hide in his car & forget to turn on the aircon.

This is how the joy of being admired can turn into fear of undesired admiration for a desirable teacher in a girls' school.

Wednesday, July 2

The Authority Divide

A student tried to play me for a fool today...
But I understood my authority as a teacher & stood my ground.
What I did after that fell very near the divide between a man with authority & an asshole with authority...
Which one was I?
Read on to find out...

This occurred during a class that I was doing relief or, in other words, babysitting...
I let the class do their own work because I had my own work to do too.
Soon, a female student walks up to the teacher's desk...
"Err... Teacher, can I go out?"
"Err... I want to make a phone call."
"To whom?"
Then, she leaves my desk & returns to her seat...
I resumed my work.

Soon she returns with an answer to my question.
"I want to call my mother."
"You want to call who?"
"Err... my mother."
"Why do you want to call your mother?"
Then, she leaves my desk & returns to her seat...
Amused, I smiled to myself & resumed my work.

Soon she returns again with an answer to my latest question.
"I want to say sorry."
"You want to say what?"
"I want to say sorry to my mother. Teacher can let me go out ah?"
At this point I was quite offended because she was playing me for a fool.
She also tried to assert her way with me by being persuasive in a girly manner.
Did she think that her cute & constant requests will fool me into believing her claim?
At this point, I was tempted to expose & ridicule her "foolish" plot to the class...
Killing two birds with one stone: teaching her (as well as her class & consequently, through gossip, the whole school) a lesson & vindicating the offence I felt.

Yet, I choose to give her the benefit of the doubt.
"I'm sure your mother will be very happy to hear from you. But I would prefer if you wait until break (which was after that period) to do this."
"But teacher during break got pengawas guard the telephone. I cannot use. Let me go la..."
"I see. But I would still prefer if you do it after my period."
"Teacher let me go la. I really must call."
She was starting to get on my nerves...
Oh, how I would love to bend her over & give her the smack she deserves!

And this I did with great pleasure!!
"Ok, what is your mother's name?"
"Err... Her name is **identity protection**."
"What is her phone number?"
"Err... Teacher you want to call her is it?"
"What do you think?"

"Here is a piece of paper. Write down her name & phone number please."
"Err... Teacher, let me go call la. Very fast one."
"Give me her name & phone number. I will call & talk to your mother first. Then I will hand the phone over to you. Deal?"
"Err... Teacher, don't need la."
"Then I would prefer if you would do this after my period."
Then, she leaves my desk & returns to her seat...
I resumed my work & was never bothered again.

By rejecting her in that manner, I knew that I must have hurt her...
So before I left the class, I walked up to her & praised her decision to apologise for a mistake she has made & I wished her all the best in her relationship with her mother.
I knew it was a lie...
But I choose to gave her my respect...
To embarrass her was just not my style.
I'm smarter than that.

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