Tuesday, August 30

My Annual BI PMR Talk

Hi, there! I bet most of you reading my blog are lounging at home with a cup of kopi, enjoying late mornings & the blissful mid-term/Raya holidays.

As much as I wish I could do the same, I don't have that luxury this time around.
I spent the first 3 days of my holidays at school taking care of the PMR & SPM students who stayed back during the holidays.
I also gave every PMR student a 3 part talk over 3 nights on best practises for the English Language PMR papers.

I started this last year because I realised that, even after 3 years of study, many students still were not able to meet their potentials in BI PMR. For many of them it was a struggle just to pass. For too many of them, they could pass the other subjects but not BI. Thus, failing PMR.
The students would usually stay back during the mid-term holidays in the second semester to study so I took advantage of this & last year I held a captive audience for 4 nights in a row.
I shared with them the requirements for each section of the exam & how they can score more. I also gave them tips on what to prepare as well as highlighting the common mistakes they made.

It was a struggle to control them in a big group & I used several iron-fist methods because I was pressed for time & could not tolerate any bullsheet.
I persisted & was able to give them as much as I could about every section of the exam. In the end, many students told me that they benefited from it.
It also showed in the results. Last year, 75+% passed BI PMR (sorry, I can't remember the exact figure). Which resulted in 72% passing PMR (passing every subject).
Of course, I dare not say that my talks alone helped them. It was the cumulative effort of the English Panel & the whole school in brewing excellence. However, I could not ask for better motivation to do it again.

This year, I did it with some improvements & especially updates on the common mistakes by the new cohort.
I was able to command the students by first enlightening them about their brains. Then, praying for them before each talk. At the end of my last session, I blessed them & prayed for their success.
Prayer works even though they may not understand the language it was made in.
Don't worry. They're all Christians so I wont be suddenly accused of proselytising. ;-)
I kept things interesting by relating things to them, telling them jokes & poking fun at several of them.

If you have a big group of students who are borderline cases, I suggest you do a talk of your own for them.
Try to keep things light & interesting. Use video or maybe music to motivate them.
hahaha~~ I don't actually practise that. I do not have the luxury of time so I go straight to the point with some entertaining deviations once in a while.
I'm an iron-fist teacher because I know my stuff & I'm going to stuff it into your head whether you like it or not.
If I'm at a school where students are harder to control or have low motivation, I might put more effort into the packaging. As it is, my style works with my students. You may have a different style based on your teaching context.

...and... NO, I will NOT share my PowerPoint slides. I'm sorry. I'm going to be selfish here because I put in a lot of effort into compiling it. It's nothing ground breaking or miraculous. Just common sense & a lot of heart.
You can make your own which may be even BETTER than mine. Look into the many reference books in the market. They'll help you compile yours. Remember to tailor it towards the unique weaknesses & needs of your students.

The more you use your brain, the more brain you'll have to use.
p/s: I have a brother who is taking PMR as well this year. It's sad that I'm doing so much for these children in the jungle but nothing for my own brother. Its times like these you hate working so far away from home.

Wednesday, August 17

Featured in Stuff@School (The Star)

Check this out!
It was published on Monday, 15 August, in Stuff@School by The Star.
Distribution of the pull-out is limited to certain schools. Even then it has a 300,000 readership.
I will be applying for a subscription for my school.

Thanks very much, Amanda Ng of Penang Chinese Girls' High School for picking little ol' me for your interview of inspirational people.

Anyway, do I see a movie deal in the horizon?

Friday, August 5


I thought that by sheer determination, business or ignorance I could wipe out something from my heart.
I thought that, like memories & kinship, distance & time would fade emotions away.
I thought that I'd be able to make other women be my next obsession.
I guess it's another one of those self-delusions humans are so prone to.

It's been many years. Too many.
Every time I see a couple with a child, I think of her. Then, I'd wonder what it would be like for us to have a child of our own.
Every time I see a pretty girl, I think of her. Of course, I'd check the girl out too. I am after all... a man. Then, I'd wonder how she is.

I really want to be settling down. I really do. But I've yet to feel strongly convicted about someone to commit myself eternally. Except for her & I did not tell her. Stupid.
I hate this feeling. When the things that she does to piss you off makes you smile & when the things you did to piss her off leave you in deep remorse.

Maybe its coz I have strong feelings for her.
Maybe it's some twisted form of self-delusion from a hurt male ego.
She did leave me before I could leave her. I can still remember the last time I saw her... walk away... at the airport. I went numb & lived in denial.

I was stupid. So stupid I did not make utopian promises to her. I wanted her so bad but I knew that if we kept going, it would be tough, so I chose to keep quiet hoping that it was the best thing for both of us.
Maybe it was... but certainly not for me.

I don't know if I'll see her again.
I don't know if she feels the same way.
I don't know if she has someone.
All I know is I ache every night & this will go on for a really really long time.

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