Monday, July 23, 2012

Learning Curve

I have very few experience in teaching. Though I've been in this business for almost 8 months now. I still need to learn a lot from the seniors, need to find my strength and weaknesses in teaching.

Today I was not well. Unfortunately, twas the day where I had to teach for 6 periods, 4 periods straight without a break. The first two periods were in Form 2 class. No drama here.

Then I entered my lower 6 science class. For the first time ever, I felt like the students were taking advantage of me. Of me being lenient, being too understanding about the stress and pressure they got from other subjects. I've become or MUET has become a place for them to punch their frustration. Most of the time I had to have screaming match with them. A small teacher, surrounded with giant kids, around 17 years old and above, speaking language that I dont understand. For a moment there I felt like I've lost the battle. Lost to control the supposed to be mature students.

When I gave out instructions, they were talking to each other, walking around, passing notes, doing math/physics/chemistry, discussing about K-POP, everything not related to MUET. The class reached the peak of noise. What I did was I sat on the stool, had my chin supported by both hands and observed them. And thought, 'Nurul, you've failed'. I felt a pang of sadness there.

10 minutes later the class went really quite. The students became curious. They asked me questions, but I didnt budge. I kept staring at them. Few minutes later, one girl started to speak (it was a speaking activity and I gave them the topic last week). The discussion went well without me having to intervene. Then I spoke. For the first time, I spoke firmly and had that serious tone in the voice. and for the first time the whole class listened. I pointed out the flaws on my sides and their sides. I laid out classroom rules for the second time. and I stressed how this time I meant business. 

That's the drama in lower 6 science.

Now let's move on to lower 6 arts, the period came straight after the science. I entered and waited for the students to arrive. It's a combine class. While waiting, I set up my laptop. We were having one listening test. Just like the previous class, MUET was treated like a punching bag. Few students said they were not ready for the test and all the nonsense in the world they could give. I was tired and weak. And didnt bother to respond. Well I did respond. Sarcastically. All the excuses given I answered with the answers that could stab into their hearts. Until one boy said 'teacher, why are you so serious today?' 

Few minutes before the class ended, I wrote a topic for speaking activity for tomorrow on the board. I told them to go back and do some research about the topic and we could discuss tomorrow. And they started with their never ending dramas about how they have few tests coming, few essays to write for PA, maths problem to solve bla bla bla. I almost, almost almost shouted bullshit. But this time around, I could control the anger better and said 'A story of students' lives. Embrace it.' the moaning continued bla bla bla and firmly I told them 'Dont make your problem my problem'. Well that shut them up.

Basically today was a bad day. worst day ever. I feel like I've failed. I think I tried too hard to be liked by students  that I neglect the importance of staying on a border line between a teacher and students. I'm going to change. I hope I'm not too late.

That' all for today's rambling.
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