Well, I'm afraid I skipped one day on writing. Day 4, that is. The reason was I didn't bring my laptop, and with me it's ESSENTIAL that I write what I experienced right after, or else I'll 'lose' the feel (yeah right) and never get to doing it. Besides, there wasn't much to write about anyway, although I did succeed in doing my first observation. Since I'm at school now, and I don't have anything much to do, I'll talk about that.
The class I observed was 1 Delima. It was a class of around 20 to 25 little 7 year olds, and the subject was English, taught by Mdm. Yeo. When we entered, they all stared at me (Yeah, yeah, New Teacher Syndrome). I didn't know what to do, so I just smiled as the teacher introduced me.
I loved how she started the class. Remember, this is Standard 1 pupils. For me, their teachers are the most important as how and what they teach will mark the first and leave the most significant impression on the chidren. Anyway, this was how the first part of the class went:
Teacher: Good Morning, class!
Children:Good MOrning, teacher!
Teacher:How are you today?
Children:I am fine, thank you.
Teacher:What day is today?
Children:(faltering a bit at first, but picked up when some of them started to asnwer. They probably had to think what day it was first, haha) Today is Wednesday.
Teacher:Can you spell Wednesday for me?
Teacher:Very good, thank you. You may sit down.
Children:Thank you, teacher.
It may look rather simple, and drill-oriented, but one must remember that the school where I go to is in the rural parts of Kelantan, and the children are learning English as a Second Language. This, combined with the lack of education of their parents, plus their very thick accents which are obvious in their pronunciation of words especially in Malay, makes it difficult for them to learn something in a tongue that is foreign to them. However, my opinion is that if you catch them early, and you start off with a very good introduction of the language, you may be able to help them to like learning it.
I say this from experience, although a very new and brief one. When I entered on two of the classes which were Standard 3 and Standard 4 classes, I found that some of them had difficulty in even recognising letters. Of course, these were the weak classes, but some of them were quiet obedient and ready to learn. Therefore I think the role of the teacher is really important in making the children interested in learning.
Well, apart from the observation, I didn't do anything interesting. When I went back, I started to have a sore throat. That night, I had a fever and the next day, I felt so bad that I had to miss school. Although this was definitely a very much welcomed chance for a rest, the thought of having to replace another day, enabling me extend my stay at school, is not such a comforting though. Dear oh dear. As of today (yesterday was a public holiday), I have lost my voice, or a good part of it anyway, and until now Ive been spending time in the computer lab, doing nothing. Again.
However, I am determined to observe at least one class today so that I have something to write in my journal which is part of the coursework. Mind you it's 2o marks, so I'd better make good entries! So far I've only managed to type them out. From the examples I saw, most of the previous students wrote their entries down in a logbook, which for me is such a bother since my handwriting isn't that nice! Plus typing is a lot easier for lazy people like me, since all you have to do is type and print it out. Easy!
Anyway, right now some teachers are having a meeting in the lab concerning the Farewell Party for our School Head Teacher or Guru Besar, who's retiring on May 13th. But the ceremony is tomorrow, and I hear that it's a pretty big affair since they have to invite people from the PPD (District Education Office) and stuff. What puzzles me is where they are actually going to carry it out- with the construction going on, there isn't much space to even stretch. Anyway, we'll see, I'm still eavesdropping.
Well, that's it for now. Do pray that my throat gets better... or else I am so done for...