Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Teaching practical PT 1


So, I just finished my teaching practical last Friday. Rejoice! No more lesson plans writing and staying up till 2 to look for materials and teaching aids now weehuu (to be honest, I kinda miss those things now that we have to do our fyp sobs) but issokey. Teaching prac was....hmmm...overwhelming in a lot of ways. It was overwhelmingly beautiful and fulfilling, and also emotionally draining.

I started teaching at SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, Petaling Jaya on 23rd June and said goodbye to my students and teachers on 4th September. I stayed there for 47 days (yes I counted. It was supposed to be 50 days but I skipped three days because of masum).

The first three weeks was a ride on a roller coaster. At first, things were all good. I thought I had everything under control. Students were nice. Form  4 students were cooperating. Form 1 students were under control. Little did I know they were just waiting for the right time to explode and show their true colours. My lecturer has warned me during my 6th semester and mentioned that I should give the impression that I am hella strict and scary the first few weeks -and me, being the idiotic, impulsive, going-against-the-system-me did not follow that. I didn't believe in that. I thought it would be better if I were to treat them like I do to my friends. There's no need to create any scary impression whatsoever. The students are going to cooperate. HAHAH wrong move, self.

Here's what happened in week 3. I was teaching about tone and mood. I repeated the same thing 6 times. I asked the students what is the difference between tone and mood. They couldn't answer. I re-explained and asked again, still couldn't answer. A lot of them were talking and chit chatting with their friends openly and LOUDLY. And I felt like I was not appreciated. Nobody listened to me (fyi I have issues with people who don't listen to me, long story). I felt like a failure. Nobody was listening. I looked for these materials online, prepared the lesson for them, printed handouts and worksheets for them AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO LISTEN. The 4th time I repeated my question and students still couldn't answer, I threw all the handouts and worksheets to the students sitting on the front row. I packed all my stuff and ran out of class because I felt the urge to cry and I didn't want them to see. I don't want to be seen as weak. Ever. I ran to my mentor teacher (may Allah bless her and her beautiful soul). "Puan Sibyl, can I talk to you? I just walked out of 4 Damai". I had 20 mins left before my English period ended. She told me she had to go in to replace me. Then I ran to the toilet and cried in one of the cubicles. I was there for 10-15 minutes. I went back to the staff room. Some students came running and apologized to me but I was too devastated and angry, I ignored them. One of the trainee teachers told them to go back to class and come again later. She said I looked like I was about to kill someone -that's how angry I was.

Puan Sibyl came to me and I followed her to the school library and we talked. I was crying again (wow no surprise there, self). She asked me why do I want to teacher. "I want to inspire and touch people's hearts". And she said that was a good intention. She shared me her experience when she was first posted to a school. I calmed down a bit. The next day, I had another two periods with the same class. I came in class with not even a single smile. I pasted their mahjong papers for presentation and I told them to identify at least 1 simple, compound, and complex sentences respectively. It was so quiet I could hear the sound of the fan whirring. Throughout the lesson, whenever I heard students snickered and whispered, I looked at them and asked them "did I ask you to speak?". One of the students got really scared of me when I asked him who asked him to sit. Another student counted how many times I smiled throughout that lesson. He saw once, I remember once. The lesson was super rigid and very teacher-centered but that managed to get them in line, to regain the respect.  I went back to the staff room with a big smile on my face. It felt like a huge success. I managed to quiet a class of 45 students -even the permanent teachers there can't do that DUDEEEEEEE.

The class which I mentioned earlier
Week 4 to 11 were all okay. There were moments in which I screamed, threw the duster at students (among other things) but they were not as bad as the first 3 weeks. They have taught me a lot of things. They have taught me I have to be really patient and that patience will be rewarded with trust. They have also taught me the best solution to a lot of things is to listen, that's all. And hugs are always helpful. If I were to list down everything they have taught me, oh wow this post will never come to an end.

I will continue this in the next post (HAHA like there are people reading you talking about your life excuse me you think your life is interesting izzit?)

OK may Allah bless. Have a great week!