Education Then and Now

Education is important. For us, people in the East we value education more than anything. For us, it is a highway to success.  That’s why, even at an early age our parents are already very strict when it comes to our studies. They don’t expect us to pass but to ace each quiz, test, classwork, and homework. We have to do our best in anything and everything because our future depends on it.

Sadly, this changed.

Due to the high rate of unemployment here and there, students are no longer motivated to study.  They’d rather hang out with their friends or people they’re in relationship with instead of doing their homework. They’d rather participate in extra curricular activities than prepare for a test.  Very few students pay attention to their grades now.  Most of them don’t believe in the importance of GPA anymore. They believe that in order for them to survive, they just need money or the “guts.” It is very sad but true. 

What do we do now? What do we do when most of the successful people in the world right now are not degreeholders?  What do we do now when the richest people in the world have the guta but not the diploma? How do we encourage students to be active and not passive ones?

How?

(To be continued…falling asleep here in the couch.)

September 6: Go Home, Teacher!

“Fumigation at 3p.m.? Wow! That means I have to finish everything on my to-do list and head home after my tutorial class.” 

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Those were my thoughts after hearing the announcement from the school principal about the scheduled fumigation today.  It was not so long ago that they had fumigation and now they’re doing it again.  I guess the administration just cares so much. 🙂 Of course, they don’t want anyone to be sick, right?

Well, I almost finished everything on my to-do list. Yap, almost.  I took a real lunch break today instead of working during lunch time.  I didn’t want to burden myself so much with the same tedious job that I do with the journals so I resorted to visiting a colleague-friend at the school clinic.  It was good to breathe fresh air and be out of my classroom for once. 🙂 Perhaps next week I will start doing something fun on lunch time.  Instead of the usual marking papers, lesson planning, and recording scores, I can read a book, sing, listen to music, color some coloring pages, or answer some puzzles or even take a catnap! Just to give myself time to relax for ten to twenty minutes.  I can also take a walk during break time.  I used to do that last year. I better get started on that this year.  It’s not yet late. 🙂 I feel so burnt out when I confine myself inside my four-cornered room the entire day from 7:30a.m. till 4:00p.m. or even later than that.  It’s always textbooks, red pens, attendance sheets, notebooks, Internet, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PPT, worksheets, printer, colored papers, post its, and students.  I don’t mind the students because I have fun interacting with them but photocopies and worksheets? Oh, please. If it’s only possible not to give them any worksheets, I will gladly do so.  But in my teaching field, no, no.  I chose English Education and editing articles/essays will always be a part of my life as long as I am in this career. 🙂 But it’s very satisfying you know when you see the students enjoying their work.  I know learning English as a second language can be boring.  Just imagine those millions of vocabulary words and grammar rules to follow! Talk about sensory overload! Every quarter we have eight weeks of classes not including exams.  We have 300 vocabulary words to learn in all our English classes in high school.  I have divided those words into four quarters thus assigning 80 words each quarter.  Too many words, right? How do I expect the students to remember everything at the end of the year or even the quarter? Impossible.  Therefore, I decided to employ what some teacher do–the memory retention strategy.  We started off with ten on the first week and then on the second week I introduced another ten, right? Instead of testing the students with the vocabulary words for the week, I also test them with the words that we studied last week.  It’s like as we learn acquire new words, the number of items for the test increases too.  Do you get what I mean? I’m sorry for my incapability to express myself. Haha. Embarrassed. So much for being an English teacher! Anyway, on the first week, we had ten words. Second week we have twenty words. Third week we have thirty words.  Fourth week we have forty words. This week being the fifth week we had fifty words.  I keep including the old vocabulary words in the test so as to gain mastery in the spelling, understanding (definition and synonym-wise), and usage of those words.  It’s actually very effective! I am so stunned with the students’ progress.  The students enjoyed our test today.  It was purely multiple choice based on the definition or synonym of the words and open notes test.  It was time pressured though.  Next week, I will be giving exact same paper for Lessons 1-5 except for the Lesson 6 which we are learning next week.  BTW, I give the test every Friday. It’s our vocabulary day.  However, next week it will no longer be open notes.  Let’s see if they get a better score. 🙂 I hope they do.

Also, with the journal writing that we are doing, I can see students enjoying them.  Some have even finished next week’s entry! I posted the titles and some were so eager to write that they submitted the six new entries today! Unbelievable! Nope, they were not only words but also with some caricatures, photos, colors, and stuff! Some have even changed to a new and better and bigger notebook.  They’re embracing it! I am so happy! Wow! I actually assigned a locker for journals alone.  I told them that they can submit their journals anytime of the day so as not to put much pressure on them.  I just told them that I will check every from 2-3p.m. daily and guess what they did? They came to me this afternoon after school and asked for their journals.  They said, “Miss, can we have our journals back?” I know it’s the weekend and I told them that I don’t give homework on weekends or schedule a test on Mondays.  Weekend is solely a family day.  I don’t like them worrying about academics when they are supposed to be spending time with their families and friends.  But no, they still came and got their journals. When they left they just said, “Let’s go journaling!” So, yeah! How cool is that? I am gobsmacked.  I can’t still believe what I am seeing in these kids! I ask them to read a book. They read. They even ask when is the book report due.  They’re so eager to learn.  I praise God for these eager students! They may be coming from affluent families but they still have passion for the written word.  They’re so passionate to learn, to make a difference in the society.  They have that drive to be better if not the best in what they do and I applaud them for that.  They are privileged students with varied interests.  They also have a life outside school.  I am so glad that they try to gain as much balance as they can with family, school, friends, hobbies, and future plans.  I hope and pray that they won’t change.  I hope that they won’t cease in striving for their goals and it is my humble prayer that God will continue to use me to be an instrument for those students in preparing them not only for this but also for the life to come.  

The sun is about to set and I’ve been longing for the Sabbath to come.  The rays of the sun coming through my window is a reminder that I should stop here and be ready for the Sabbath.  This week has been a blessed week for me and I am truly thankful for everything that transpired in my life.  There were ups and downs but hey, aren’t we supposed to focus on the good and learn from the bad? There was not much of a drama this week. Praise God! My family is good.  My sister is coming tonight for the weekend. I am very excited.  It’s so emotionally refreshing to see someone who shares the same genes with you, right? My brother is enjoying school.  My colleagues are okay, excited for the weekend, just like me.  In an hour or two, we’ll go and join the Vesper worship at the Pastor’s house.  It’s so comforting that they’re just nearby.  They’re like a family to me.  My health is getting better.  I am not really sick but I am taking meds for some stomach issues.  Hehe.  I just have to avoid some types of food, exercise, and religiously take my meds and I will be fine, as in all sense of the word. My heart? Well, cheesy as it may sounds but I am feeling loved.  I started reading a book called ‘The Adventist Home’ by Ellen G. White and it inspires me enjoy cooking more.  Hahaha.  I think God is preparing me for that life where you have to rise early in the morning and cook for someone or people you care about, do other people’s laundry, wait for someone or go home to someone waiting for you and talk about your day, that kind of life.  Hahaha.  I don’t want to say the M word yet. Hahaha. But it’s inevitable.  One day it will happen and I pray that God will lead me to someone who loves Him first and foremost, willing to live a life of service to Him and fellowmen, loves his family, satisfied with his job, and embraces life to the fullest through various activities. 🙂

Oh, well, there goes my entry for today.  I pray that God’s presence always be felt in our hearts that we may live in accordance to His will and be a blessing to the people around us.  May we never grow tired of doing good to other people.

God bless! xoxo

…And I went home at exactly 3p.m. 🙂

September 5: Got a Boyfriend?

Yay! It’s Thursday night and in few hours it will be Friday which is the last day of work for the week! I can’t wait to enter into the Sabbath rest with my God.  I can’t wait to have a sweet fellowship with other members of the family of God.  I may have tons of responsibilities at church this coming Sabbath but that’s alright, I am still excited. 🙂

All my classes ended up writing journal entries today.  I am so grateful that most of them enjoy writing.  I mean where did these students come from? They’d rather write journal entries than watch journalistic movies! Unbelievable! It’s so amazing.  On the first day of journal writing most of them were not up to it but after the third entry which was about their favorite food they actually have been enjoying it.  I guess the presence of tough-looking guys who have passion for reading and writing can also make a difference in the classroom atmosphere.  In a class there will always be the domineering type of students that when they speak the rest of the students listen.  There are also the gentle ones that once they open their mouths to suggest something their classmates also listen.  I am so blessed to have wonderful students this year.  No one wearies me down.  I move cheerfully and swiftly to the next without any problem.  Well, there was one incident but there’s no point in bringing the thing up because I already forgave the student anyway.  As I was saying, hahaha, losing track of thoughts now (It’s quite challenging blogging while chatting at the same LOL), I praise God for giving me these multi-talented students.  They motivate me, encourage me to be better at my job, if not the best.  They’re so respectful, obedient, nice, kind, helpful, and very philosophical! I enjoy listening to their conversations.  I have these students who while doing their work talk about the World War II, the economy of the world, or the evolution of words, etc.  They’re just so fascinating to listen to.  I literally call them, “The Philosophers.” 

Anyway, I apologize for being a one-sided blogger.  I mean I only come to record the happenings of my day.  I don’t read blogs anymore.  I haven’t been reading in a while.  😦 I’ve been so occupied with my students’ journal entries that my reading world has only been confined to their entries, my Bible and other devotional books.  My last read for pleasure was “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” I have a long list of books to read but I haven’t been giving myself time to read.  I know I should devote a part of my day to reading but…Enough of the BUTs! It’s about time to take action and get rid of all my worries, fears, and stresses.  I have to take HAPPY FISH to the next level and live a life in full dependence to God.  Really, I read the Bible and pray everyday.  I read and pray many times day and night but still I have fears? Where is my faith? How can I be so afraid of teeny-tiny details going on in my body when I know that my dear Father created me.  How can I be so worried about what might possibly happen when I know that God is in control? Yes, accidents happen.  Tribulations happen.  However, good things happen too.  Instead of focusing on all the bad things happening in the world, I think it’s best to just concentrate on the good ones.  There’s just too much trouble going on in this world and thinking about them all the time won’t eradicate them.  Natural calamaties will always be there just like political problems.  But through our little acts of kindness we can “help make the world a better place to live in”. God wants to live a life of love and service to Him and mankind.  He wants us to reflect His character, the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness, meekness, self-control, etc.) to everyone we come in contact with daily.  A child of the King should always be happy.  If we are always grumpy and grouchy, I don’t think we are reflecting God in our disposition.  May it be our daily prayer to reflect God’s character day by day at home, at school, at play.

Well, before I bid good night I’d like to say that I had a pleasant day.  I got most of marking done.  Praise the Lord! My students and I are at peace 🙂 despite of the “nosebleeding” chapter tests I give them. They’re still there.  I praise God that He is helping me become nicer and more understanding of my students.  Ha! My old students are complaining why I am so considerate this year.  They want me to be super strict like last year or the year before that. I am even surprised myself that I can’t bring myself to be mad at my students anymore.  I am always all for love, care, and kindness.  I may correct them or reprimand them but still in a loving way.  What has become of me? Is this good? I hope it is. I guess it is.  The students are hinting that I may be in love.  One of them blatantly asked me, “Miss, are you in love? Do you have a boyfriend?” I was caught offguard.  The next thing I knew I was already laughing.  In love? Got a boyfriend? I wish.  I feel loved though.  I get hugs from my students. I get appreciation and encouragements from them too.  Hey! I even get dinner invites from them.  How cool is that? They asked me to go out for a buffet dinner but I had to work till 3pm so I wasn’t able to enjoy them.  I told them maybe on my birthday we’ll go out and I think we might. 🙂 

Anyhow, I gotta go. My eyes are literally drooping.  Off to bed this missy go. 😀 God bless! xoxo

P.S. A friend shared this link with me and I thought you might want to check it out. It’s very Christmassy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOGByYObUqE

Delightful Monday

So many stories to tell but so less time to write. It’s dreamland time as work starts early, you know.

Keywords for the Day:

work, school, students, sat mock test, tooth filling, black monkey with a rose, Bangkapi, love, care, friends, Amadeus Mozart, food, marking paper, telephone game, God, faith, hope

Highlights of the Day:
1. Led the flag line-up merrily.
2. Proctured SAT Mock Test gleefully.
3. Received a can of Garrett popcorn from a student surprisingly.;)
4. Had a tooth filling bravely. Praise the Lord!

To be continued I am sooooo sleepy.:-(

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What do I do with Zia on my lap? “-)

This was supposed to be yesterday’s entry…again, I am blaming the internet hahaha! 😀

My dear Zia has been sleeping on my lap for the past 45 minutes or so.  She has her cute, little egg on my right leg that I cannot move, I can’t disrupt her peaceful sleep.  But my right leg is beginning to feel numb.  What do I do? Oh, I can’t do this anymore, Zia. I have to move.  I carefully moved my right leg so that the lower part of her body touched a part of the chair I was sitting at.  I guess she didn’t like the feel of the wood on her skin that she decided to jump on the floor.  I cannot have her roaming around. I know she’s still sleepy. Therefore, I looked for her bed, put her on, and rubbed her forehead.  Now, she’s sleeping again like a baby.  She’s sleeping on her bed.  This is the first time!  Yehey! Well done, Shiela! What an accomplishment!

After my ASP today, I went to BIg C to get some food to eat.  I’ve been wanting to eat ice cream on Monday but never got the chance to.  Despite of my sleepiness, I diligently trod the path to that big grocery store and bought two extra large “to go” French fries from McDonald’s where I saw some RAIS students then directly went to DQ for ice cream.  I wanted to get one for my sister but I know it will just melt so I didn’t.  I picked up a few things from the main grocery store area and walked like a zombie on the way back home.  I was too sleepy earlier.  I slept late last night because I had to rearrange the furniture and put the things back to where they were supposed to be and this morning I had to wake up earlier to be able to go to school at 6a.m. But I clocked in at 6:17a.m. Failed. This day was an extraordinary day.  I enjoyed the International Day program. However, I wished the school allotted a day for it.  I think aside from the JS Prom, the International Day is the most enjoyable school activity for me.  If I’d be given a chance to teach another subject, I’d probably pick Society and Culture featuring the different countries around the world and just studying all those interesting cultures! I honestly think that all classes did a terrific job in preparing for this event.  I enjoyed the creative door decorations, unique costumes, and class “uniforms”! I am very proud of my 11C class.  We got an award! Yehey! I am so blessed to have these vibrant and responsible students in my class.  May God continue to bless these students. 🙂

Anyway, I think I am just babbling here. I better go.  I don’t know what I’m saying here anymore.

Oh, some of my journalism students already turned in their homework and I have already graded them.:-) I am beginning to like Edmodo.  Thank you Lord for leading me into this site. 

God bless, pipz!