Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Bad Mama

A few nights ago Mama was a very bad mother. Mama was very tired and sleepy. Sis A finally fell asleep and Mama thought of marking some students' scripts before hitting the sack. Bro H as usual didn't bother Mama much and always did his own stuff like playing the online games or watching robot car / truck clips on YouTube but that night we had lightning and heavy rains so Internet was a big no-no. He was busy doodling something in his book and Mama was trying to mark an essay when Mama heard an irritating sound. Yep, Bro H was writing on the tiles instead on paper and that was the sound that Mama heard. Mama admonished him once. He did it again. Then Mama warned him again. Then he did it again (maybe just to annoy Mama). Then Mama got up and spanked him hard on his arm. (Mama was careful never to touch his body because Atuk always told Mama never hit a child above the hips). Then Mama went back to do Mama's work. Then Mama realised that there wasn't any sound coming from Bro H. Usually when Mama scolds or spanks him, Bro H would only sulk for a while after which he would ask Mama to give him a hug. But that night, no.. he hid his face under the pillow. Mama was curious. Mama took a peek and Mama saw that he was crying silently, tear drops fell slowly on his cheeks. Filled with remorse (and suddenly Mama realised that this boy had grown), Mama asked for a hug. He got up and hugged Mama, and cried loudly. Both of us were crying then (luckily Sis A didn't wake up) and Mama asked, 'Sakit ker? (Is it painful?). Bro H nodded and cried again. Mama said, 'Bro H, you are a big boy now. Lain kali Mama suruh stop, Bro H kena stop lah nanti Mama marah'. (Next time when Mama asked you to stop, you have to stop doing it because it made Mama angry). Bro H nodded. Both of us cried again. Mama hugged him tighter and said that Mama loved him so much and Mama was sorry that Mama had hurt him. He nodded and luckily he stopped crying and cheered up a little. Mama sat next to him until he fell asleep and Mama went to bed crying too.

Teacher's Day Celebration

This year on 16 May, as usual, Mama and colleagues celebrate the teacher's day. Our colour this year is Red, so we can see red, red everywhere. Mama took photos of Mama's colleagues playing the games and also of them performing at the hall but the latter's photo quality is not that good so Mama thinks it's better if she does not post them here. And this is the 3rd year Mama celebrating our special day at Mama's current school and personally Mama thinks that the celebration gets better and better each year. And this poem is for Mama's former teachers (wherever they are): Thank you TEACHERS for guiding us inspiring us and making us what we are today...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Gazebo

It has been a routine for Mama and the children to stay overnight at Atok and Nenek's place on Thursday nights. The children always look forward to it because of the goodies there (food and toys). When they get new toys/books/puzzles, Bro H and Sis A tend to drag them along when they are going somewhere.Sometimes it is to Atok and Nenek's place. Sometimes it will be their preschool. That's why most of the toys at TP (our house) begin to disappear from time to time. They (the children) tend to be careless with their toys much so when Bro H starts to create stories while playing (and much to Mama's dismay), his toys would be unrecognisable once he is done with them. Well, as for Atok, he is meticulous and careful with his things. So no wonder the children's toys are intact in his safekeeping because he would only allow them to play with the toys once in a while. When the children came back from their pre-school last Thursday, unquestionably they were pleasantly surprised to see a gazebo standing at the corner of the front yard. Sis A turned to Mama excitedly and said 'Mama, ada house'. They climbed onto the gazebo instantly. Mama is pleased with it too. It is a replica of a traditional one, with real thatched Nipah roof and bamboo floor. It brings a lot of sweet memories when Mama was a child, visiting Mok (Mama's maternal grandmother) at the village. Yesterday, before we came home, Mama managed to nap for a while, being lulled by the gentle morning breeze while the children kept climbing up and down the new structure at their grandparents' lawn. We even had our breakfast there but sorry Mama forgot to take pictures. And today Nenek told Mama that two neighbourhood kids even asked for her permission to sit there while having their snacks. In the old days, this kind of gazebo won't worth a second glance but now it has become hit in the housing area. This reminds us to take good care of our heritage, right?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday


When PTK (Penilaian Tahap Kompetensi) or Competency Level Evaluation is abolished, Mama was one of the thousands of teachers (and other government servants) who shouted for joy. Yeah, exams are for students who are still at the prime of their lives; they can absorb new things like sponge unlike us, the old-timers. Well, you can't teach old dogs new tricks, right?
 When we heard that we had to sit for two tests this week, Mama and friends were aghast. What? After years of teaching and they still doubt us? Mama doesn't blame the DPM (Deputy Prime Minister)for his concern though. Looking at the dismal results of English in the major public exams, it is no wonder he's stressing that the issue of maintaining and sustaining quality standards for teaching this subject is his key concern. The first test we sat was the Cambridge Placement Test.
 The Cambridge Placement Test is an online adaptive test of Listening, Reading and Language Knowledge. It has been designed to be short and flexible to meet the needs of users who want to place English language learners at all levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) from Pre-A1-C2 in a wide variety of contexts.
 Score CEFR
level 90-100 C2 (Mastery)
        75-89 C1 (Effective proficiency)
        60-74 B2 (Vantage)
        40-59 B1 (Threshold)
        20-39 A2 (Waystage)
       10-19 A1 (Breakthrough)
         0-9 Pre-A1
 The second test (or rather self-assessment) was Pedagogy Standards for English Language Teaching. We have to answer series of questions based on our teaching skills and methods in classrooms.

 PSELT has identified six key areas of a teacher’s professional practice namely language proficiency, curriculum application, lesson planning, methodology, classroom management and assessment. An instrument consisting of 127 items has also been developed allowing teachers to conduct self-evaluation exercise. The standards can assist teachers in identifying their own strength and weaknesses, design learning goals and devise plans to achieve the goals. These standards also serve to inform the Education Ministry in planning, designing and implementing teacher development programmes.

Well, Mama had been assigned to invigilate and help the English Language teachers in Mama's department. But before Mama could do that, Mama had to sit for the test first. At the beginning there were some stressed souls, walking into the room but later all of us began enjoying ourselves answering the questions.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Tete-a-tete With Old Friends

Meeting old friends made Mama 17 again. On 1st May (Workers' Day), Mama and some of her close and old friends gathered at a friend's house in Selising, Pasir Putih. One of Mama's friends (whom Mama had not met for 29 years) decided to meet all her Kelantanese pals on her way back to Kuala Lumpur. There, the pictures said it all.