Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last Minute

For the past 2 and a half years, I've worked with the college very closely on various events. Most times I'd be overworked already since I've always taken 6-7 courses per semester, but being a part of the college community had been a priority. I was willing to take risks, when I probably shouldn't have. I felt exhausted, yes-all the time, but also felt satisfied at some level. I felt like I was doing something. Working with them was a learning experience, and it was what some would call professional development. Today however, for the first time, I regreted all the hard work I put in. Sometimes, it only takes one person to sway other's opinion. Maybe later on, I'll get 'logical' again, and be fair about this. But I was pretty disappointed with them today. They let me down. But, why am I not so surprised?
We handed in our first draft of the project on thursday, but it seems we still have to do a bita tinkering w/ the study. We should be done by tonight. I can't wait to get done w/ this. Then I'll have time to work on my other tres interessant projects. How delightful.
Children of Men definitely needs to be read. It took me ages to finish this book. Granted, it's not the type of book I usually read. Sci-fi, futuristic, and that's not my style. Lately however, I've found myself liking these kinda books. Perhaps, I never gave them a chance before. Or maybe the sci-fi book I read ages ago (all I remember is that it was about aliens) put me off them. I started A Golden Age today and it seems quite interesting. Historical Fiction has always been a favorite genre.

Friday, May 16, 2008

'Rithmetic

Two months and a half, 10 weeks, 70 days - I finally finished my internship. This post is a week late, I finished last week on the 8th. No more waking up at 5.40 am to get to school on time. No more correcting endless exercise books and no more teaching. At least for a while. Truth is, I was counting the days till the very end. I couldn't wait to finish my internship. I didn't expect to miss the school and my students, perhaps because I didn't really bond w/ them all that much. But in reality, I do miss them. I miss my students peeking in the teacher's lounge to see how my hair looked under my sheila. I miss the students that would suddenly just hug me in the middle of the hall. And I definitely miss those students that were always so eager to have yet another math class.
I never told my students that I was an intern, mainly because I thought their teacher had already told them that. It seems tho, that they thought that I was a regular teacher employed at their school all along. Maybe it was wrong, but I didn't tell them I was leaving them either - when I gave them their presents however, they realized that "Ms, are you leaving us?" "why are you leaving us?" "But I thought you were going to teach us next year!". The last week I was there was a revision week and the teacher usually combines all three classes in one room. I swear to God, as soon as I told them I was leaving for uni, 74 students just suddenly jumped on me. I could barely breath, let alone move, and it happened that I had the class to myself that day. So there was no help. Somehow I managed to give them their presents, give a short speech about how good they were and what I expected of them, and then get them to their classes. Just as I was sitting down in the teacher's lounge, I found a troop of escaped fifth graders around my desk. Apparently, they wanted my autograph. They also wanted a promise from me to come teach them "as soon as you finish uni".
Did I do a great job at teaching? I don't really know. I know I tried my best, but there were so many things I wanted to try, that were on my to-do list. And they just remained there, on my list, and that's partly because my mentor wouldn't let me try them out. I don't really blame her now, after all, she had 3 classes to herself before I came along. And she did have a full math curriculum that she had to complete by the end of May. Her teaching philosophy is different from mine, and perhaps that's why she couldn't accept some of my strategies. I have no doubt that my students would forget their intern teacher in no time, but as a teacher, I know I will always remember my first full time teaching experience, my internship.

Finishing the internship draws me a stop closer to my graduation, something I'm in denial of. Yes, I, of course, want to graduate, but things are happening too fast for me. I want to gulp in all the details and truthfully make the most of this final semester. Am I getting too nostalgic and senile? I most certainly am.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A little bit of Rain in my life

2 more days and I'll be an intern no more. It's kind of boring going to school now since we've finished the curriculum and all we're doing is revising. I was kind of looking forward to the revision part cuz I wanted to try out some games/strategies I had read about. Of course, that wasn't possible since my mentor takes a very traditional view on revision. I don't think the girls are really paying attention tho, and it's kind of sad that some of them weren't even paying attention the first time round. In the future, I think, I'll do some mix and match - traditional teaching does have it perks, but introducing other interactive ways to revise the material would be an added bonus.

To be completely honest tho, I wonder if any 'fun' strategies would work during revision - these things require students that actually study, and that know the topics. With the staggering amount of topics students in upper elementary take during the school year, I have no illusions about how much they would actually remember. Espicially given the fact that most students do not study.

In other news (yes finally, something non-teaching, non-education related) I've been reading. Reading one of the most boring, most disappointing books ever. It's kind of sad that the only good thing I have to say about it, is that I love the title "Eat, pray and love". Somehow I made it to the middle (the praying part) and I'm hoping I'll get through it. I don't like leaving books unfinished (I do it a lot tho, always promising myself to finish them 'later'). The other book I'm reading is "Children of Men" (the movie was out a while back), and although I'm only a couple of chapters in, I've been really enjoying it. I have to admit I like these kinds of books (dare I say they're bordering on sci-fi?).
I'm always very grateful after an exceptionally surprising visit from my dear chum, migraine. As a student, skipping school isn't that big of a deal, besides, it is the only way I can cope w/ the recurring headaches. But I've been worried about how it would be when I start working. Yesterday I woke up with my brain just pulsing, but I decided to go to work anyways. I took my pills and nearly took a u-turn 10 minutes away from the school (I had been on the road for 1 hr, and I guess the ride just made it worse). Somehow I made it to my classes and because it was revision week, the day was shorter (ends at 12.50). Effort wise, I probably didn't give 40% of what I usually give, but I'm glad I went. Even tho it meant that I spent the whole day afterwards trying to sleep the migrain off, and taking more pills. I would probably not be able to go to work if I get worse cases of mirgaines, but at least I know I could somehow manage throughout the day. And I could think ahead of time and always have some activities on hand for such days, like independent group activities or use the time for the students to catch up on their work, peer tutoring, anything that would actually help students w/o much involvement from me.

I baked a banana chocolate cake the other day. My bros liked it, but next time I do it, I will definitely try and make it look more acceptable. I had a spot of trouble when adding the icing, the sour cream I used wasn't the kind that I usually get, so maybe that's why it was a bit too liquidy/runny. Or maybe I should have left it on the fire for 5 more minutes or so.