Monthly Archives: August 2013
The highlighted part in my previous entry (as below) triggered me into something beyond my comprehension. Would you like to know what was that something? The term life-long learning brought me into another quite related phrase: Eternal life. It was like a sudden thought at that time and it triggered me to have a very strong desire for becoming a religious priest.
I suggested to her that pupils could self-study and read English story books independently during that time. She said that reading story books was not a good idea and raised her tone, saying that I have failed my Year 6 pupils up until this moment. She wanted me to focus more on UPSR format questions which I felt was not the best solution, since my pupils don’t have strong grammar and lack vocabulary. The ironic thing was that she agreed that my idea was indeed good for the pupils’ long term andlife-long learning. That’s what I believe! To prepare pupils for life-long learning, not just prepare for the UPSR.
Through the phrase, ‘Eternal life’, there are two specific verses that captivated me which can be found in the bible; John 3:16 and Matthew 19:16-22
In John 3:16 Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whomsoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Meanwhile in Matthew 19:16-22, it is about The Rich and the Kingdom of God (New International Version)
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”18 “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honour your father and mother,’and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
What kind of treasure do you store up for yourself in this life and in view of eternal life? Life on this earth is not eternal. He who believes in Christ and is sorrowful for their sins is capable of having not only eternal life in Heaven, but also Christ in them, and they in Him while they are here on earth. The world in which I have grown up is a world so full of grades, scores, and statistics that, consciously or unconsciously, I always try to take my measure against all the others. Much sadness and gladness in my life flows directly from my comparing, and most, if not all, of this comparing is useless and a terrible waste of time and energy. Our God, who is both Father and Mother to us, does not compare. Never. I believe if we were to put Jesus first in my life, everything else will be in place. As long as we belong to this world, we will remain subject to its competitive ways and expect to be rewarded for all the good we do. (gain recognition) But when we belong to God, who loves us without conditions, we can live as does. The great conversion called for by Jesus is to move from belonging to the world to belonging to God. In silence, I would like to ask myself deeply two questions in the process of my discernment: ‘Would you say yes to My love invitation after your 5 years contract? What are the things that bothering me to say yes to Jesus?
p.s: It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly or crazy. I can choose to listen to the voices that forgive and to look at the faces that smile, even while I still hear words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred. (Inspired by The Return of the Prodigal Son written by Henri J.M. Nouwen)
First and foremost, let me tell you that I am not here to create a story. I repeat, I am not manipulating. The person (boss) I am referring to is in control or perhaps I should call her Hitler reborn from SJK© Fish Can Fly. She is none other than my respectful headmistress, Madam Wing. I am sorry to say that she doesn’t deserve my respect anymore even at the time of writing this. At first I thought of putting the title, ‘The Crazy Dog is Barking’, but it would not do my soul any good therefore the above is the most suitable title that I can think of. She is unprofessional with her words and actions. She is crazy, and therefore she should be fired! There are several events that lead me to complain about this. The root cause of this rant comes from the poor English results during the Trial UPSR 3 exam which was held recently.
Let me start with the first event which was quite dramatic. It was on 16th May which was Teacher’s Day in Malaysia. I had just finished my lesson when I came down to staffroom, my mentor, Ms. P was there at my table. She asked me to tell all the English teachers to gather in the staffroom for a while. At that time, I was aware that I had school tuition at 1.15pm., so I told my mentor about that. The short meeting was about the generous company from the US planning to donate free English books to our school. She brought some books that day, and encouraged all of the English teachers to optimize the books in the school. She had been suggested that we cut the beautiful pictures from the books and make good use of the books. Out of the blue, the headmistress angrily came down from upstairs and scolded me and another teacher, who should be giving tuition, to go quickly into the classroom. She also raised her tone, reprimanding my mentor for disturbing the tuition hours which was very unprofessional. Couldn’t she see us busy discussing with our mentor? She could have gone into the classroom and given motivation to the Year 6 pupils? Would she do the same if Deputy of Education Minister was there? This showed that she did not give respect to my mentor at all. There were some teachers present during that time and they all agreed that she was really rude and unprofessional. Many of my colleagues would agree that she also likes to waste pupils’ time by entering the class late sometimes. After tuition, me and my colleagues were again called and scolded by her (Teacher’s Day present). She said something that we teachers must not waste pupils’ time. The truth is we didn’t do this on purpose.
The second event happened because Madam Wing was not satisfied with the poor performance of the UPSR Trial 3 exam results which only 1 pupil managed to pass. (blame the exam-oriented system in Malaysia) On 1st July during the morning school assembly, again she said something unprofessional. Besides scolding pupils for the poor results, she told pupils indirectly that my mentor, Ms. P was not here in school to improve Year 6 English subject. She was indirectly expressing that she could not accept the poor result due to the fact that our school has this English Language Teacher Development Programme (ELTDP). All the teachers heard this during the assembly. This is unacceptable and unprofessional to blame ELTDP. ELTDP has got nothing to do with Year 6 pupils’ English subject at all. She was speaking publicly to all the teachers that we should accept the poor results, but the reality is that she can’t accept the failure and kept reproaching us that it was the teachers’ fault. Why couldn’t she focus on intervention instead of looking for a reason? Simply because she is a perfectionist and she is the one who cannot accept the failure of her pupils. Shouldn’t she know that the quote from Thomas A. Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” For indirectly blaming my mentor for the poor result, this is unprofessional!
The third event was even worse. It had been taking place at her office. On the same day, she called me to her office to discuss the intervention for poor results of English subject. Frankly speaking, she was once again sarcastically blaming ELTDP. I was surprised that she asked me three times what the ELTDP was all about. She said she would be speechless if PPD officers came to school and asked her about it. I was so innocent at that time and I asked her what was so difficult to explain. ‘You could just tell them my mentor was here for mentoring and developing/supporting English teachers’ proficiency!’ I said. I also clarified to her twice that it was unprofessional to blame my mentor for the poor result of English subject. Personally I could not accept that she kept pointing fingers at everyone, but not at the pupils’ attitude and low proficiency level. When she had suggested that I go into the Year 6 classroom every Thursday and Friday from 6.30am-7a.m, I was already frustrated and turned down her suggestion. I suggested to her that pupils could self-study and read English story books independently during that time. She said that reading story books was not a good idea and raised her tone, saying that I have failed my Year 6 pupils up until this moment. She wanted me to focus more on UPSR format questions which I felt was not the best solution, since my pupils don’t have strong grammar and lack vocabulary. The ironic thing was that she agreed that my idea was indeed good for the pupils’ long term and life-long learning. That’s what I believe! To prepare pupils for life-long learning, not just prepare for the UPSR. She advised me to only drill the pupils with UPSR question formats. She also mentioned that if we were to try our best to help the pupils now, parents could see that we have not failed their kids, moreover the English panel will gain recognition! ‘I don’t want recognition and if the pupils have got good result by themselves, it is their hard work, not me!’ I said. She also told me that she did not know where to put her face if the school only achieves 1 pupil pass the UPSR exam. She told me she didn’t know how to explain to PPD officers and I told her I will explain and be ready for the justification. She was unhappy about that. It’s only for the sake of her face but not for the pupils? She is only concerned about her face or pride basically. I guess she has lost the definition of education! She is just unprofessional and selfish to answer me in that way. Besides she also lectured me on sacrifices sarcastically saying to me that I don’t sacrifice enough for my pupils.
To be honest, it is very unprofessional to say that I don’t sacrifice enough for my pupils’ sake. Shall I show off in front of her how much I have sacrificed for the pupils? I don’t like doing that. I prefer to keep all my hard work in a low profile. I don’t think I am a lazy teacher either. Talk about sacrifice, I once put in a lot of effort guiding two pupils in their spelling competition and both of them have got first and second place respectively at zone level. Why shouldn’t she think that perhaps Year 6 pupils will become great sportsmen or sportswomen in the future? Has she not thought about the theory of multiple intelligences? How could she force me to teach the fish to fly without wings? How could she have lost faith in my teaching? Personally, I look at the situation positively and the failure of English subject in the trial UPSR 3 could be the seed of glory! Madam Wing could have faith in my teaching and should not say useless statements pessimistically. In the Year 6 classroom upon returning their papers, I motivated them to not focus on their marks, there is always hope! If they quit the English subject, I have not quit on teaching them! All the teachers agreed that she is indeed a dictator and she should be fired. If you were to ask or interview all the teachers at the school, they would all agree with me that she should be transferred to a new school. If she’s still in the school for another year knowing that I have written this, she would be very vindictive towards me. Either she gets transferred to another school or I will get my transfer as soon as possible. I am looking forward to the best solution. Personally I wish Madam Wing could re-consider whether she is suitable to be headmistress or not. Perhaps she can be an excellent science teacher. Send her to a quiet place for three months and let her reflect on herself! My current workplace is more alive and stress-free without her! I would like to end by saying, ‘God is in total control, not you Madam Wing!’ Be professional. Be more loving.
p.s: The lady was given the name Madam Wing to protect her identity and privacy. Surprisingly, the highlighted part as you read in this entry triggers me into something beyond my comprehension. Stay tuned for my PART 2!
May the Lord give me the wisdom to discern His will, and the strength and courage to follow His plan for me, wherever it may lead me. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever! Amen.