Friday, 29 January 2016

The first day with the kid, not kids!

26-Jan 8.33pm

In case if you have not known about the enrolment status of this school, let me just ignite all that envy and oh-untungnye-kau! LOL. The school, the only one in this very fishery settlement comprises of only one block (you would know if you had read the previous post), a house-like quarters as well as a separated building right across the school which we use it as the library. Total enrolment of the school is only NINETEEN students ( yes, you spelled that right! Just 19 but wait till you read the number of teachers). Including myself and two other new teachers posted here, there are ELEVEN of us (including the head master). Sadly, one will be leaving us soon. And that leaves us TEN.

Yes, TEN teachers to NINETEEN students! Yaya! Go ahead and gasp, get annoyed, jealous and whatever hormones that rise along with it. So, also known as a Sekolah Kurang Murid (SKM), teachers and students have a very, VERY close rapport, which defines the ulterior bond of an educator and his student. Students know every teacher and likewise us teachers too. It is even comforting that parents, siblings and even whoever living there whose child, grandchild, great grandchild, nephew or niece studies there or even studied there once show you their utmost respect and welcome-to-the-clan-like welcome. Haha! Such is a small village or settlement. The beauty of its natural state, pure and simple in its own way make you feel really at home despite the challenges and situations we are put in.

Mentioning challenges and situations, I will dedicate a different post on that. Let’s move on to how I got started in this little place I call both a school and a home.

We were not given any classes or lessons as the time table had to be rescheduled to fit us three new ones. And thus, we were given replacement classes for today. So I got this Year 1 class. Ha! The night before, we were given the students’ name list (just to add oil to the wound, the list came in ONE piece of paper – AN ENTIRE school name list of students. BURN!!!!) hahaha! So entering the class, which was shared with the Year 2 pupils, this one boy stood there. He goes by the name of An An! Haha! Cute! 

Little An An! He never speaks to you, but does what you ask. Perfect student-teacher obedience! Haha!

It was cute teaching him. It gives you more time and attention to spend on this one boy. He listens to you and does practically everything you ask, that is after much hand-mouth-verbal signals.

An An, you gave me something to learn today.

Although it was you who learnt how to spell the days in the week and the 1-10 numbers, which you still get it wrong at times, mostly you taught me something.
Sometimes it isn’t how much you want a child to learn or even how fast you can complete the textbook. Sometimes it even isn’t about ensuring the child learns what you teach or follow everything you say or do. Sometimes, all it needs is to know that at some point, you know you want to learn and that gut feeling coming from that one student makes you feel even more overwhelming and proud that you can even do something silly or teach something in a slightly different (incorrect way! Lol! I KNOW! It’s STUPID and my mistake, but you are not allowed to lecture me on this!) but the child strives to learn it, although knowing it is somehow different than the one he was taught on before.

Confession: when you teach the days, you start with Sunday and end with Saturday, but Mr Handsome stupidly started off PROUDLY with Monday and ended with Sunday. Mr Handsome was so CONFIDENT he kept correcting An An.

But in my defense, I am NEW! I’m like in it for the first day and sure things go wrong! Like what wrong did it go, the world stopped spinning? The cow farted rainbow?!!

But yes, I have to admit it. it WAS wrong. Humbly Mr Handsome continues writing his post. Blerghh!

Oh ya, look at what was served for lunch! 

I am not elaborating more on this. Just die in envy! LOL

It was inspiring to know you could do something, even something wrong, and the child whose trust is on you even never seeing you before, just accepts and go on. It was somewhat sad that I re-adjusted his prior knowledge, (WHICH I SOON RECTIFIED IT, so stop your teacher-spirit talk) but it was also pleasant knowing that they trust you with all they have. It gives you more purpose and responsibility, integrity and even care in teaching your students.

Dear teachers, going-to-be-teachers out there, know that you can build or destroy a child’s future. Know that what you do inspires them and what you teach molds them. Know that what you bring into the classroom becomes their everlasting following shadow. Know that what you hope for them becomes a reality in what you do, conscious or unconsciously.

Till then, adios.

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