2, 3 and 6 January 2014
I knew I won't be nervous. I've had my brief freak out moment at Institute and I was determined to move on from that. I arrived at school with the emotional quotient equivalent to a rock, my face was emotionless and I made my way to the office to punch in my card. I acted like I belonged there, nodded my head at the unfamiliar faces and stopped to stare at the wall full of punched cards. I found mine (with my name spelled 'Yang Sofia' still) and jammed the card into the device. SUCCESS! I felt like I belonged already.
After that I did what most new teacher would do. I hovered in the background and observed what other teachers were doing. They were busy talking but eventually they moved to the assembly area where I immediately took a seat right in the middle. And then I took this picture.
I knew I won't be teaching for the next couple of days because the Form 4 kids had to go through orientation and they weren't streamed into their classes just yet. I was handed the task of Juruacara for the orientation and was thankful. At least that's something I'm familiar with, I thought.
The next few days were a breeze because I didn't have to do much. Basically I was just learning how things work by observing the teachers. However there were things that I noticed that kind of alarmed me.
Things that alarmed me:
1. The Form 4 kids didn't give a $h#t that I'm a new teacher. I felt like I was invisible.
2. Some of my colleagues' attitude towards the kids.
3. I was getting emotional drained drained from the polite conversations. My other two friends are in the afternoon session while I'm alone in the morning. The teachers were nice but clearly our POVs are very different and it was difficult to find a converging point.
4. I still don't know who my kids are.
On the last two periods on January 6th, I finally got to know my kids. I'm the class teacher for 4H and I led them to our classroom. I was still unsure of my bearings in the school but again, I acted like I knew where I was going. It was until I realized that some of my kids didn't follow me and a couple of the boys were like, "Cikgu, here!" I was embarrassed but I had an "Oh yeah, right." face and I did notice some of them were giggling but I acted like it was no big deal.
10 points to Cikgu Yang.
My game plan was to be strict especially on our first meeting. I've already arranged the tables but when my kids entered the class, a group of boys started to mess with the arrangement. Suddenly I found my tables were upside down and chairs were kicked around. Garang Mode: ON
It was then that I thanked Allah for my loud voice.
It was then as well that I thanked Allah for being a garang theater director back in Uni.
7th January 2014
Today I was actually nervous. I was meeting the rest of the kids I'll be teaching for the year from other classes. I entered 4J first and it was a class consisted of 37 boys. It was pure havoc. They laughed when I made them do the "Tepuk Kejayaan" probably because they think they're too cool for $h#t like this but I managed to make them do it. They thought it was funny to interrupt me whenever I'm explaining something until I sic my death glare on them. I tell you I'm getting good with my death glares thanks to the hours spent in the shower practising them. Shuts them up straight away.
4B: A world difference from my 4J. They were quiet and overall a familiar sight to when I was in high school. The fact that they were too quiet unnerved me but at least things were moving a lot faster. They did what I told them to do (albeit with less vigour than their 4J counterparts) and I finished my culture a lot faster than I intended.
My last class of the day was 4K. After having a pretty good experience with other classes, I expected the same from this class but this one proved to be super challenging. There were 2 girls in the class but it was not enough to neutralize the testosterone in the room. The kids don't speak Malay and English and throughout that one period, I felt like I was talking to a wall. Obviously they got restless and started walking around. Some "accidentally" hit their friends and I ended up having to break up "play" fights for the rest of the period.
8th January 2014
I finally established order in my 4J when a random kid walked into the classroom and started calling out for his friend, right in front of me when I was delivering content.
Me: Excuse me, awak tak nampak ke saya tengah ajar kelas ni? Awak nak apa?
Boy: Saya nak kerusi Cikgu.
Me: Takde kerusi dalam kelas ni. Please leave.
Boy: Saya nak buku saya. Saya nak cakap dengan kawan saya. Suruh dia keluar sekejap.
Me: Kenapa dia ada buku awak? And no, he can't leave the class. I am teaching right now.
Boy: *ignored me and continued his conversation with his friend in Tamil*
Me: *understood the situation that the friend didn't have whatever the boy wanted*
Me: Stop this and please leave!
Boy: Cikgu saya nak duit--
Boy: *continued to speak in rapid Tamil*
Me: I SAID GET OUT NOW! *took a step closer to the boy*
Boy: *screamed at me and raised his hand to hit me but stopped*
Me: *my shock turned to a death glare* GET.OUT.
9th January 2014
I had my kids draw what they will be in 5 years time.
My 4H drawing their life goals
This interesting exchange happened in my 4J when I asked them to draw their life goals.
Boy: *Instead of doing the work I asked him to do, he was busy swit-ing (making kissy noises to girls on the ground floor. BTW we're on the 3rd floor.)*
Me: For the 100th time *Mat boleh tak awak focus! Cikgu suruh awak lukis bukan sibuk ngorat perempuan!
Mat: Mane ada saya nak ngorat cikgu...nak berkenalan je. Lagipun saya dah ada girlfriend.
Me: Dah2 cepat pikir and lukis apa awak nak jadi dalam mase 5 tahun.
Mat: Saya nak kahwin and buat babies. *smirks*
Me: Okay tapi takkan awak takde kerja? Macamana nak support bini and anak awak?
Mat: Rilek ah Cikgu. Girlfriend saya sayang saya. Kiteorg tak perlu duit.
Me: Yeah right, macam la gf awak tak makan. Macam tak nak beli baju baru kan.
Mat: Cikgu tak faham cinta kiteorg...kiteorg dah setahun couple! Tu menunjukkan yang saya pandai jage gf saya!
Me: *Internally I was face-palming myself and I forgot that a year in a 16-year old's head is a lifetime* Mat...orang couple 10 tahun pun boleh break ok. Kalau awak sayang gf awak baik awak lukis apa goal awak.
Mat went on to draw a picture of himself holding hands with his girlfriend PLUS a distinctly large bulge in his crotch. He showed the picture to me hoping to get a reaction out of me. I just raised an eyebrow and moved on to attend to other students.
10th January 2014
It's Friday!!!!! My LDO, Soon Seng came to visit and it was honestly refreshing to have him there. I didn't have a proper conversation with anybody for days and I was dying to vent. Everything went surprisingly well. I'm not saying it wasn't challenging but I managed to control my toughest class, 4K. It took a while to calm them down but I was surprised that they eventually listened to my orders. HOO-RAYYYYYYYY!!