Yey?

I always try to look for something to look forward to. Something to strive for to make my life richer. – Sam Berns, progeria advocate and inspiration to many

Yesterday, I emailed my bosses a formal letter of my intent to discontinue my work from April of this year onward. The one who pulls the strongest string in the game had acknowledged my decision and so it’s final. I would be out of that school in less than two months. The countdown begins.

The decision, believe it or not, had been an easy one as I know what I want and don’t want from a situation anymore. In particular, my working situation as of now. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna go into a long rant regarding my grievances at work because I think overall the good outweighs the bad. Yet, there is such thing as pride and the pursuit of better happiness elsewhere which cemented this choice to leave my home of almost two years (very soon!).

What I expected to be a thrill upon confirmation of my freedom was pretty bland. Of course, I’m happy that there wouldn’t be any problems towards my exit (it seems), but at the same time, I’m scared of what’s life after this phase.

It would be two years, two years, of the same routine and people, comfort and happiness. Believe me, I can dwell so much on that routine of warmth that I know it would be difficult on the following days of being away from it–permanently. Moreover, I visualize this exit as me stepping into a white plain and a blizzard my way. I’m supposed to look forward to this new end as a beginning, right? That’s how my optimistic mind naturally wires for me, but it’s really not taking effect. Not yet at least. Let’s hope it would soon.

Well, I guess I should just chill for now. It’s only the beginning of February and there’s still a lot to do and consider. I don’t have to rush going to abroad because that’s just impossible. No company would hire me that easily without it a bit shady. I have to be realistic about my situation now and just try to find a way around it. Perhaps I also deserve some time off just to think and reflect. I have to visit the temple soon. I also have to study more, fangirl less. Is that even possible? I have to make it possible! It’s so difficult but wjkAsjkBADnsbfkjdbfk;jdsbf LEZGO!

Teaching is Learning

Aside from those mentioned in the article, how else can education be improved?

This is one of the questions given to my student to answer after reading an article about education.

Education is a very broad topic, so an answer to such question sometimes depends on our social status and experiences.  I can give so many suggestions on this myself, but my student’s answer was something that has never once graced me, even though I have been experiencing it for so many years now.

“I think students should be given a chance to experience to teach what they learn.”

It makes a lot of sense, right? I mean, how can a person teach something they don’t understand?

As a student, I thought that my history and math classes were only useful for me to earn enough credits to graduate, but as I grew older, I understood that they were useful at different episodes of my life, and without those, I would’ve been in trouble. Language subjects were my favorite, and I think I’ve learned a lot from my classes; however, probably, if I paid more attention, I would be a better teacher, and my work easier. Nonetheless, teaching has given me different avenues to re-learn and gain more knowledge.

For example, I was teaching plot structure to my primary students last week:

plot structure

Though I’ve written several stories myself, my writing process is different because I was never schooled properly on how to write a story. I basically picked up a pen and started writing to serve myself. On the other hand, I had to learn the proper writing process to impart to my student. I was unaware of what story elements are and why it’s called such, and I was ignorant of plotting a story. Sure, I remember having a discussion in Lit class, but analyzing the plot of others’ story and making your own are quite different things. No wonder I got stuck in so many of my stories, I just dropped them altogether.

If I were not a teacher now, I don’t think I would have bothered to study these things again because I can be as lazy as I want for myself. If I didn’t have to teach English grammar to my Korean students, I probably would have understood less of why sentences are structured like this and that. Sure I have the core skills down (not perfected), but it’s just much better to understand rather than just knowing, right? If I had an early-teaching experience, I might’ve paid more attention to what I was studying.

These personal experiences made me agree that early-teaching experience can help students grow as responsible social beings. Students would have a deeper appreciation of what they are learning because they get to experience at an early age how knowledge works in the real world, and are not just mere theories forcing their way out of the pages of textbooks. Of course, students shouldn’t be obliged to be a teacher in the long run, but an immersion to the ways of teaching, I think, would plant a seed of consciousness to them about the importance of being educated and the ways it becomes advantageous in life, especially in helping, influencing, and even inspiring others.

In the years I’ve handled students, I wonder if I have ever really made an impact in their life? I’ve always been uncertain at my place in this field and I couldn’t imagine myself doing the same thing as a career, though recently, I think the fog is clearing. Most people would consider five years an achievement to be in a certain field of work, however, the learning is just never enough no matter the length one has dedicated to something. In those five years, despite my awe at the passing of time, I realized that I’ve just began this immeasurable journey. It’s only now that I have taken a serious look at my destination. The image of the destination is not clear yet, but it’s much better than just aimlessly dragging my foot on an unknown road.

I’m not even sure how I got myself on track, but I guess it’s the rewards of this job that has kept my preschool and primary teachers in their job, in the same schools for a long time. Would I be the same like them? Only time can tell. If you ask me, of course, I’d love to stay.

Simply, teaching others is teaching ourselves. The teaching process is a learning process, thus, a process of self-discovery.

Story relay

One sunny day, a scientist, a clown, and a witch got lost in a remote island, so the witch used her powers but it didn’t work.

Suddenly, the clown got lost, but he found a beach. When they got there, the scientist felt very hot, so he removed his coat and then jumped into the water! The witch shouted, No, you might get bitten by sharks!”. At the same time, the clown jumped in the water with his clothes. The clown and the scientist had fun swimming and splashing in the water when suddenly, they saw a shark going near them, so the clown and the scientist asked the witch to pull and pull as fast as she could. Fortunately, they got back in land in time.

After the scary incident with the hungry shark, the three decided to walk back to the forst where they saw an an old wooden rusty door. The clown felt very curious, so together with the others, they pushed really hard and saw a big carnival where everyone was dancing, eating, and riding happily. A person greeted them inside.

Later, the clown rode the rollercoaster, leaving the witch and scientist by themselves. They looked at the clown ride the rollercoaster. He had so much fun that he didn’t notice his nose and wig got blown away by the strong wind! The others yelled, “Your wig and nose are gone!”, but he didn’t hear them, so he carried on and on having fun and even waving his arms in the air because he just doesn’t care!

A man that looked like Captain Hook who sat beside the clown looked very grumpy even when he was riding the rollercoaster. Both the scientist and the witch asked the little girl that had a pet frog why the guy looked grumpy. She said, “Oh, that one? His parrot would not talk. It copies all the things he says.

“I see,” said both the scientist and witch in unison. When the ride was finished, the clown felt very light like a balloon. He touched his head and found out his wig was not in place anymore.

“Grr….” The clown heard a growl behind him. The pirate man had a bright red thing hanging on his hook, then his parrot spoke, “Haha! Funny! Funny! Funny!”


LOL

This is a free-writing activity I had with my creative writing students. There are days when they’re just not in the mood to have a proper class, so I give this activity instead. It’s a story relay, so we took turns in developing the story. It’s fun, but it can be quite difficult! My students, who are years older than I am, have fluctuating, crazy ideas for the flow of the story, including the characters assigned to them. Being the adult that I am with less grand imagination and restrictions in writing, I sometimes cannot follow their train of thoughts immediately. Anyway, I always enjoy this activity as I get to observe how imaginative my students are and what their strengths in writing are without guide. Moreover, as I struggle to have my writing spirit back, this activity forces my creativity back. 🙂

Storytellers:

Michelle (27), Reese (7), Armand (6)

No derailing

Okay, I really need to regain ground.

 

This day was mind-bugging enough (in terms of my relationship with some co-workers) that it made me reflect on my current status.

In school, I’m a teacher before a friend or co-worker, so I should be giving more of my energy to work. I love my co-teachers to pieces and I’m so thankful that I’m forging a strong, friendly relationship with them from this point, but they zap too much of my energy! Haha~ It’s not their fault of course, those girls can work well while having fun around them. I’m the one who has a difficult time adjusting to the situation; the better situation. I guess I’m still getting used to the good chaos with the bad that I’m leaning more to the favorable as of now.

Nonetheless, I think this good situation with my co-teachers will remain stable (I do hope so!), so I have to go back to focusing on work now. I don’t want to let other people get inside my head (and heart) if I’m not gonna matter to them too. So be it.

 

Alright, Michelle.

Lezzdothis!

Eherm 3.

So… we didn’t sit beside each other today.

One of the main reason is their department settled themselves earlier than us, so the room was full even before all the teachers of our department got there. Second, the whole sit-beside-each-other is probably just a coincidence and nothing else. If I’m lucky tomorrow, we’d be beside each other, but I think after yelling at her today (not in seriousness, of course) and being in the presence of each other too much, I think it’s a thin chance.

Moreover, I feel my attraction is waning down a bit. Not because there’s something bad about her, but I think I’m just getting very used to having her in close proximity and being able to joke around that I don’t seek her that much anymore. It would be super nice to have a normal, serious conversation one of these days with just the two of us, but I think that would not be beneficial for me, yes? I mean, I might find some really nice things about her and the feeling intensifies.

If that happens, then what? Well, on the other hand, I might appreciate her more as a friend/colleague later.

Anyway, indeed work life got more interesting for me. Not only am I closer to my colleagues and I’m finding my way around my job better, but there’s somebody special to watch out for everyday. 🙂

After 60 days…

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Ah, yes, a lot has happened since then.

Well, what’s up?

For me, things are getting better. I really don’t want to jinx the good vibes by being definite about my comfort in my new work place, but things are better and I should share it!

After two months, my efforts to connect to my new co-teachers have finally paid off. I can now share things about myself and my life with comfort, and most especially joke around with them. It’s not joke, but being able to joke around with a person is my own personal stamp of approval to that person as a good co-worker or potential friend. As of now, I can’t really say that my co-teachers are friends, but they are definitely great co-teachers. I’m finally able to connect with them not only on a business level, but personal, too. So I’m kinda sad that one of the teachers who has helped me build a connection to others is quitting soon. I definitely have to have a picture taken tomorrow!

In terms of the work itself, my reading classes are much better. Unknowingly, I’ve observed keenly to learn from my co-teachers, and I did my part of reading about the program and how to handle this kind of class. Application of learned knowledge is essential!

Regarding my creative writing class, well, that’s something that needs more of my attention now. As a lone CW teacher with a weak background on the subject, I have to push myself more. The students for this class are more aggressive and independent. I can feel them trying to overpower me, at some point, to bully me. Well, they can try, but I don’t really think they can. Adults couldn’t, how can they? Haha~ Anyhow, I really have to pay more attention to this class as it’s been two months, but I feel my progress is still sloooooooow. It leaves me frustrated and lacking every time. I feel bad for the students, too.

To be honest, for a person who has turned her back on writing for a long time, just to suddenly be given writing as a job is frustrating. It feels like my insecurity hunting me, closing the walls on me. Well, I’ll take it as a challenge. In the long run, I might be able to write again! I passionately wish for that.

Anyhow, I also need to work on adjusting my attitude to students! Damn, I need to learn how to be strict! I can’t be too yielding and friendly all the time. Those smarty pants will outsmart me. Hmp!

There’s a lot to learn from this work, but I find myself having fun. What an amusing ordeal. Oh well!

 

2014-05-23-16-20-56

 

Hello there! How do you do?

It’s been some eventful weeks so far. Progress are happening which really makes me happy.

I’m still struggling with handling children as my students. Learning the reading program is fun, and teaching it is more exciting than I expected. Especially when I see a glint of thrill in the student’s eyes whenever I show them our book of the day. Although there’s still much to learn, I believe I’m getting the hang of it. In terms of creative writing, I’ve gathered enough ideas to last me two months worth of sessions. The trouble usually lies on the student themselves, or my lack of understanding with children. So far, my CW classes are consequently a series of trial-and-error as each student have their own reservations when it comes to expressing themselves on paper; some prefer not to ever express themselves on paper! I swear, most of my CW classes exhaust me, leaving me depressed and often feeling inadequate for the job.

*sigh*

On a lighter note, I think my co-workers are warming up to me, and me to them. There’s just some moments in our small room wherein I feel very left out. It’s probably just me being hesitant and overly concerned about boundaries (I hate making myself seem overly friendly), though I’ve established the strongest friendships I had through lowering our walls around each other and proceeding to teasing! Seriously! I just hate the feeling of being so self-conscious and uncomfortable, especially since they are the people I’d be seeing and working around with–hopefully–for a long time. I hope we can shed off the awkwardness soon. Though they’re not my kind of crowd, I genuinely think my co-workers are pretty nice people.

Another progress is one of my really good friend whom I had a sort of fall-out with apologizing to me. I really loved this friend of mine, so I was easily hurt when he did something which hurt our friendship. It’s especially more vexing when the root of the friendship problem is money. Well, we’ll be seeing each other on Friday with our other friends. We’ve talked a bit over Facebook, so I’m sure most of the awkwardness would’ve been dispelled on Friday. Hmm, well let’s see.

Another update is I’m biking more often! Yes, I think my body and my bike are getting more used to each other. There was a dangerous incident today wherein I almost caused traffic and some people shouting at me for carelessly crossing the road on a GO, but that’s another lesson to be learned, right? Moreover, I got to chat shortly with a really nice uncle who also bikes to and from work. It’s nice to get another perspective regarding biking for practical purposes. Also, I’m never biking in skinny jeans! Damn fashion! Comfort would also come first for me!

There’s still much to update, but since my eyes are telling me to lay down and let it rest, I shall end here…for now.

Life, UPDATED.

 

 

 

Good night!

Adjustments

I suppose as a teacher, I must also know how to discipline my students, right? That’s expected from me.

Well, I’ve been an online teacher for such a long time that I didn’t really have to be concerned how my students discipline themselves in class. Of course they are expected to behave well, and they do try to maximize their time for studying because most of them are paying for their own class. When you’re paying for your studies, you really don’t wanna fool around too much.

Now, I am dealing with kids, rich kids who do not have any idea about the value of time and money yet. Their classes–amongst many–are of their parents’ prerogative. I can see that most of our students are smart, they are definitely adorable in their own unique ways, and as kids, they wanna play all the time.

I am usually lenient when it comes to kids, I let them do what they want as long as they follow me first. When they’re resistant in the beginning, I try to find their sweet spot and establish rapport. This method is effective, albeit not all the time.

For example, my student “Matty”. He has a condition which makes him act way too energetic and disinterested in some subjects, namely writing, which I teach. I find Matty very cute actually. I can somewhat see him as a more adorable version of “Dexter’s Laboratory’s” Mandark because of the way he speaks and also how he looks. However, I can also feel that he’s very affectionate towards people who would give him attention and genuine care.

There were moments in our class in which I thought, I felt like he was really going to stab me with scissors and he kept asking “Why?” to annoy me, but by the end of the class, he wrote something (which is an achievement itself) and we held hands. We even promised to make a new ice cream flavor together in the future and I get to have unlimited serving from his shop. See? How cute this kid is!

Matty’s former teacher and my boss advised me that I need to be firm with him, but at the same time let him feel like he can trust me. The trusting is manageable, to the point that it’s easy sometimes, but being firm? Hmm… It’s really not one of my forte.

Acting serious and angry is something I find difficult to do. I don’t even get annoyed easily and I don’t get angry! Still, as a teacher in this field, I would have to develop another aspect of myself, which is learning how to be firm with kids when needed.

There’s much to learn from my new job. It’s difficult, but I love the fact that I’m growing along with these kids. Well, I do hope they learn from me. If I can see even just a peek of improvement from one of my students, all these episodes of complaints and wariness will all be worth it.