Sunday, 8 May 2011

You can do it girls!

My girls in 4___ are a mixed lot- ability, style (hairstyles?), concentration etc. I must say that I'm still trying my best to  be  a good teacher to them. The information I got from conversations with other teachers about this class was usually unsavoury and I concede that I am guilty of being influenced sometimes. I must say the girls and I are still getting to know each other (them- my teaching style and I- their learning style. What? After four months? can call me slow but a good teacher-student rapport is important to me). Perhaps I was too influenced by the negative comments about them until one day in the lab (we're in the lab on Tuesdays because I so badly want to be in touch with technology (lcd) when I discovered something else about these students.

I didn't quite know what got over me but I was ranting  (I do rant in this class more than the others) on how students should be polite to their teachers and if they want to argue about a mark or two from a test paper, they should do so politely. I remembered a teary-eyed colleague who once related to me how a student slammed the test paper in front of her when she tried to explain why the one mark was withheld. She was obviously stunned by the behaviour as any other teacher would have been I supposed. Since the mid-year exam was around the corner, I cautioned my students to pay attention to how the content points were awarded, in Directed Writing so as to prevent such problems later. I mean, you know how students would really go after you for the one mark especially if it's a borderline case...

To cut a long story short, in the midst of my ranting, one of the girls commented that they would never ask for an extra mark from their teachers as they would fail anyway and that teachers do not think they will pass either. If my memory serves me right,  the student said, "No lah teacher, our class will never ask for extra marks because we fail anyway. Teachers don't think we will pass." My heart stopped the moment I heard this. For a while, I was speechless. Little did I realise that these girls had such low self-esteem! What happened next was me trying to convince them not to think of themselves so negatively and that I was an Arts student  too and how it didn't matter. If you put your mind to something, you will see results bla bla bla....I  wanted so much to convince them that if they put in effort in their studies, they would succeed when the bell suddenly rang  thunderously signaling the end of our lesson. 

I certainly learnt something that day- that these girls need encouragement and I was ashamed of myself for all the negative thoughts I held against them previously...

~the thinking teacher~


  1. Salam,
    It's been quite sometime I didnt read your blog. Well, having the chance now, I just couldnt resist reading so...many articles which make me explore, opened mind etc. I supposed you've been teaching students in many shapes and sizes (if I could use such words)so, the low achievers normally 've low esteem. We need to encourage them all along during our lessons, Insya Allah they'll be better.

  2. dear pn maimunah,
    thanks for your opinion.


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