School Update #2

So I was observed for the first time today.

Fatin Sabrina (my practicum partner) informed me the day before that that our dearest supervisor would be happy to supervise us for the first time on Thursday.

How I wish the happiness was reciprocal.

Naturally, I was off to bed quite late last night, around 2 o'clock in the morning, preparing gallant (and ostentatious) teaching aids.

I even turned down dinner offer from my chums, just for the sake of preparing something impressive (to impress, obviously). I turned on my all-but-broken laptop, opened my Teaching Preparation Book and all set to map things out.

I started around 9pm. Surprise, surprise, by the time the clock struck 12am, I was still as clueless as ever. Yet I knew I couldn't simply slam the book shut and off serenely (not sure about that, though) without preparing the lesson plans. Determined to fabricate, at least, one activity (for my class would be two periods), I 'bertabah' and got on with the lesson plans.

Well they say, in moments of desperation, all you've got to do is grin and bull your way through. And another wisdom worth sharing is 'Desperation is the mother of inventions'.

Couldn't agree more.

Next thing I knew, the lesson plans (not to mention, TWO activities) were safely mapped out for tomorrow's lesson.

When I arrived at the school early this morning, I marched straight to the staff room, ignoring the morning assembly. After all, I am a teacher and therefore am allowed to skip the assembly (which normally just to get the students all pissed off early in the morning). I reached up for roller board that I had previously put on top of one of the cupboards in the staff room and started drawing and stuff.

All the senior teachers, who were passing by, skidded to a halt and laughed shrilly :l

"Wah Aziz, going all the way to impress arr!" uttered my head panel of English, Madam Wu. I threw a faint smile.

"Wah, look interesting! So colourful! Got Crossword Puzzle some more! Do you prepare sweets also to give away? I did that those days!", said Madam Chau, a malay language teacher. Honestly, I forgot that sweets bit.

"Wah, you drink a lot of water! Nervous already arr?! Aiyaa, just like me la those days. You feel dry around the lips right? Yes, exactly like me!" she added while grinning gleefully from across her table.

Funnily, I found these words uttered by the senior teachers comforting, knowing that they were once in my shoes and knew a thing or two about it.

I finished fabricating lies on the roller board as well as on some other magic manila cards just in the nick of time when my phone rang.

"Yes, Aziz. I'm outside your staff room already", said a voice I knew just a little too well.

Dr Burn was outside the building already.

I showed him around the school, meeting a few 'big' people in my school including Madam Wu. They chatted away, and although I was only a few inches away from them, I could not hear a single sound. The staff room suddenly felt like it was slathered with a sound-proof bubble; I saw the teachers talking and laughing, yet I could not hear a single sound. I was numb.

I was frigging edgy I couldn't think of anything; and worse, I could see that the other teachers started to laugh and chat jovially in a slow motion kind of way, more like 'menganjing'. Oh, talking about paranoid and all.

Came 10:45am, I headed to my class, both hands full of stuff. It was raining. Again, talking about omen. "Oh, shake it off", I persuaded my inner me.

I could CLEARLY hear my voice quivering when I introduced Dr Burn to my kids ( I mean, my students). Yet, looking at my kids offered me a kind of comfort and confidence that I can't even fathom up to this moment.

The first few seconds were a bit 'all over the place' for me. Desperate to find some balance and right footing, I could not think of anything else but staring at my kids before me.

Arif, Shifa, Adilla, Afiq, Najiha, Razi and the rest. I knew right at that very moment that they needed me to be the strong one. They needed me to guide them. To enlighten them. I could not falter. I could not fall apart.

Then it all changed right from there.

I started to get the momentum I had been praying for. Teaching my kids seemed to be the easiest thing in the world, even the one sitting at the far back of the class was a doctor with so many qualifications (as Madam Wu put it when Dr Burn handed her his shining card). At one time, I was even momentarily oblivious to the fact that I was being observed through a pair of watchful eyes.

I laughed at ease with my kids. I joked around with them. I started using endearments I had previously reminded myself not to use in the presence of supervisor, for I feared being labeled unprofessional and 'too attached' to my kids.

Yet I used them liberally. I used them at ease. Because they are my kids and nothing is going to chance that even the fact that I am under supervision. Whatever that means.

And the moment you realize that your kids are everything that matters, that's when you know things will fall into places.

While I was teaching, I could see Dr Burn giggle along with my students, he nodded vigorously in agreement, he was as jovial as my kids when they were all psyched doing the activities and next thing I knew, the class was over.

Once he returned my Teaching Preparation Book, I could not help but to smile upon seeing the 'doctor-ish' scribbles at the far end of my lesson plan. I could not ask for better remarks. He did not exactly let me have a glimpse at the supervision sheet, yet I did not care. It did not even matter. I think I can figure it out myself based on his feedback :)

But do you want to know what made me truly happy? Dancing-among-clouds happy?

My kids.
My kids.
My kids.

Ten times over. They are everything to me.

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Yuslina said...

Good for you! I, too have some good news to share. Anyway, what's a rolling board?

Aziz said...

Oh, it's roller board actually. Okay, so when is our next get-together? :D

Azie Nazri said...

They are, arent they? :)
Congrats Sir Aziz!

Aziz said...

They are, Azie.
Like I said, ten times over =) I suppose you love your students just as much, if not more =)

Ibrahim said...

Love reading your entries. I wished to get over the observation periods soon. I love teaching, I hate to be observed. Somehow it makes me unnatural and unfriendly compare to the usual classes.

Aziz said...

Thanks, Im! Words as such motivate me even more to share things with you folks =)
Couldn't agree more with you. Observations take the joy of teaching away from us. As if 3 or 4 times observation could define our passions and competency. But then again, it's part and parcel of being a teacher. They (the supervisors) need to be sure that we are teaching the right things, don't they? =)