Saturday, January 31, 2009

Teaching Pressure

Do you mind when your students misbehave, breaking every single regulation of the school? Do you care when your students escape class, doing nothing in class, or disturbing others in class? What would you do when your school's achievements in the public examinations are on a downward trend and the local communities are getting more and more concerned?

Some teachers just don't care a bit. To them, it's the students who decide what they want. They teach faithfully every day and it is up to the students to learn. Students are mature enough to know what they want.

Some teachers get unduly worry, dreading the post-mortem conversations. They gather all that they want to say, putting blames on the students or others for the outcomes.

Some will scream at the present students getting in line for their public examination, though none of them has any knowledge what wrongs they have made.

Teachers today are really tense. Many do not enjoy teaching anymore. Many are burdened with excessive school administrative works. Many do not specialize in their subjects anymore because the general public require them to be a Jack of all trade.

And then come the public examinations...

The week before the public examination is announced, many teachers teaching examination classes will get really tense. Some go without proper sleep. Some pacing up and down moodily. Some very easily get provoked while others just want to be left alone most of the time.

Come a new school term, then a renewed anticipation for each school day...

Come a public examination, then the recovered stress and the awful moods.

Oh teachers, you are so temperamental and unpredictable like the seasons of the year...

Oh teachers of the world, You are like those candles that are consumed to light up the ways for others. But none of them seem to open their eyes and acknowledging your roles. Nonetheless, God knows.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Same School Gate

This is my school gate standing strong for more than 45 years. Driving through it always brings me some fresh memories about the many who have passed through it before...
  • Some have achieved good academic results and are now pursuing higher studies both locally and abroad. Others have joined the job market with low or reasonable pay. Still others have got married and are blessed with many children.
  • Some have become prominent political leaders and are serving their communities. Some are leaders of various social groups. Still others remain loyal followers and supporters forever.
  • Some have joined the police forces or the military forces, serving the nation against enemies within and without. Others become law-abiding citizens. Still others become crooks and liars, cheating, robbing or looting others' properties and disrupting the peace and harmony of the people.
  • Some have trained themselves to be teachers and are now active serving in schools and universities, molding and shaping the younger generation.
  • Some are living strong and healthy in their old age, playing important roles in the society or have partially retired and rested. Others have left the world a long while ago.
  • Some have attempted to have reunion where lots and lots of stories are told, where joy and laughter filled the hall and where tears flow like a broken dam. Yet there are also others who never stop grumbling on their misfortune and often ended up condemning all others.
The same school gate is still standing strong today, though many generations of people have passed through it. It will continue to serve many generations of people. But the sad fact is that not many realize that it is how you learn in the school that makes a different; it is not the school itself.

I stop my van and smile, I shrug and I sigh... with tears dwell in my eyes.

The same school gate still opens today...

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

When is the last time you had a dream

  • My dream is to become a nurse. If I am a nurse, I can help my people in the village. People in the villages lack medical attention and even the clinic in my village does not have enough medicine for the people.
  • My dream is to be a mountaineer. If I was a mountaineer, I could climb the highest mountains. It would be very peaceful and the scenery would be lovely. I would take other people to the top of the mountains so that they could enjoy the view.
  • My dream is to be a fireman. If I was a fireman, I could drive a big red fire engine. I would put out fires and help to save peoples lives. I could rescue cats who had got stuck up in a tree.
  • My dream is to be a footballer. If I was a footballer, I would play center forward for my team. I would score the most goals!
  • My dream is to be a sailor. If I was a sailor, I could sail my boat across the sea. I could see new lands and meet new people. I would sing to make everybody happy!
  • My dream is to create my own school. If I have my own school, I can share my visions of teaching.
  • My dream is to be a botanist. If I am a botanist, I can share my knowledge about plants with people.
  • My dream is to save the world. My dream is to save this world from all the negative energy that is going on today. I want to make a difference in peoples' lives and put a mark in their hearts.
  • My dream is that there would be no guns so that people can’t shoot each other.
  • My dream is for people to stop littering and polluting the world.
  • My dream is that my mom’s surgery goes well. She has cancer.
  • My dream is that no people say bad words to each other.
  • My dream is that I can spend more time with my dad and mom.
  • My dream is that people all over the world will be nice and helpful to each other.
  • My dream is for everyone to have food and shelter.
  • My dream is to be a scientist to create potions to heal sick people.
  • My dream is to help animals that are sick and hurt.
  • My dream is that the terrorists would stop.
  • My dream is for stores to charge less for people that don’t get much money.
  • My dream is to have a clean and healthy world.
  • My dream is to end world hunger.
Life is a passing through. When is the last time you had a dream?
Dreams now and have your visions right.
Please don't slumber though your whole life.
Make an impact on yourself and someone’s life; make this world a better place for you and me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Don't Waste My Time

Some of us find it difficult to initiate a conversation. They hesitate to open their mouths. They wait for others to speak up on topics that they know and have interest. Much time is wasted before a fruitful discussion can take place.

Some discussions are virtually lopsided. Some refuse to stop talking while others just don't want to open their mouths. Much time is wasted and the end results of the discussion are so little and unsatisfying.

I believe in sharing my views. I also believe in listening careful to what others can contribute. But I don't believe in wasting time.

Each day we are given ample opportunities to interact with the surrounding world. We must make full use of all opportunities to reason, to speak and to listen. Nature is full of knowledge and wisdom waiting for us to explore. There are so much for us to talk about and to share with one another.

We must think logically and creatively. We must be clear and precise in our speech. We must be certain and hold true to our words. We must talk only what is required to build others up. And we must always humbly listen to what others have to say.

Don't talk idly just to reduce tension but leave jobs undone. Don't backbite just to feel better while hurting others. Don't spread rumors just to smear other's images and to gain a better footing. Don't waste each other's time just because you are busy doing nothing.

Spend time efficiently and wisely. Make full use of each day for our own good and the good of others.

Happy is the man who waste no time to do good and to flee from evil.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Catching Students Smoking

Last Friday I had a brief encounter with some students after driving through the back gate of the school. Apparently this group of about twenty students were smoking together while waiting for their transports. About half of the road was occupied by them. While careful driving through, one of the students hit my van from behind.

I was quite mad but I decided to control my temper. Seeing from the rear-view mirror that some of them were sneering, seemingly consenting on the boy’s action, I decided to stop my van and confront them.

I stepped out of my van and looked around, trying to find the boy who hit my van. There was a boy who was puffing his cigarette with tilted head and he looked very haughty. All the others were busy hiding their cigarettes. Though I knew that proud student was my target, I decided to confront the other boys, wanting them to tell me the identity of the one who hit the back of my van. That boy looked more uneasy. Eventually he blurted out and told me that he was merely touching my van.

Holding my temper while seeing him puffing away, I commanded him to throw his cigarette away. He was reluctant. I spoke a second time. Slowly he put the cigarette on the clean and dry side of the road . I knew for sure that he was going to take it back when I had left the place. So I demanded him to step on it or kick it to the grass. He looked uneasy but at last he complied, after I had threatened to take discipline action against him.

That day, I thought I had successfully controlled a group of smoking students. But I am sure they will smoke again, but will try to stay away or hide their cigarettes away when they see my van from afar. I grinned to myself, knowing that I will have less eyesore in my school. Not bad for the beginning of a new school term. I had done a good deed that day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happiness Affects Others

An old man walked slowly into a restaurant. His torn jacket, patched trousers, worn out shoes, and warm personality made him stand out from the crowd.

He stopped and looked around. A young waitress named Gloria watched him shuffle toward a table by the window.

Gloria ran over to him, and said, "Here, Sir. Let me give you a hand."

Without saying a word, he smiled and nodded a thank you. She pulled the chair away from the table. Steadying him with one arm, she helped him move in front of the chair, and get comfortably seated.

In a soft and clear voice he said, "Thank you, Miss. And bless you for your kind gestures."

"You're welcome, Sir." She replied. "And my name is Gloria. I'll be back in a moment, and if you need anything at all in the meantime, just wave at me!"

After he had finished a hearty meal, Gloria brought him the change from his ticket. She then helped him up from his chair, and out from behind the table. She handed him his cane, and walked with him to the front door.

Holding the door open for him, she said, "Come back and see us again, Sir!"

He turned with his whole body, winked a smile, and nodded a thank you. "You are very kind." he said softly.

When Gloria went to clean his table, she almost fainted. Under his plate she found a business card and a note scribbled on a napkin. Under the napkin was a one hundred dollar bill.

The note on the napkin read...

"Dear Gloria, I respect you very much, since you respect yourself. It shows by the way you treat others. You have found the secret of happiness. Your kind gestures will shine through those who meet you."

The man was the owner of the restaurant. This was the first time that she, or any of his employees had ever seen him in person.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back To School

I'm back to school, yet again!

The beginning of the school term always make my mind wonders. For the past few years, I had a hard time understanding how this school with over three thousand students could operate when there was little promise of any upgrade of the school in sight. It is indeed marvelous when the school continues to produce high achievers both in academics and sports after all these years.

There they are, our students, walking together with their family members, relatives and friends; full of anxieties, aspirations, visions, and expectations.

I walk along the road and join the crowds, smiling and greeting everyone that I see or know, answering questions, and returning smiles. I always enjoy this moment.

As I reflect on my students, I couldn't help dwelling on the important task of their teachers. These are the lumps of clay that their teachers must mold into useful vessels.

Yet there are...
  • Some who are so ignorant, not knowing what the future holds for them.
  • Some who are so happy and carefree, and never do their works seriously.
  • Some who are so restless and can never do a simple task given well.
  • Some who are so quiet and unsociable, making it difficult to impart knowledge and skill.
  • Some who just love to disrupt classes. They come to school with other motives and desires.
  • Some who stay in school just to please their parents.
But there are...
  • Some who are inquisitive and always ready with relevant questions.
  • Some who are prepared and well-equipped for their lessons.
  • Some who are tidy and neat in everything they do.
  • Some who are well-disciplined and always complete their learning activities well.
So I wonder...
  • What have I done as a teacher?
  • How will I improve as a teacher?
I wonder... and I wonder.... and my mind continues to wonder... sigh!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Little A Day

A little kindness, a little a day, the more we will share.
A little patience, a little today, the better we will fare.
This world is not ours to own, but ours to bear.
We must give our best, before we forget.
A little giving, a little a day, soon it will be a better day.
A little sharing, a little today, soon the world will know we care.
These talents are not ours to keep, but ours to share,
We will do our best, to make this world a better place.
A little love, a little a day, let's freely share.
A little joy, a little today, let's do it always.
This life is a passing through, and we must not delay.
We shall do our best, before we're laid to rest.
A little kindness, a little patience, a little giving, 
Will fill the world with tender loving care.
A little sharing, a little love, a little joy, 
Will honor God Who give His Son to share.

Please do it always... 
The world is yearning for your care.