It has been a while, innit? But fret not (dear self), I am still cruising through the gratitude challenge and not looking forward to giving up. Anyway, I think I have been skipping day 8, 9, 10 and 11 and rather than just enumerating the things I am grateful for, I think it is better for me to narrate what has been happening to me so far (after day 1 of placement). Well, actually I have been listing my gratitude every day but then I think it is more fun to narrate things down.
But before I jump right in, I think I have the right to declare "week x-1 done!" #mathematician
Generally speaking, even I've said it countless times I still have everything to complain and my day would be so much better had I not complain. I kept on saying that chant every single morning when I woke up and I have the utmost faith that Allah will always change my state when I am willing to take action on changing my state. I reckon that being a huckleberry above a persimmon is the only way of surviving not only the things you hate but also the things you like. As for me, I had always wanted to be a teacher my whole life, even though I had previously wanted to pursue something else, the thought of being a teacher is always soothing. The thing is, I am always afraid to leave my comfort zone. Realising that my comfort zone is so small, I have to step out from it one way or another so that I can conquer another zone to call it comfortable. Well, that's how life is -- you have to keep moving until your struggles become your comfort zones. I hate to break the sad news but it is not gonna end until the day you die.
Well, enough ranting! All in all, I am not afraid to say that my first week was so exciting and life changing. I don't know I am already liking the school (on my way to loving it) and so grateful that I have been granted a chance of a lifetime to deal with people I frightened the most -- students. One of my colleague from my previous placement actually found out where I am now in, and she said: "Well, it must be tough for Belle." I guess a tough place is only befitting for a tough girl teehee. Well, I thought of it as a blessing in disguise and also a test to move me forward. Other people have it tougher than me, so alhamdulillah. It is not because one person is stronger than the others, but our differed capacities.
Anyway, I remembered this one time when I felt so far from Allah and thought only big life tests will bring me closer to Allah. Boy, had I been so wrong. Allah tests us only to our abilities and would I be able to handle such tests other people were facing? Little did we know, blessings are also part of our life tests. Anyway, in some cases, we tend to be jealous of other people when they have something more than us. I mean to put it in context, when we first knew where we are placed, there was "untungla" here and there going on. Some schools are nearer, their students have excellent behaviour, the staffs are friendly, and all schools have one bit of another. I mean my school is further from anyone else, the students are not so well-behaved, and so far the staffs are so-so; some are friendly, some are not. Well, after one week and hearing each other stories, I realise how fortunate I am.
I think it is gonna be a long post and I am already sleepy.
Anyway, on my first day of school (I've talked a bit about it in my previous post), to be absolutely honest, I am so terrified I even had bugs in my stomach. But, I had to keep motivating myself that everything is always going to be alright. It took me about 1hour and a half to reach the school and when I was at the front gate, I couldn't move my feet into the school. I stopped right here, right there in that instance. My colleague ushered me in and I had to wait for my mentor to arrive. I couldn't sit still and then my mentor came and brought us into her office to discuss paperwork and specifications. She is so nice and comforting, alhamdulillah. I noticed that there are a lot of experienced teachers in the school; translating to having a mother and father bond instead of brothers and sisters as in my previous school. Anyhoo, my mentor assigned me to five teachers and I had no free time at all. As I have no laptops to work on, I absolutely think it is better to have a jam-packed schedule.
In my first lesson (A), I came in 5 minutes early and the teacher asked me to stand at the door to greet every student and remind them to take one sheet of questions per person. As nervous as I was, I still managed to carve a smile and immediately went: "Good morning! Please take one of these. Thank you." as every student came into the classroom. Well, the good thing is someone smiled back, out of 15 people and the bad thing is someone said,: "Morning. I know." Then, as soon as everyone settled in, the teacher introduced me as Miss Rosly and asked me to helped around. Boy, was everyone so quiet and I was so afraid to help them out, so I just circulated around the classroom. After 15mins, one of the students put up her hand and called me to mark her work. I was elated I didn't even know what to say. Few minutes after that, that student asked her teacher if I can sit with her to help, and the teacher immediately granted permission. She asked me to sit on her chair and she took out another chair to sit on. So sweet I am gonna cry! So, yeah I was helping her and then at one point, one boy sitting next to me asked me for help,: "Miss, can you check my work?" He did some mistakes and I helped him out a bit. He got it in one go, so I said,: "Wow, you're a smart boy! I only have to tell you once." He smiled and thanked me. As I was helping the girl on one of the difficult questions, she shockingly went,: "Maths is so hard, I'm gonna cry." Well, I tell her Maths is not hard and not easy and asked her to not cry for it will ruin her makeup but she stormed out of the classroom and cry. She came back 10mins after and asked me,:"Miss, do you think the students in England are stupid comparing to Malaysian students?" I was caught off guard and my brain froze for a moment. But then I told her that;
"Don't you think that we are quite the same? I mean I have never thought that people are stupid. People are smart in some ways or another. Well, if you say stupidity means not understanding, I have to say I was stupid or still am stupid. I had once failed my maths test, but then now I am teaching maths. It is not the question of who is smarter or not, it is actually are you willing to understand or not. We can work on our understanding, isn't it? But, I think you are smart. I believe in you."
Then, the boy beside me said, "Do you really think we are smart?" Yes, I do kiddos!
Anyway, as soon as the lesson ended (1 and a half hour), I had got two thank yous.
Onto the next lesson (B), the teacher introduced me yadayada and I can help around. One of the boys immediately put his hand up and he said that it was too hard for him. I asked him why is it hard, he said well I don't know. Then, I explained and he said that,: "Wow Miss, the way you explained it was so simple." Then, I got another hand up and one boy looking at me like he was gonna eat me. I was so scared that he didn't like me in the class. So, I went up to him and asked him if he needs any help. He then looked so surprised that I came to him and he smiled, he said no thank you. Well, at least he doesn't hate me. 1 and a half hour went away so quickly when you are having fun, innit? At the end of the lesson, the boy that asked for my helped thanked me and wished me a good day.
Then, my next lesson (C) was quite terrifying as well. All of them didn't smile back when I smiled at them. The teacher asked me to introduced myself and I have to say that introducing myself kinda gimme some authorities and I walked confidently around the classroom. All of the sudden, one girl asked for me helped and after helping her, she told her teacher: "Sir, Miss teaches better than you." Well, I didn't get to see the teacher's reaction as I was walking to the back of the class but anyway, at least it boosted my confidence. Then, another girl called me and I thought she was asking me to help her in Maths but she just wanted to converse with me.
"Miss, do you love Maths."
"Well, I actually don't."
"Why do you want to be a teacher? Don't be a teacher, Miss. Students are rude."
"Are you one of them?"
"No, no I'm nice."
"Well, that is good enough for me."
Then, she smiled and get her book out to answer the questions. The teacher then collected their homework and asked me to mark them at that moment. As I gave back their homework, one of them came to me and asked me on what to improve. My gosh, the amount of belief they were showing me made me so teary. I just met them and they appreaciated me so much. I was so tired as my day ended by my oh my did I felt super happy? I dooooo I was so happy.
I felt so tired and I didn't want to get up but then I know my students were waiting for me ececece.
Anyway, that day, I still had to go to the same classes I had been on the previous day. My day started with Class C and I got one more student that kept on calling me. At one point, she said,"Miss, I need you. Can you come help me after you finished, please?" And remember the girl that advised me? Yeah, she did her work and there was one problem-solving question that can be answered by using algebra. She called me to check her work which is correct but there was no steps and methods whatsoever, so I asked her how did she do that? She told me that she squeezed her brain really tight. Well, there is no way she had copied her friends as she was the only one doing that question at the moment. I told her that she is very smart and she genuinely thanked me.
And I also got a "Hi Miss, how are you?" on the corridor. My friends said that they need at least a month to get a "hi" along the corridor. I don't know, that littlest thing made me so happy and yeah I am done talking actually.
I was so grateful to my students simplest acts. They really did make my days and alhamdulillah as I was keeping myself so positive, I always forced myself to smile at everybody and I think that had got to be the x-factor of why they are so positive with me.
Well, the day went on so hectic and still not a thing deserve a complaint. I was so grateful that I was so positive at least at the beginning of the week.
Day 9/Day 10
I couldn't lie I was so exhausted and didn't want to go to school. Anyway, on these days I was in whole lot different classes than on Monday and Tuesday. The students are a lot more mature and quiet and didn't want help at all. So yeah, it was so boring and tiring and time passed slowly. But then, as I was quietly standing at the back of the class, I tried to smile at everyone and alhamdulillah two students smiled back. So, basically Wednesday and Thursday are boring days but I was so impressed by how the teachers teach. Their pedagogical knowledge is on the top of the world. I was so grateful so be given the privilege to observe them. And of course, Thursday is the last day of school and I couldn't be happier!
Well, it's today. And I was back at uni to meet our tutor and of course catch up sessions, girls! As I was saying before, listening to everyone's story is so worth it. Looking back at my first week at uni during school placement, I was so tired but today was completely different. Well, I wasn't energetic and wasn't tired either. It was OK. And tomorrow is the weekend! Anyway, I had the chance to call home in the morning and I was so grateful that everyone back home is healthy and fine and those struggling with health are on their way to recovery.
Anyway, I hope you'll have a nice and blessed weekend! See you soon :)