Tidied

It’s the end of my third week of working as a teacher in Kl. I have so much to update here, I don’t know where to start. But first of all, the tracking system I mentioned by the first week about homework submission was converted to something more practical for my kids. I have students sitting in 5 groups in my classroom. So, I have appointed 5 group leaders. I gave each of them a notebook to report any missing homework and misbehaving during the instruction time. That way, I can hold the kids accountable.

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The next thing I wanna share is my work desk. I have cleared the mess as I found an empty box which I can use to store the books I need to mark. Besides, I have probably mentioned this, I’ve brought a three tier paper tray to the school, and it works wonderfully. I put three labels on each of the tiers: now, maybe, and later.

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 Apart from fulfilling my obligations, I took some time out this week to prepare some materials I can paste in the classroom. I love the fact that I’m entering this school in the middle of the year so I don’t have to do everything from scratch as the former teacher has pretty much done most of the hard work. Whatever extra work I’m doing now can serve the purpose of practice and preparation for the next year. One of the things I’m doing is redecorating the notice board as the kids were complaining that they are bored with the current outlook. So here are the labels I’ve made for the classroom board.

The difference between an internBy the end of the second week, I was still struggling with how to organize my desk neatly. As you can see, I’ve brought in a three tier paper tray and two bookends, but my students’ books are coming in almost every day. I need to either mark and return faster or get a bookshelf.  Anyhow, I can’t possibly work at such a cluttered space. So, that’s my 3rd-week goal – unclutter my work desk (for good).

First Week Checked

Anyone from the educational background knows that it is a common yet unhealthy phenomenon for someone whose major was different from the subject he or she is teaching. Due to a lot of factors, especially the economics, teachers or lecturers have to prepare for lessons they themselves are not expert in. I am dealing with this exact situation right now, hopefully, it is only tentative. That being said, I feel very excited about taking up this challenge.

This week, I was busy adapting to my new workplace. I was assigned to be the class teacher for Year 3 students and they are adorable. I love my kids, we have an aborigine, a Korean, three Indians, and 21 Chinese. The kids are very collaborative and I love the seating arrangement of the classroom done by their previous class teacher who was redeployed to another school. I introduced the classroom rules and prepared a reward system for the class. I got myself a leather-covered notebook, a teacher’s best assistant, anything important will thereafter be jotted in this one and the only notebook I have for work. I updated my planner with various checklists:

Daily Routine Checklist

A list to remind me of my daily obligations.

Book Checklist

Year 3 ‘students are dealing with n stacks of books – a checklist is necessary.

Homework Submission List      

This list is not to punish the students for not submitting the homework but to award those who hand in their homework every day in a month, this is synced with the reward system I am employing. 

All in all, the first week was awesome. I was constantly learning how the teachers run the school. Of course, there’s still a lot to learn. I did not neglect my habits in the first week; I am still doing yoga, practicing ukulele, eating healthily, learning Japanese, but I only hit the gym twice, I should try to fit gym into my schedule now that I know about my working hours.

 

I’m Ready! Are You?

After taking this shot, I’ve organized the stationery into three categories: homeschool, and pencil case (i.e. I’ll bring them with me to the classroom, to my workplace, and to my home workplace as well). I love to have things when I need them and I am a strong believer in this motto introduced by Benjamin Franklin:

a place for everything and everything in its place.

 

Organization

After teaching in a few schools as an intern, I have apparently accumulated tons of great resources for teaching in my hard disk. My 15.6 inch Toshiba Satellite C855-14R has served me well for 6 whole years and is still working properly (now in the hands of my little sister). For a new beginning, I have decided to reward myself with a new PC and that means a lot of transferring jobs to do. I always have a fetish for organization. So, it isn’t really a bummer. Learning from my experiences, I need to create a new folder for this new school I will be working in. In this folder, which I have named it with my school’s name, has four file folders in it: 1. Classroom Management, 2. Lesson Plans, 3. Worksheets & Other Learning Materials, 4. Interesting info. Once I know which classes I will be teaching, I will then cut these folders and put them under one with the name of the class. And do the same for other classes. So by the end of the year, I will put them all together in a folder named 2017. And create another folder for 2018. This will help me to sort and track them easily. One of the most important roles a teacher (or rather a facilitator) plays is to organize the relevant information and fit them in a lesson plan coherently. So, I think every teacher should be equipped with organization skills. I am not perfect, I am still learning and I am lucky to say that I enjoy it, in fact, I enjoy it a little too much.

“May your lychee be strong and your students be calm.” Amen.

Finally, the mystery has been revealed yesterday. The one question that has been keeping me agitated at day and restless at night: Which school I’d be going? has been answered eventually. I spent this morning checking out the school’s blog and Facebook. The school compound according to Google Earth is roughly the size of a big mansion, not considered huge compared to my alma mater anyway. It has at least 1k students and roughly 50 teachers. But I’d only be lying if I say I don’t feel butterflies in my tummy. Previously, for observation or practicum, I always had company when I went to a school. This time, I’m going alone. It’s like first grade all over again except that I’m no longer a first grader and no one is going to have time for my clumsiness due to nervousness. I better get it together!

Shopping!!!

Counting down to my first day of work as an official primary school teacher. Since morning, my peers were complaining incessantly on Whatsapp about the imminent stress of huge workload. I, on the other hand, would rather focus on the bright side. With what Timothy MacKenzie always likes to say, “make it work,” to face my new job, boss, workplace, and challenges.

The shopping malls were full of retail stores on sales for Eid al-Fitr holidays. That means it was time for me to shop for work clothes! I headed to the mall with a three-item list in my mind – a pencil skirt, a long-sleeve blouse, and a pair of shoes, ended up buying two long-sleeve blouses, a long-sleeve long cardigan, a flared skirt, a pair of soft, faux suede loafers with rubber soles, and a watch.

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Ah, the consequence of shopping with an empty belly.