Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When The Tutor Has Gone 'Wild'

Lovely to see you again. Thanks a lot for stopping by. Ha! Still remember my failed teaching-related theory which I wrote it out the other day? Hope you still do. Atau dah nyanyuk? KWANG3x…

Let’s go straight to the point, shall we? This evening for a million times, I got assigned to take over two tutorial classes at CT Tutorial Center. This time around, I got Year Six students for both slots. In other words, they’re this year’s UPSR (The Primary School Assessment) candidates. And my duty this evening was to teach them the English Language – the second language. Wanna hear how ‘HORRIBLE’ everything went? Aha.

The manager, Mr Kamarul dropped me a line a little bit late in the afternoon, I mean, not as he most typically does. The thing is I wasn’t available when he called (Frankly I was in the bathroom taking my shower). Whoops. Shouldn’t have told you, anyway. I kept him in touch back just after I checked out the missed call in my cell phone. This tutoring thing really matters to me at this second! There’s where I can earn some money. My part-time job (But seems more like ‘community service’ for the sake of my future Malay generation).

Like I said before, I’m not a kind of low-class tutor who’s forever counting on the centre to provide all my teaching learning resources. Excuse me? Am I ever so unintelligent? I had better have my own teaching resources, though. 5 P.M. appeared a bit too late for the preparation to me – but nevertheless, staying focused on my work managed to get my materials all perfect on time! Plus I hate being a late comer either.  Looks like a loser or something, you know.

Once bitten twice shy – and sure enough, I’m not repeating the same mistake. Shall never let the history repeat itself, ever! I’ve learnt the hard way enough. The failed theory, remember? This time around, I showed up at the centre with a sort of serious, firm tutor. With a three-page English worksheet (My actual preparation which I’ve been talking about), I walked into the first Year 6 class in silence. However, I seemed rather nervous, dunno why. Maybe I quite assured, possibly because of my new theory. Yes, this theory could probably bail me out and then redeem all of my past mistakes. I supposed.

Mr Writer Wannabe’s new teaching theory:
 Motivation + firmness = success

I thoughtlessly passed the worksheets to all students. Not doing it all myself, I asked the students to lend me a hand instead. Not trying to be lazy but I wanna save more golden time – and act (allegedly) much more professionally. Very unexpectedly, a few male students were starting to make monkey noise in class. Guess what? Directly ‘a lion roared’ and yelled loudly before them, “You wanna talk? You wanna talk? Go stand up in the front and talk!” Then, all kept quiet dramatically. At the moment, they’d have known who I am! The best actor in the world. ROFL.

I spoke in English, pretty appropriate with the subject being taught – the English Language. The students’ first task was answer the first four Malay questions in 10 minutes’ time. Sounds slightly weird when, as a matter of fact, I wasn’t even teaching Bahasa Melayu. Ya, I realised what I was up to. The truth is the first page was more like a motivational session. My very intention was to enable them to put their thinking cap on and reflect by themselves who the hell they were. Only ten minutes got allocated for this ‘special’ session.

Shortly, the discussion got started. One student got pointed to give an honest answer. I had already informed them there’s no correct/incorrect answers. All I cared was a sense of honesty. That’s it. First of all, many of them responded ‘dishonestly’. As they kept giving all silly, unwanted answers. Fine! I then started nagging at them like a mother. Like hell! Well, it was a mere motivational session, like I previously explained. Nagging is very essential indeed, isn’t it? A credit was only given to any expected responses. I mean, all HONEST responses. Honesty is the best policy, right? I was forcing them to be thinking of what’s the main factor causing them to respond all this crap:

“English is a hard language because I can hardly understand it.”
“English is boring too.”
“I’m lacking of English vocabulary.”

Of all the answers I heard, what amazed me a lot when I heard this student’s response:

“I’m a Malay. I needn’t learn English, need I?” (This was when I said, “Wow!” – the most honest answer ever! Very good.)

Shortly afterwards, I reached a conclusion. I got them awake, shamefaced and humiliated but all in a positive way. “Don’t tell me a white lie, you little kids. I’m not as dumb as you might be thinking! How come you very much like pointing a finger on others for you own bloody fault?! Wake up kids! You know what? You’re such an asshole! – this last one only I forgot to mention in class. I shouldn’t have to, should I?  The motivational session eventually ended up with one ugly confession. The ugly truth was:

PS: I got them repeat this kind of confession many times! HEH HEH HEH

OK. NICE! So nice! Think I just did it! As soon as this motivational session thing ended, I assigned them to give their best shot answering the following seven-question-idiom-based questions on the next page. The students were actually ‘dealing’ with ‘keep an eye’, ‘get into hot water’, ‘lend a hand’, ‘give a shot’, ‘pull my leg’, ‘build castles in the air’ and ‘keep in touch’ idioms. Yet, I didn’t let them spend a plenty of time for this session ONLY?! Their honesty was my priority. So one question I posed straightaway. “To be perfectly honest, can you exactly get all the questions answered?” Can’t believe my ears with their one-voice response – “Nope!”

Strictly speaking, this is so cool! I whispered to myself in silence. My preceding motivational session really was a huge success! I did it at last! Yeah I did it! My theory is so right after all. Alhamdullilah. Oh my God. I’m completely brainy, am I not? Incredible! I grinned alone. Happiness.

Let’s not to get them into hot water any longer, okay?  All of us began talking over each of the idiom-based questions in the worksheet. Gradually. Slow and steady wins the race, get it? What made me feel somewhat uncomfortable when these students pretty much refused to think out of the box! All their trial answers didn’t even make sense at all! Absurd, ridiculous, illogical, bullshit, you know! Mercifully, I wasn’t an idiot.  Never curse before them or else they all would label me a bad tutor. Lucky devil!  

After this idiom thing, we moved to the last-but-not-least part consisting of eight proverb-based questions overall. Proverbs such as ‘let bygones be bygones’, ‘do as you would be done by’, ‘opportunity seldom knocks twice’, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’, ‘many hands make light work’, ‘it’s no use crying over split milk’ and ‘time is money’ were all counted. By the time the class was over, they’d have gained all these proverbs as well as idioms. Or otherwise they’re such a loser!

My students at SMK Sungai Pusu, KM 11 Jalan Gombak, 53100 Kuala Lumpur

Every so often, I include my personal experience-based stories in teaching. This is all crucial so they won’t get fed up but concentrate more instead. Besides, I too make lots and lots of jokes so their boredom will automatically disappear. Since I most frequently communicate too much before students, I think I’m just ‘registering’ myself into a kind of chatterbox club. Ah, no way! Teaching does make you talk a lot more. And I so adore this world I’m living in! Happily ever after like the story of ‘Cinderella’. And I could be the Mr Cinderella, anyway. Why not? HAR HAR HAR....

Wishing for a better tomorrow! =)

The end.


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