Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Toast Lesson

If you were ask to give a toast, what would you say?

If you've been together with a group of people for years, and soon, y'all gonna part ways, what would you say?

I gave my kids the chance to say everything they need to say before they sit for their SPM in one month's time, and before they no longer be as a collective.

I'd just like to brag say that I have given the best lesson ever.

As dejected as I am with the crappy things I've gone through the past few months pertaining to my students, there's still a little genius and awesome in me.

To give a toast, of course we need champagnes and glasses.

But of course, I'm still in my right mind to not pump alcohol into underage kids.

So sparkling juice and paper cups were the order of the day.

This activity was to mark the 30 days left before their SPM and to get whatever that needs to be taken out from their system before facing the most important exam of their lives.  For now.

Plus I was sick of marking 42 essays every week.  It's the perfect excuse.  But back to my noble intention.

I was inspired by Erin Gruwell's Toast For Change activity, where her delinquents made promises to themselves to be better.

I was a little bit nervous though, scared it wouldn't turn out as magical as it should.

Plus we received hard stares from teachers passing by as we do look like we were partying at 8.30 in the morning.  In which we were SUPPOSED to do intensive exercises to prepare for the major exam.  But no, not in my class.

I went first.  To be the model, so that they have ideas on what to say.

I notice I make really weird toast faces.  This was the least weirdest.

 So one by one, each student said what was needed to be said.  There were smiling, laughing, sniffing and surreptitious sipping of the juice when I told them a millions times not to till everyone has given their toast.

Then it became a tear fest.

Also, a knee jerk reaction to people getting emotional is to laugh awkwardly.

How can it not when everyone started pouring out their feelings? Apologies were made, best luck were wished, and best of all, friendships mended and now, stronger.  It was classroom magic.

Best lesson ever - giving kids the platform to speak out.

Finally I felt good about being a teacher, after such a long time.  Not one who groans whenever it's time to enter class.

But of course, the good things don't last too long.  There's always a kid who would rather tear his own exam paper (YOUR subject paper) because you threatened to do so if he refuses to submit his paper earlier because he just won't shut the fuck up during exam.

Fuck it.  I'm going back to my happy place.

So yeah, best lesson ever.  Y'all teachers out there could try popping champagne sparkling juice bottles in class some time (when you feel sick of teaching/forgot to plan the lesson of the day)  and let the magic take over.

Remember to bring back the bottles though.  It DOES NOT reflect well on you.


nc said...

u r one awesome teacher.
punya bgus kalau cigu sa dlu2 buat mcm tu..:)

DoRa Priscilla said...

great job! Awesome idea :D thanks for sharing

Daniel Chiam said...

Oh man... I always wanted to do such thing -_- maybe I should reconsider and apply a job as a teacher. haiz...

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Nc: hehe...inspired by a great teacher jg ba :D

dora: no problem :)

daniel: why not bebeh :D

Joan said...


ya memang good idea this..should do in my class juga la ni.

debrajill said...

nice! i wish I had that kinda of class before..

yes I agreed with NC..you are one awesome teacher~

angelicbug said...

despite, it is great to see a teacher making the time to listen to her students.

these days, people just don't make the time to listen to anyone anymore.

well done teacher Amanda.

v said...

Simply ah-may-zing!!!

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Joan: yeah, u should! :D

Debrajill: hehe..i also wish my teacher would do this during my time.

angelicbug: why thank you :D

v: it was! :D

Yen said...

haha!so cool amanda! kalau la dulu2 saya ada lao shi macam ko kan, comfirm malatops result sa ni.hehe.

floyd said...

I'd actually like that sort of 'wicked' activities at school for my girls, too. Good one, Teacher!

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Yen: hehe....dulu2 punya cigu terlampau serious ba :D

floyd: thanks! try it :D

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