There are...let's see, 1, 2, 3 and 4.
And hundreds as my Facebook status updates.
Since I started teaching in my current school, I have lost all hope in humanity.
Okay, exaggerated a bit there, but pretty much sums up the situation in schools today.
Students' standard of English today is atrocious.
At 17, they still can't name all the months and count past 10 in English.
For the good kids, their attempt to pass the national exam is futile. And as for the rotten ones, the number of fucks they give is zero.
No matter how hard I try, they will still fail.
Makes me feel like shit.
But something awesome happened. We received our students' SPM results.
Even though I taught the Science Stream class last year, their English proficiency is still bad. A few failures, a majority of Cs and Ds, some Bs and only few A kids.
To my surprise, my majority Cs and Ds kids managed to get as high as a B. That's two bands different, and that's A LOT of difference. And my regular failures got Cs. Also, two bands different.
A student who didn't know what 'carrot' is at a mature age of seventeen managed to get a C for English. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
I'd like to believe it was because of 10% of my awesomeness, and 90% of their hard work. Yeah, I'm humble like that. It could also be because 'they' lowered the passing mark, but fuck that, my kid got a C, and I'm proud as hell.
Then I realised why I've been so depressed every time exam comes along.
I focused too much on the bad apples to appreciate my good ones. I focused too much on shoving knowledge to kids who refuse to learn, till I forget that there are other kids who need me more because they are not dumb enough to think they can make it in the big bad world just by repairing cars at their garage backyard. I can't save them all, but I can surely save those who wants to be saved. Even it means just one kid out of a hundred. And it's going to make all the difference in my world, and his or her world.
So my advice to all noob teachers out there, especially those teaching English in secondary school ('coz the kids you teach will somehow not have any memory learning English at all), do not leave any kid behind when teaching, but don't waste your energy on kids who refuse to learn. Go to the kid who WANTS to learn.
"But aren't we supposed to motivate those who don't want to learn?", you ask. Like that overused saying, 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink', you can force a kid to do your work (by using all sorts of ridiculously evil threats), but you can't make them absorb knowledge. Motivation starts at home. So it's not your fault you suck at playing counsellor. Unless you really are good in mind-fucking.
Remember, you can't save all of them, but you can save one kid at a time. And it's going to change his or her life forever.
I was going to say...Never mind.
*Note to self: Please return to this post when suicidal tendencies come up when marking papers.