Sunday, October 23, 2005

Don't laugh... *HAHA!*

This really happened during a module, for which we were supposed to do a 3 min presentation to a fictional primary sch class for our assessment.

Speaker: ( Slightly nervous ) Class, today I want to share with you something I saw in the shopping center.

( Slight giggles from one corner )

I saw a girl who was making fun of a mentally retarded child. She was making fun of the child and was laughing at her.

( Giggles again, probably at seeing their classmate suddenly acting so serious. )

Now class, this is a very sad thing. You should not be laughing at other people like that.

( Someone cracks up. The speaker is starting to crack a bit, but pauses and resumes her composure )

It is very bad to laugh at those who are less fortunate than we are... HAHAHAHA!!!!

( Her friends lose control and break up slightly. Unfortunately, this sparks off a fit of laughter in the Speaker, and the rest of the class feel the tremors. The whole presentation breaks up in a small tremor of laughter, and the Speaker clears her throat, tries to resume her composure again, and resumes the rest of her presentation )

So in conclusion, *giggles* it is very bad to laugh at those less fortunate than we are.

( The speaker goes back to her seat, where the rest of her group make frantic apologies in between gulps and guffaws. The next Speaker, waiting outside the class, now comes in and starts her presentation )

New Speaker: Class, I want to talk to you about laughing at your classmates.

( New Speaker wonders why the entire class, including the instructor, is trying to stifle laughter )

Most ironically, the topic the new speaker was supposed to present was that of how unfair it was for us to laugh at our fellow classmates............

and with the start of this week, we at NIE start to look forward to the last deadlines, the last lectures and tutorials, and for some, the last we'd have to see of our tutors. *Yea* It's now about 2 weeks or so to term end, so the holiday mood is starting to set in. People are now looking forward to the end of deadlines, as opposed to dreading them, because it only meant that another deadline was around the corner. They're also starting to book their holidays in the Dec period.

*Sigh* Don't you just love holidays?

Sorry about those who have been coming to a dusty blog. I've been having a billion problems with the laptop connection in NIE and my new laptop only comes in about a week's time. Somehow or another, I managed to survive doing my assignments by borrowing my roomie's laptop to send email, and also queueing at the computer lab. [although it's a little uneasy, when you are blogging at the computer lab and there's like a line of people reaching outside the lab who're all waiting for a com to do their work on....] Hopefully things will be better when I hook up the new laptop....

I'll also try to do little write ups over the hols about the stuff I've learnt in NIE. I've realised that there are highly differing views about the validity of what they teach here. A LOT of people claim it's highly irrelevant to today's classroom and that the lecturers have spent too much time in research. Yet others admit that some concepts do help.

What's the line drawn in the sand? Maybe soon we'd find out....

Till then, I believe this is currently examination period for most primary schools and O level teachers? Good luck to all who are involved in marking, invigilating, and all the other crap that comes with it!! Hope none of you vomitted too much blood over your students' scripts... hahaha...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Slander? Sedition?

Hmmm.... such familiar terms to bloggers nowadays.... especially for those poor JC sods who wrote one too many wrong things on their blogs.....

I must confess, my sympathies go out to those students. For voicing out what was probably in the minds of dozens of their peers, they were unlucky [and dumb] enough to put it on their blogs and get themselves in, as we say, a whole pile of crap.

But are we going too far here?

I understand that what the students did was possibly slander. I understand that had they been older, they might have found themselves in serious trouble.

But as students? Writing about their teachers? Er....... Isn't that the norm amongst most students?

Like, who hasn't said slanderous things about their teachers and discussed seditious acts among their peers before? I remember when I was in school, as a student, the whole school was aflame about a married female teacher and a [much younger] single male teacher who were constantly [we thought] seen in each others' company. The rumours flamed when the married teacher didn't appear in school for a week, and we all decided that she must have been kicked out of the school for unsavoury behaviour.

Now that I'm older, of course, I know that she must have been in course all that while. Duh.

So granted, students saying very unsavoury things about their teachers is a natural course of events. And if you're the source of homework, tests, and evil of all evils, exams, it becomes a for-granted part of your job that students WILL complain about you, insult you, and generally declare you the source of all living and undead evil on this earth.

If you, as a teacher, think they shouldn't be this way, or that they don't, then I think you're being terribly naive.

Now if we take this to be a natural behavior, the next question is, is the punishment appropriate to the crime? Is suing them really going to solve anything?

What was hurt here? The teachers' professional reputation? C'mon, who's going to take a few angry lines in a blog seriously? As bad as they are, I don't think there are much people who would believe in them so sincerely that they would seriously think the teacher was [insert choice accusation here].

And what do the students learn here? "Say anything bad about teacher and he will sue you." What does this say about our ability to take criticism? What does this tell the student?

And most importantly: What does this do to the teacher-student relationship?

I wonder how the rest of the students in that JC is going to regard that teacher in the future, since now the message seems to be "cross me and I sue!" More importantly, I wonder whether they will ever trust and respect him again.