Jun 24, 2013

Another Day..

A new day should never be addressed as JUST ANOTHER day. 
Many long for one more day to make things right,
to start what they have planned and to finish what they have started.
One more day to say I love you.
One more day to say good bye.

While you have that day given to you as you awoke with the sunrise, embrace the beauty of it as a gift and make the most out of it.

Whether you spend lazing it away, or by planning a monumental development for a nation, the day is yours to cherish doing what you love and with whom you love, living it right, living it with gratitude. 
I know how many times I wished I had one more day with my loved ones for me to embrace them.

Don't take it for granted and don't use the wrong words to address a gift either.
 "JUST" means simply; only; no more than.
I doubt another 24hours given to us means that.

Whatever may be bugging you, don't let it cloud the value of this gift given to you.
You hold the key to making the best out of anything.
Remember for a star to shine, it requires darkness, but it never stops shining in the light, in other words, no matter what your circumstances, never forget to embrace the beauty of the life you have.
Have an awesome day and may your every new day be as wonderful if not better than the last.

Jun 23, 2013

Your Light Will Burn Within Me

Eleven years have passed from your passing away,
but it feels like it was just yesterday,
you spoke to me the night before you left,
and shared what you wished for me to last.

I don't know what your life in that realm is like,
but I bet you are in much delight,
to be closer to the God you love,
and the man you honoured throughout your life.

I miss you so much, that much I know,
this life without you, feels shallow and cold,
but the strength I saw in your life helps me keep my spirits high,
to know that no matter what, God will always be by my side.

I wished you had the chance to hold my kids,
to pamper and shower them with your love and bliss,
but I take consolation that though you are not with them,
they know you, love you and I see you in them.

Rest in peace my dearest mummy,
rest in the grace our God gives us,
for the land you walk on now is where I am destined to be,
trusting I will someday meet you in eternity.

Till that day comes, take comfort that you have taught me right,
That you have showed me the importance of love and like.
You gave me memories to share and keep,
and your light will live strong forever within me.

I love you...

Jun 20, 2013

Life Is Responding To You

I believe the words in the picture above just says it all. 
Life is not happening to you. it's responding to you.
Study its responses and embrace it for acceptance of a job well done or a sign for personal change.
How you act to it is how it will react to you.

Reminds me of those times I've heard people say, they don't know why others hurt them so much. 
In a similar way, this is the answer.
How others treat you is usually their reaction to what you act on them.

Jun 13, 2013

All it takes is ONE

Today was a remarkable day for me, my Belle and her 30 classmates and here is why.
During the last school break, I decided to throughly look through Belle's activity books and before I could go through her English book, she brought a complain to me. 
Apparently her English teacher had them do 3 pages from the activity book which required them to listen to an audio/reading from the teacher's part before attempting to answer the questions.

Obviously this was the section for 'listening skill'. The teacher was apparently too busy with the preparation of English week and she asked them to do these 3 pages themselves despite knowing, correct answers can only be obtained upon them listening to something, despite Belle asking her, "But this is a listening activity!"

So i decided to do what I always did back when Belle was in Sri Sedaya, write a note on the top of the page and ask Belle to go and show it to the teacher.

While Sedaya, it was usually addressed to her BM teacher for some further explanation on 'frasa' and to her Math teacher over why the laziness of not using exercise books to attempt the math questions instead of scribbling at the side of the text book pages, this was to a GOVERNMENT SCHOOL TEACHER.

Common perception is that, it's easier to question people you pay to do the job, than it is to question government staff. Even Belle herself said, she thinks she's going to get into trouble for asking. I only encouraged her not to fear questioning what requires questioning and at the same time told her to do so when she found the courage for it.

Belle walked up to the teacher today, gave her book opened at the page, and told her teacher, "My mother has a note for you." 

When the teacher saw what I had written, she immediately started defending herself and told my daughter, "I never asked you to do these pages, why did you?" but Belle rebutted and said that she did. A classmate of hers heard them and walked up to the teacher's table to see and told the teacher, "Yes you asked us to do it." As if 2 student's admission wasn't enough, the teacher asked the class. Half of them said NO while the other half said YES. Then she decided to tell Belle, "You didn't get to do the listening part because you were absent," and Belle replied, "I wasn't absent, Teacher. I asked you about the listening part that day also." After that 3 other students confirmed that the teacher did ask them to do it, did not do the listening part and that Belle did ask her about it that very same day to which the teacher's reply back then was, "Just answer what you can," and she left the class.

Finally the other half of the class who said NO, checked their books and said YES as well. 

Right after that, she decided to conduct the listening section for those pages and the children in the class had to erase all their previous answers because everything was obviously answered wrongly.

How terrible! Just to defend herself she rather accuse Belle of being absent and for doing something not asked, without even being sure of what she did and did not do?
It's sad when the ministry puts listening skills into the teaching of English, and the teacher does this on top of the limited hours they have for this language. 
I don't think she expected to get a NOTE from a parent written on the activity book or to even think that someone was checking their children's work and of all language ENGLISH. 
(By the way, the book is not even marked once, and the 2nd term has already started.)

If she was very busy, the least she could have done, was to hand out grammar or vocabulary worksheets to them instead of making them do something that required a listening aid. It's called planning, plus if she really forgot she made the mistake, she didn't have to play the blame game with a 9 year old. Adults I tell you!

I congratulated Belle for her courage and she asked me why? 
My reply : "Well the fact that you told me, and I wrote the note, and you went to ask, which brought attention to your other classmates who backed you up when the teacher claimed it to be your fault and finally having the lesson done right which benefitted your entire class, is worth congratulating!"

Her 2nd question however was, "If the teacher didn't do the listening part today? What then Ma?"
My reply : "This Saturday is report card day, she'll have to answer directly to me!"

Lesson learnt : Listen to what your children tell you and proactively involve yourself where, when and however you can. All I did was to put my stamp of parental authority on that book (it worked in Sedaya and now I know it works in government schools too) and it bore fruits for the entire class (exactly what I wanted as I was more concern over what her classmates were missing out because Belle is going through a good English program at home with me). This should work as a lesson to the teacher that she's being watched and I don't think she would try this sort of stunt again, at least not in the class with Belle in it. 1 person is all it takes to drive a change, and in this case it was Belle! Well done. This is a case in a Standard 3 classroom. I would like to believe, if every parent worked as an auditor to their children's work, we can catch the mistakes our kids make and guide them as well as the mistakes the teachers make and nip the bud! We are after all their first teachers, who better to do the job? Teachers are just humans too, and they sometimes need to be pushed back into the right track.

My Child is Better Than The System!

This is another case of EGOISTIC Parenting! Almost fits to be a continuation of my previous post.
Parents who think their child is above a certain standard and refuses to accept otherwise.
Many educated parents think that because they are educated and some what a brainiac, they believe their offsprings are SUPERHEROES! Well probably The Incredibles can fit that stereotype, but come on, a system is created to evaluate a child. Of course not all child is built to be within a classification.

A friend of mind who teaches English at a language centre always shares her experiences with me, about parents who walk into her centre and expect their child to be placed into a certain high grade without even considering the evaluation results of their child.

"No no, cannot be! She's very good in her English one! She must not be put in the beginner's class. She is advance one!"  (Another denial!)

REALLY? Apparently her scores were below average on the test. But I guess, money rules these sort of parents? So the child was made to enter the higher grade class (unfortunately) and she struggled!
She struggled and her parents didn't do anything about it and subsequently the teachers were blamed for not doing a good job! So why don't the centre not accept the student if the parent fail to accept the evaluation test? Afraid these parents will talk bad about their centre and spoil the business market for them? (If it were my centre, I would not allow them to dictate me. Rather I would say, let start her off with the grade she's evaluated at, and we will see if she progresses better once she's comfortable. It should be a step by step evaluation if you asked me, but its not my centre so let's go back to the parent.)

Who are these parents rushing with?
Who are they competing with?
Is it a way to save their buck or are they that oblivious to what their child truly is?

It's like those movies where narcissistic mothers force their girls into ballet and the child suffers for not being able to do it, and all that forcing eventually creates a psychologically disturbed child who grew up thinking she's not good enough when actually her mother was the jack ass!

Then again there's another adverse effect that could happen, kids such as these will grow up always blaming the system and others when in fact the mistake is solely theirs.

Give your kids a break la!

Take them to the field and run!
Watch TV with them, read with them, dance with them and let them go through the system and observe them! Your child is not you or her brainiac father! She or he is uniquely themselves, learn to accept that.

Don't upset their internal system. Crash the program inside them and all you will get is an adult with low self esteem and low confidence and he or she will produce those kind of offsprings too because they don't know any better.

Evaluation is the key to knowing what is best for your child and to evaluate your child, you need to be actively involved in their growing and learning and not assume that they are better but take them for what they are. NEVER use your personal achievements and success as their yard stick!

Destruction via Denial

I believe the worst attitude to have in a person is DENIAL. Can you imagine how destructive it can be to you if you are constantly pointed to what needs rectifying and you deny and carry on as if it didn't matter? It's bad for your own self, those around you and at many instances it can even crash down a system or a country if leaders lived in denial.

Bottom line, denial is a destructive attitude to own.
 It's important to know when you need to recheck your actions and work on the constructive criticisms that heads your way by putting aside EGO. It's true, it's our life, and we are the boss of it, but there are many people around us, who genuinely care for us and when something that needs repairing is told to us, we ought to ponder on it and evaluate and see if a remedial action is required rather than to dismiss it entirely and go into denial. We owe ourselves that much at least before the damage is irreversible. Don't you think?

Well the reason I've decided to write about this is because of a forum discussion that took place yesterday in a Facebook group. As much as parents feel that teachers in Malaysia, besides the Education system of course needs to be evaluated and revamped, parents too need a little self-evaluation.

No not all teachers are rotten. No not all parents are oblivious, but when a teacher tells a parent that their child needs help, it's important not to DENY it! Set your EGO aside and evaluate his/her comment and then see what should be done. I was told that when a standard 1 teacher told a mother about her child's inability to read and comprehend, she refused to accept the criticism. It resulted in the child not being able to perform even after a year. This remarks were made during the mid term report book day. Half a year's evaluation was given to the parent, and the parent dismissed it and refuse to accept the teacher's comment. Weren't the results proof enough to know her child needs help?

Parents need to know, that all kids are built differently. Not every system works for every child and we can't expect the school teacher to be working miracles on the odd ones out (no offence). That is when a parent's guidance is required. At a tender age, when we get the comment that our child needs extra attention and assistance, we can't expect and demand the teachers alone to be doing that for us, can we? We need to look into providing assistance for our kid through ourself or by getting a private tutor to work 1 to 1 with our child. It may sound like a lot to do, but consider how big a mountain it would be for expecting only the school teachers to do the job for us?

 In the long run, are we going to keep blaming the school and system?
 Time waits for no man. We can do our bit in suggesting for a change in system, but our child is not going to stop growing till the change happens. We parents all have a responsibility over our own child? We are after all the first teachers and will remain the only teacher in his or her life that should be guiding them and nurturing them, not drop the ball on school teachers and a education system alone.

This is just one case, but many I know carry denial over their kids. Kids who require extra help, kids who require extra disciplining, kids who require attention and all this by right should be handled by parents not teachers.

There are parents who have very difficult children, and instead of working on grooming them right, expect others to tolerate and some even cuts the friendship off because they feel they do not need to discipline their kids. Please bare in mind that I'm not referring to parents with special children when I say this. I have friends with special kids who in fact behave better than the normal ones no thanks to their parents who live in denial.

To me, when we live in denial, we destroy the possibility of living life right.

If the denial involves just you, then by all mean carry on, but if your denial is going to make another be at risk, then serious considering should be done.

On the same note, when parents complain about the lack of efficiency in a teacher, the teacher too should not be in denial, you are an educator and you too need to be able to set your ego aside and work on constructive criticism because you owe it to your profession and the children you took a vow to educate into educated and decent citizens by putting aside your ego and personal agendas.

Bottom line, don't live in denial only because you are too stubborn to accept criticism for someone is going to end up paying for it, someone always does!

Jun 12, 2013

Orchestra Of Coughs

Source: You Tube
My kids are unwell and I feel so helpless seeing them in this state. The fever was the most worrisome but now this cough that just doesn't seem to get off of them. They are tired of taking their medicines. I don't blame them, but they have no choice. Right now I'm in the midst of an Orchestra. Every one of them is taking turns to play their coughing pipes and I occasionally hit the bass for them with my own cough. Oh please get well soon.

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