My lecture this morning was cancelled, so I was wondering whether the one in the evening would suffer the same fate since only 15 students had registered online. I arrived at the lecture hall early. When I entered, there was only one other student. Later I found out that he was the only International student in the class. Naturally, he became the centre of attention. The lecturer kept asking him questions and prompting him to talk about the situation back home in Iraq.
In brief, there were 15 of us in the class this evening. All of us are teachers with experience ranging from 3 years to 20 plus years. Most of my course mates are in their 30’s or 40’s. I feel somewhat out of place because they all seem to know one another very well as they have been classmates since their first semester. They are now in their third semester.
After the customary introduction, the lecturer told us that for our assignments, we had to do presentations on the topics listed in the course outline. We were told to form groups of 3 and then we drew lots for our topics. I was a bit worried that no one would ask me to be their group member. Fortunately, the only other Chinese student, asked if I would like to join her group. What a relief! We had to present on topics 6 and 7. In other words, we had another 6 weeks to prepare. Thank God we did not get Topic 1.
After the grouping was done, the lecturer began her lecture. Or rather, I should say ‘discussion’ because she basically asked questions and prompted us for answers. The lecturer was “obliged” to teach in English because Mustafar, the student from Iraq, could not understand Malay.
Class ended at 6.15pm, 45 minutes earlier than scheduled, but nobody seemed to have any problem with that. Perhaps that is the norm. After all, a three-hour lecture is a bit too looooong, don’t you think? After class, I had the opportunity to chat with my group member – Su Mei. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that we attend the same church. She attends Sunday chinese service and I attend Saturday night bilingual service. That explains why we have never met in church. Thank God for bringing us together.
Well, I’ll end here with our task for this week (i.e. my homework!)…
Based on your own experience and observation, which of the following characteristics do you believe are present in today’s schools and in your school?
- Psychological dilemma and frustration
- Inadequate induction of beginning teachers
- Inadequate resources
- Difficult work assignment
- Sink-or-swim mentality
- Unclear expectations
- Reality shock
- Effect of environment difficulties
- Unstaged career
- Lack of dialogue about instruction
- Lack of involvement in curriculum and instruction discussions
- Lack of shared technical culture
P/S I have not started… hehe…