Finding inner purpose in your job

There are quite a few notable hiccups in the news recently:

(1) The printing of wrong word use during the Speak Mandarin Campaign [Link]

(2) Wrong Tamil Translation in NDP 2017 [Link]

(3) Wrong flags used during Sea Games [Link]

So, what really went wrong? Isn’t the process in place for checking and vetting? I believe that there is process but … who implement the process? The people of course. Likely, the people , implementing process, do not do a thorough job. So , that goes back to the question : Why so ?

Perhaps, the job is too mundane that that the people do not see the importance of their task. That is why , they “anyhowly” do.  To me, it is important for the people to find the inner purpose of their job. Perhaps, this is a note to myself , as a leader. I must help people find this inner purpose [Link] .

I would say that I am one teacher who finds purpose in almost whatever I doing in school. The use of the word “almost” is deliberate here as there are still things that I am currently doing now that does not resonate with my inner calling as a teacher *at all*. Well, that is part of work life and it is not that overwhelming that I can still tahan.

Now, the challenge to myself : How can I help them find their inner purpose?


A frustrating week ending on a high note

This has indeed been a frustrating week for me . But, it ends on a high note. Why?

All because of the little things my little rascals have done:

(1) I , jokingly, tell them to hand up their files or else HOD will scold me for not teaching them. Guess what they say. They ask me to tell the HOD to see their results and see how they have improved. That is their indirect way of saying that they are attributing their improvement to me. Achievement unlocked !

(2) One girl even made this point in class, saying things like “Ms Lye, thank for helping me to improve”

(3) To receive notes of appreciation from them. Glad that one of them actually do notice that how I have not given up on them despite all of them failing their maths exam. And yes, to see one of the rascal, which I scold almost everyday, thanking me.

Yes, this has been a frustrating week for me and it it *definitely* not due to my little rascals. But thanks to my rascals, I am one happy teacher !

Yes, I love teaching and I love my students. period. This is not going to change and this is something to keep me going in this profession.  If I need to tell the hard truths, for the sake of my students, I will just DO IT!


Representation on percentage

So, is 1/10 = 10% ? That is the question.

Let me offer my 2 cents worth of this topic.

Let’s get back to the basic. What is percentage?

Word from the authoritative source : The MOE syllabus doc !!!

2007   : “expressing a part of a whole as a percentage” Source [Link] – Pg 27

2012 : “expressing a part of a whole as a percentage”  and this expression 3/10 = 30% appears in the syllabus doc.  Source [Link], pg 55

So, what does this say ?

Base on the statements on the syllabus doc , we can come to the following conclusion:

(1) There is nothing mathematically wrong with 1/2  = 50 %.  Why?

Percentage as part of the whole

and fraction as “part of the whole” [2007 , Pg 15] and [2012, Pg 37]

So, from these two statements, we can infer that percentage and fraction as part of the whole. So, the use of equal sign is total legitimate here

We write 1/2 = 2/4 as they are equivalent . So similarly , 1/2 = 50%.

Such expression can be found in 2012 syllabus doc  [2012, Pg 35]

(2) So, is the use of equal sign legitimate here?

3/5 = 3/5 *100%

My view is of yes as 100% is just 1 whole so anything multiply by 1 is still 1!

3/5 = 3/5 *100%  = 60% is definitely valid and mathematically correct

There might be differing commentary of the use of representation . I guess the best is to based our understanding on the authoritative source in the context. In school, the authoritative source (it does not matter if you like it or not), is the syllabus doc.

Well, do not think that students should be penalized for such expression (e.g, 1/2 = 50%,  20% * 3 = 3/5) . After all, these expressions are deemed mathematically correctly from the authoritative source aka syllabus doc.

Learning learning and learning

Good leaders are good learner [Link] set me thinking.

As a teacher, I am constantly thinking about my classroom-teaching. But , as a leader, am I doing the same? Perhaps time for me to spend some time on reflection on my learning as a leader…




Cooling Science in NDP Parade

It is NDP week! But , the science teacher in me , never rests.  In NDP 2017 [Link], the organizers are using the Airbitat Smart Cooler

It is so relevant to the students. On on hand, we can talk science. On the th other hand, we can talk about the NE message (“No one owes Singapore a living. We find our own way to survive and prosper, turning challenge into opportunity.”). After all, it is August and time to level up the patriotic level of our students . #onenationtogether (I am still on high after NDP 2017!)

Some questions to ask:

(1) Why is there a need for water to be chilled?

(2) Why can the “unusable” chilled water for building can be use to power the Airbitat Smart Cooler?

(3) How does the chilled water cools the surrounding air?

(4) What type of material do you think is used to make the tubes (heat exchanger)? Should they be a good conductor or bad conductor of heat

I am planning to do this with my P5s this week. Stay tuned for my upcoming reflection!

Self-Heating Mala Hotpot

I chanced upon this video just last week on self-heating mala hotpot [Link]. This video gets me really excited as I see the process of evaporation and condensation being applied in real world context. It is so much relevant to what my P5s have been learning.

So, what do I do with this video? I let my P5s watch this and get them to put forth their theory as to how this self-heating mala hotspot work. I do guide them by telling them to think about water cycle, condensation and evaporation. They then post their theory on padlet [Link].  I went through the responses immediately and highlighted their mistakes.

From their responses, most of them are able to observe and explain the evaporation. However, most group do not really see how condensation comes in. They simply say “heat gets into the food”. It is a very vague statement without the mention of condensation.

This is my hypothesis to the “missing condensation”. For condensation, they do know that the warmer water vapour touches the surface and loses heat. But, they are not able to relate that the surface will thus gain heat from the warmer water vapour. This perhaps implies that they have difficulty understanding the “transfer” in heat. The transfer is not uni-directional. It is bi-directional.   When Object A loses heat to Object B, Object B gains heat from Object A. I have been emphasizing in the class but clearly, they have not internalized this concept. This is something that I will work on for the next couple of weeks.

In the next day, I continue with this video and bring their attention to video (at around 2.25 min). The presenter said “ouch” as she touched the plastic lid. This again is the work of condensation. I use this short segment to reinforce the point that I made yesterday.  I guess I might need them to feel the “work” of condensation so that they can grasp the concept.