I have been a teacher for close to 15 years but I guess I am still a very BT at heart. What do I mean by that?

I am always very emotionally attached to my students and cannot maintain a distance away from them.

Is that good or bad? I do not really know. I know that if my students do not do well for national exam, I have a tendency to blame myself and would be affected by it.

Well, it is perhaps this #overlyattachedtomystudents keep the passion for the teachers going.

PS: Actually, I am quite affected by the release of the PSLE results yesteday and I am trying my best to “run” away from my innate feeling . By trying not to think about it and burying myself in my thesis revision. When I am alone,  I start thinking what I have not done enough for my student. If I have done more, will the results be different? Is it because of my incompetency ? Indeed, there are many self-blaming questions circulating in my mind . If only I have ….

I will get by  this. Just give me the weekend to get emo and I will be back to my normal self. For I know I have done what I can for my student.

Just gimme time …

I finished my 21st km !

I went for the GE Women’s 21 KM run today. It took me 4 hours to complete the run  and at some points, it was even raining.

I am glad that I went and completed the 21km run. Why? As this is just more than run. It allows me to show my determination to complete something if I choose to. This will encourage me to go forward and do things in the face of difficulities.

If I can complete 21 km in 4 hours (I know it is slow), I can do anything. I need to have ‘positive’ thoughts to push me through as there is 101 things on my plate now. At times, I really feel overwhelmed.  Come on, I can do it. Becasue I am 打不死的小强.  I am ever-ready ever onward Andersonian!

Go! Go ! Go!

I think I am stressed

Term 4 is always stressful for me. I think I have to admit myself that I am stressed. Best to have self-awareness and know how to deal with the stress. This is better than brush it off and insist that I am “cool”.   What are the symptoms?

(1) Wake early during weekend

(2) Having dreams about work-related stuff.

I better find inner peace with myself so that I can handle this stressful Term 4.

What are the things I am going to do to reduce stress level?

(1) Have regular walks during week days

(2) Need to give “me-time” (e.g., weekend morning)  so that I can do nothing, think nothing and just focus on the present.

(3) Constant blogging to vent my frustrations or thoughts. I do find writing very therapeutic as it helps me to clarify my thoughts and make me question my assumptions.

PS: I know that I have the capacity and ability to deal with the stress.  Come on, I am who I am , the 打不死的小强!Stress only brings out the “survival instinct” in me and I know I am going to survive!


I am sick and tired of ….

People who keeps on pushing the job to others. Period.

PS: I met with an incident today that totally pisses me off. Although it is not under my preview (which that certain someone/someones think it is) , I take the initiative to resolve the issue. It is just a simple case of opening a certain room but that certain someone/someones choose not to entertain.  We have absolutely no idea which room is that and have to go around looking for it.

Why do I help out with this? Because I believe in working for the school and not for the department.

Why can’t people have more sense and more initiative in their work?

This is really getting frustrating as the days go by. Perhaps , it is time for me to have the “push the job to others” mentality. But, this is going to be a tall order as I know that I am just too over responsible for that!


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!


I am one happy teacher!

For the past three days, I am having supplementary lessons with my P6 students.  What makes me so happy? They are trying and willing to ask questions. Yes, some of the questions are very basic but I am glad that they ask. This shows that they are thinking about their work (rather than just blindly copying) and they are willing to ask me.

Okay, some of you might be wondering what is so great about all this.  As their teacher, I need motivation too! and I am looking for small pockets of improvement to spur me on.  I will and shall lead them out of the U-grade.  I must keep my energy level high for their last lap. GO! GO! GO!


Merging of JCs

Warning : This is straightly my opinion and thoughts about merger. It could be biased as I am writing this post based on my limited observation and understanding. This is an opinion piece and not a factual piece.

The Singapore Education fraternity must be in the state of shock with the merger of 8 Junior colleges. For me, I am petty taken aback as my alumni, AJC, is one of the chosen ones. On what basis is AJC chosen ? I wish that there is more clarity from MOE the why AJC is the chosen one as there are a few unanswered questions lingering in my little grey cells:

(1) There are other JCs in the North (like SAJC, CJC and NYJC). Why AJC ? Is it because we are just a truly neighborhood junior college and with no strong backer?

(2) There is a new you-know-what JC coming up in Marymount area (i.e., North). So, why is there a new JC (with IP program) when the two JCs in the north are being merged? Again, is it because of the “neighborhoodness” of AJC that make us not able to offer IP program ?




Will I quit teaching one day?

The two articles on teachers’ burnout Why I am quitting teaching  and the hidden cost of caring about your career too much set me thinking. I have been teaching for more than ten years. Will I one day quit teaching, a job that I hold dearly? I have seen a couple of well-meaning teacher-friends quitting teaching. It is not because they do not love to teach. But rather, they are more likely to be put off by the non-teaching duties and sometimes due to stack ranking . MOE has once stated the top three reasons for quitting service  : “for childcare, other family considerations and a desire for a change of job” [Link]. That is such a safe statement to make . Technically, it is not wrong as these are legitimate reasons. But, if we continue to ask why, will there be a similar underlying theme that causes teachers to resign ? Stack ranking? Excess workload? I believe that there would be two most common themes that could possible emerge if we dig further

I do not deny that MOE has tried to reduce  workload for the teachers. Yes, there are policies but how has that been effectively translated into observable practices in schools? In my school , I do see the efforts to make our workload more manageable (e.g., less after-school supplementary lessons, longer protected time). I am not trying to be in the good books of my SLs (who might just be reading the blog posts) but that is definitely how I feel. Those who know me should know that I mean what I say/write and I say/write what I mean. So, on this account, I do appreciate that and I really mean it.

However, despite the lessening of the workload (on paper at least), I do , at times, feel overwhelmed and really feel like just saying “let it go”. Why am I still doing work over the weekend (e.g, pondering SA1 schedule, looking at the ITQ Specs , thinking of ways to level up my academically-challenged P6 Graduating class)? Why are people giving last minute info and making things more stressful and urgent for others?

Perhaps, it is just me as I am too overly attached to my students and want to go all way out for them despite handling the demands as that minion HOD (who need to settle all the laptop and iPad problems). Perhaps time for me to chillax a bit and try not to be too “responsible”. How I wish that I can, at times , can just be that little irresponsible and heck care about others? How I wish I can give last minute instructions without feeling guilty and heck care those who need to made changes base on my last minute instructions ?  But , can I ? I seriously doubt so  ….

Yes,  this week I am very *FRURSTRATED* by a series of unexpected events (which could well be avoided if people can just pre-empt me by giving information earlier). I already have the plate full dealing with the expected things and with the unexpected things coming in definitely make the plate overflow.  And this is definitely make me in the mood to call it a day. If you find me just throwing in the towel, it would definitely be due the administrative overload

I guess writing this blog post helps me to let off the frustration that I have felt over the week. I feel  much more better now since I have blurted all out. I still very much want to be a teacher as this is in my blood. And I will and should continue to be in the system as long as I can stand the administrative overload. I shall never let the system game me. I SHALL and WILL *game* the system for my students.

CCE Workshop Today

Today , I have a full day CCE workshop in school today. I would use their reflection framing to frame this post. Well, I must show that I have applied what I have learned

Looking back

Theme : Multiple Perspecctive

CSI: Clarify, Sensitise:, Influence (For values enculturation)

Strategies: Coloured chips, Strong Circle, Picture Cards, Dice Connected Circle, Hot Seat, Four Corners

Attachment Theory

Learn from it

I guess this workshop made me more cognizant on why I am doing. For example, when I am talking to the student about some behaviour issues, I usually let them relate the incident and get them to think what they have done wrong. I get them to think from the others’ perspectives. and not just theirs alone.

Do it better

Will try to use some of the strategies during FTGP. I confess I seldom use that during FTGP lessons.

Before Exam Practice paper season

Next week in the CA1 week. So, how does the lesson before the exam looks like? No prize for guessing but it is going through practice paper. I go into the class and knowing that this is not going to help my students really that much. But, I still fall into the trap of doing so. Why? Because going through practice paper is the unspoken must-do. Parent will likely to feedback, HODs will question why practice paper is not done.

Practice paper only prepare the students for exams and do not prepare them for life. So, why are we still doing this? That brings me to the next question. Is our current assessment system future-ready or past-compatible?