Friday, December 24, 2010

Saying Goodbye to SST

Today I decided to write this post to mark the end of my stint in SST. I do not dare to walk down memory lane again - did that as I was packing my table - as I realize the immensity of things accomplished and experienced while being here.

So many things can happen in a short span of time and so I believe that it will be a totally new experience for those still in SST and for those joining SST.

I wish all of them the best in what they do and we can still keep in touch via my personal email.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fluency vs Accuracy

Someone who is very experienced in teaching, shared with me that fluency in language learning is built over time and that accuracy can be mastered very quickly by just-in-time teaching, and that teaching grammar should be incidental. Perhaps I am taking things out of context but this idea might not be well-taken by the curriculum planning division, especially the English unit, as the latter appears to be advocating explicit teaching of grammar.

This line of thought runs in concordance with how I was taught when I was schooling as I felt having the foundation did help. Nonetheless I also knew reading many storybooks helped and I was a voracious reader (not so sure how I developed this habit) and that helped with my fluency, I guess.

So how do we strike a balance between fluency and accuracy? Do we need to strike a balance? Or is one more important than the other? Or are both equally important?

I am not so sure but I am very interested to know how we could develop students' fluency and accuracy in innovative and effective ways.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Expendable Future: 2015

A student passed me a book titled "The Extreme Future: The Top Trends that will Reshape the World in the Next 20 Years" by Canton, James (2007) this morning, puzzled with the typographical layout of the text. In the prose, boxes that give top jobs in the 2015, 2020, 2025 and 2030 were interspersed among the text.

"What is the author trying to do here?"

That is a very good question to ask and I requested to borrow the book for a while so that I could perhaps ponder whether there is any intended outcome.

While browsing through the content, I came across this paragraph:
"You can see this model alive and well in some organisations that believe there will always be someone to fill the boots of those who cannot cut it. This is the attitude of the dinosaur organisation. This is a future that is based on a short-term naivete that there will always be job applicants, that talent is always abundant. This illusion of abundance will lead to the inability of an organisation to grow and develop new talent, and it will eventually spell disaster" (p. 113).

Very strong words being used.

Something worth thinking about, perhaps. Or not.

Anyway, back to the student's question. The connection as I could grasp really is about the kind of talents the economy will be looking for in the next 20 years. This information is interspersed to provide, I think, a break from the prose, with something for the reader to look at, kind of like a magazine.

Other questions pop into my head as I was going through the text:
1. Why is it that within a span of five years, top jobs could vary and shift so quickly?
2. How does the author derive these top jobs, if as mentioned by many, that these jobs are not even available yet? It sounds contradictory to me?
3. Who foresee the needs for such occupations in the future?

Many of these occupations do look alien to me and even sound alien to me, mainly because I am not so into some of the fields mentioned.

Haha, this could spell disaster for me, isn't it? Am I going to become quite irrelevant in the years to come?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010




Sunday, February 21, 2010

Coming to the end of Term 1

Time seems to fly on certain days and crawl on slowly on others, but this I can say for sure, weekends whiz by, leaving me breathless.

I cannot believe we are coming to the end of February in 2010. It feels like so many things have taken place and I am still trying to collect and collate my emotions as I plod along this journey.

As I look at how far we have progressed, I am amazed by what is done and yet mindful that we have to take baby steps at time.

We must all learn to prioritise and find a way as we plod along.

Let's do this together!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lunar New Year

15 Days
Red Packets 新年
House Visiting 合欢齐庆
Relatives 身体健康
Get 狂食
O 步
G 高
E 升
T 龙
H 马
E 精
R 神

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eventful Week

It is amazing how time flies since the epiphany of the fragile nature of life.

I have not fallen sick for quite some time but I think my body finally succumbed to the viruses which attacked my two sons.

I have had an eventful week, family matters, school matters, well, we just have to manage them as we move along.

It is kind of sweet though how some students thought they had gotten me sick when I shared with them how I felt about their behaviour in class. They wish they had that power but seriously, they should consult their Biology teacher to know how one could succumb to illnesses (hahaha!)

To those who sent me their well-wishes, I am grateful because I believe their good thoughts did something to the universe and broke my fever. Thank you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Tribute to Someone I Never Knew But Whose Passing Taught Me Something

Life is...
When the people you love and care for
Reciprocate without expecting anything in return;
When the things you do for others
Are appreciated and celebrated;
When you walk around and notice
All things beautiful.

Life is tragic
When you do not know how to love
Or are not even aware that you have not loved;
When no epitaph is written
In sweet memory of you;
When you fade into non-existence
And vanish like magic.

Life is full of anticipation
When you wake up with a purpose
And you go to sleep feeling accomplished;
When things do not go the way they should
But you smile and make the best of the situation.

Life is now
As you realise the fragility,
And cherish whatever you have;
As you open your eyes and see
How much you can be.
What do you hope to achieve
In your life as Father Time capers?
He does not wait
As you wither and waver.
Life is now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One Moment in Time

It was a very heartwarming night in the history of SST (15 days, haha!) on 15 Jan 2010.

Going into classes 1-04 and 1-07 to listen to the students talking to their parents about what they have all gone through during the orientation programme made me realise the past 15 days had been very busy but (I hope) meaningful for them. Seeing them suddenly that much more mature warmed me and I can only imagine just how proud their parents must have been.

The cameras clicking non-stop in the hall, video-cameras capturing the proceedings, the procession as the students came down from the front of the hall (I missed that by the way!), the emcees and student representative, the singing of the batch song - priceless.

I sincerely wish these young ladies and gentlemen an exciting and fruitful journey ahead.

Go forth, Cohort of 2010!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The class I teach

It's been a few days since I went into 1-07 and gradually I am getting to know them.

To be honest, they are a bunch of nice kids, not rude, many needing to develop themselves in terms of decorum, but generally linguistically good.

It is also interesting that I am teaching them Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) and I sometimes wonder if they get confused over the double identities I hold when I stand in front of them. Do they see me as their language teacher or do they see me as their I&E teacher?

I suppose I would like them to see me as who I am, a teacher, and that depending on the types of lessons we have in class, to open their ears and eyes (and I hope minds) to learn whatever they can.

I must confess (and I have already told them so, in not such a cuddly way) that I am also walking the journey of discovery with them. It is really tiring walking by yourself and I am glad I have my family to walk alongside with me. Now the question is: Will they walk with me? How can I get them to walk with me?

I suppose time will tell...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

S1-07 Assignment 12 January 2010

Dear S1-07

This is your assignment :) Please submit it by 13 January 2010 5.00pm by email.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Taking stock of my emotions

It is amazing how time flies. It is already coming to the end of Week 1 in the history of SST and my goodness, the feelings I have been experiencing these few days were just tumultuous!

Uncertainty: Will I be able to engage the students fully? Will I be able to help them enjoy SST? Will I be able to cope with the expectations I have for myself?

Weariness: The amount of walking and running around I have done these four days really made me realise just how unfit I have become. Naturally my muscles ache from the strains of the day and every night, my eyelids droop involuntarily.

Sadness: It was with wonderment I know I was to be the assistant form teacher for S1-04 as I thought I would be looking after S1-07, the class I am going to teach. But after these 4 days with the class, I realised the time I had with them allowed me to know their little quirks (yes, some of them are!) and I actually wouldn't mind teaching them. I had a good time with them and the sadness I felt came after I was making my way home after the night hike.

Eagerness: I anticipate the good work that the teachers would be coming up with and look forward to this journey with them.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Google Maps (II) Some Places I Visited

View Places I have been to in Singapore during the December break in 2009 in a larger map

Google Maps (I) From one of my favourite haunts to SST...

View Larger Map

This is the map I have generated using Google Maps. It shows the public transport I could take from Tampines Mall to SST.

I could also generate the distance to travel on foot (by walking) or even the route to take if I drive (and it provides going by PIE or AJE)! Impressive.

If I click on the location, I could also look at an image of the traffic condition.

Richard's Expectation for 2010

It is really exciting to email a video attachment to your blog!

So simple!

My Experience in Creating This Blog

Blogging is not new to me, but I am not a very regular blogger. I blame it on my genetic and electronic make-up. But when I blog, I enjoy the experience because it does help me to think and reflect on what has taken place in my life. It is a good way to be introspective and retrospective.

2010 Journey Begins...

Image taken from stock.xchng #1136595 on 2 Jan 2010

...way way back in 2008 when I knew my application to be seconded to SST was accepted.

It was an amazing feeling, because the call for applications came at the point in time when we were considering about our future (should we stay in MOEHQ or should we start looking for a school?). When I read about what the school was all about, the idea of starting a new school of that nature from scratch compelled me to apply!

Imagine when I was called to go for a focus group discussion. Imagine when I was called to go for an interview. Imagine when I knew I was offered a place in the school. Have a look at the image I have attached to have an idea :)