|From:||that frolicsome kid|
|To:||Whom this may concern|
|Date:||7 April 2007, 22:24|
|Subject:||School is Becoming a Drag|
I do not understand why this feeling must arise at my last high school years. Why must the previous teachers last year resign from the school and abandon us lost, naive students alone at the mercy of incompetent teachers? I do not look forward to self-study sessions but since these circumstances leave me no choice, I guess I have to begin doing so.
I enjoyed doing Chemistry and Malay. Note the past tense. I am very discontent with the way I was taught these two subjects. I begin with Chemistry. Last year, I found the study of Chemistry highly intriguing; the way how n=G/Mr formula works, periodic table, redox reactions, acids and bases, elements and compounds. It was quite fun working these out.
Come this year. When I first knew my Chemistry teacher has been swapped, I could have smacked my hand against my forehead. I learned from comments made by various students that he isn't a very good Chemistry teacher. I shook negative thoughts aside and dismissed them as rumours. I reasoned that the students simply did not pay attention in class, so they are scapegoating the teacher.
Forward a few months, and here I am today, struggling badly to comprehend the complexities of my Chemistry textbook. Bombastic terms like endothermic, exothermic, inert electrode etc. attacked me. It was not too bad at the beginning since the syllabus was rather tame. From electrolysis onwards, everything ran downhill. I cannot understand the logic behind it. The explanation offered by the teacher was too vague.
As my insatiable curiosity at these new knowledge is eating me away, I fired questions that is relevant to the topics and I wasn't looking for an advanced answer. A simple and brief explanation would suffice since knowledge of the topics at a higher-level knowledge isn't required. I feel sad when he wasn't able to answer or he misunderstood my question and rambled random answers. His explanation of "It's very complicated; you don't need to know at this level" is a shoddy excuse, in my honest opinion. It just goes on to prove that he himself do not know the subject matter very well.
There wasn't much I can do. I only sat there and stared in horror at my teacher who quickly resumed his teaching. Putting my trust with that teacher is not a wise move. When that happens, I get angry and rebellious (which I'm normally not) with the teacher. I do not want to say this, but deep down, I feel he is not fit to be a teacher, if even a question like mine baffles him.
To make matters worse, his class is like a zoo gone loose. He cannot control the discipline of the students at all! People talking loudly without being considerate towards other students is a common sight. Many of my friends have begun picking up a novel and read underneath their desks while the lessons are being conducted. I wished I could join them but I forced myself not to and tried in vain to make sense of his disjointed and fragmented explanations. I noticed that some of the questions I asked were important points which need to be addressed to the whole class. He will have "forgotten" if I hadn't raise them. =(
The Chemistry topics I'm at loss now is the calculation of the enthalpy change of endo- and exothermic reactions. The textbook did not elaborate much on this but there are quite a number of questions which prompts this topic. Nothing clicked in my head; I could only stare and stare at the question, half the time wondering what the question meant and how to attempt it.
I have to go online and search for answers. Unfortunately, answers did not came to me. =( I wished going to see him would be a great idea but knowing the blur him, I'm not too sure whether that will be a wise idea. I place my big doubt on his credibility of the subject matter, sorry to say that.
It's a shame to see my Chemistry knowledge to remain stagnant at a Year 10's level. I want to work on it and I am trying to. Reading the textbook does help a lot, but certain topics are still a blur to me.
I used to be doing quite well for Malay. Ever since a primary school Malay teacher began teaching us last year, I wasn't able to see myself demonstrating a higher level of Malay. Through gut feelings, I can in fact see my language level steeply dropping to a level similar to that of a Year 1 student. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but the drastic drop in my Malay fluency cries for urgent remedy and attention.
I'm bored of her lessons. The content that was taught to us was too low for our level standard. Maybe it's good for Year 7, but definitely not for Years 10 and 11. Why did she try to set the bar so low? I definitely wasn't mentally challenged and stimulated. I looked forward to vocabulary drills (fine, maybe I don't, but something similar and less harsher). I was really disappointed when all we did were recaps after recaps of what we did in junior high, and even elementary level! =O It felt like I was pushed down to Year 7!
When the work is not challenging enough and is good only for remedial lessons, I get frustrated and bored easily. I did not even bother reading up Malay novels, which I haven't done so properly for at least a year. I regretted stopping the reading. =( I have to suffer the consequences now. Shoddy essays written with vocabulary matching those of Year 5 or 6 with the essays not properly developed and expounded. This can be shown in my marks which are lower than most students, who usually "performed lower than me" (I know it's not the correct phrase, forgive me for using a bad substitution).
She is becoming worse this year. She wants us to do mind maps! *shriek* Mind maps?! No, definitely not for me. I write points in an organised form, not a forest of facts swarming around in the paper. I was really upset but I did not want to voice out my opinions. I was hoping that would be the last time of doing mind maps, but no! We were even asked to do mind maps of essays to be put on display at our classroom's notice board and the school's notice board. We did one again prior to doing our essay just this morning.
Oh my goodness! =O
Why mind maps? Can't they be made optional prior to writing out an essay? Heck, why do a 150 worded mind maps when a coherent essay can be written for 300+ words. For the sake of O Levels, mind maps are not required. I don't use mind maps at all! At the very least, I note down in point form the points I need to use beforehand, otherwise I write spontaneously. Not do a stupid mind map!
That sent me over the edge. Lessons which bore the hell out of me + doing pointless exercises which in no way do they contribute to refine our Malay = I give up (paying attention in class)! Of course, I slackened. I hate it! I dislike the teaching methods.
I find her "annoying" at times too, especially when she tries to apply "psychology methods" on us. I don't really get what she is trying to achieve here. Is she trying to scare us into doing our work by putting our assignment marks at stake? Maybe it works well on primary kids, but this scare tactic fails to scare many of my classmates. *sigh*
On the other hand, I'm glad that I accepted the Physics teacher as he is. He's not too bad compared to the two aforementioned teachers, even though the lessons may get slightly boring at times. His explanations were quite good though and I think that's enough already.
School suddenly seems unbearable with my dislike of two subjects. I wish I do not blame the teachers for this but I feel that the fault lies with them. Maybe it's my attitude which spurs me to give up my dependency on them (because of bad teaching) and do everything myself independently. Is it wrong to blame the teachers for everything? I don't think it is in my case... =S Maybe I should give them another chance and just accept their way of teaching to save my sanity and my grades...
The impending O Levels is looming closer. Why must this happen at this crucial time? =(