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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Me and my students.. :)


I have always been a bit 'allegic' to the usage of calculators among lower secondary students. It doesn't help that my classes this year are all from the lower secondary (3 form 1 classes, 2 form 2 classes and 1 form 3 class) and the fact that they’re using SCIENTIFIC CALCULATORS!! Duh.. I only got the chance to use a scientific calculator during matrics.

As a rule, in my class, I ban the usage of calculators haha.. I don’t think I’m being cruel or unfair as I have sufficient evidence to prove that their syllabus isn’t much more harder than us, in fact, it seems a tad easier if you ask me.. but who am I? Just a disgruntled teacher who envies the facilities given to students nowadays maybe?

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh! I’m not haha.. its just that I hate the fact that the students depend on their calculator more than they depend on the power of their own brain. They even think they have to tap on their calculator for a simple question like 9x7.

Well, anyway, the students who’ve been in my class for the past 4 years ALL know of my rule and I’m glad they follow it as they themselves admit that they don’t really need the calculator that much (after being forced to live without a calculator for 2-3 hours each week with me la tu hehe..). Still, when it comes to tests, they always beg to use the calculator.. a case of no confidence without the calculator, I guess!

Yesterday, I gave my form 3 students a set of past year questions (actually it was from PMR 1995, my OWN year of taking the PMR). I had wanted to give more recent sets but from my experience in school, classroom teachers have usually drilled the students on these papers in school so I had to choose another year. However, Syawal (one of my oldest students, taught him since he was form 1), noticed the year and promptly announced that it was the PMR of ‘kak Ayu’. Feeling a bit ancient when he announced my age (haha..), I quickly told the class, if I could get an A for an 11 year old exam, it shouldn’t be a problem to them, what with the usage of calculators and all.

Then Azri, another student, feeling cheeky, asked why would I give questions from an uncivilized time. Cettttttt! So I challenged him to finish answering the ‘uncivilized questions’ in 45 minutes after he laughed when I told him I answered them in 45 minutes (“Soklan tak bertamadun memang la senang, sebab tu bleh jawab dalam masa 45 minit, kak Ayu”). Hmm.. we’ll see!

So I started timing them while reminding them that Azri had 15 minutes less than the others (I was hoping they’d finish the 1 hour-15 minute test in an hour). Was a bit bored waiting for them to finish it, even though I had walked around checking on them, dropping hints now and then, discreetly correcting them (they’ve got this ego where they hate it when I know they’re wrong haha..) while composing an sms for a friend who wanted to go ‘jogging’ at 6 haha.. (only the person involves would understand.. kan?!?)

As I was reminding them that they’ve got 27 minutes left, aside from Azri whom I pointed out had only 12 minutes left, I was impressed when Azri informed me that he only had 4 questions to go. However, I was laughing when the next minute he suddenly voiced out his surprise that there were 50 questions instead of their usual 40 question.

Truth is, I didn’t realize that too if he didn’t point it out but Azri’s troubled face was turned into an ‘o-oh’ face when he noticed the smirk on my face. Hahah.. he knew what I was up to!

I quickly said out loudly about how uncivilized we were to answer 50 question in the same time they had to answer only 40 question. My exact (translated) words were,”Not only were WE, the uncivilized ones, were not permitted to use a calculator, we also had to answer 50 questions?!? Poor us.. no wonder we’re all good at maths”

The boys started changing looks while surrendering to my ‘gotcha’ demeanor! They were a bit quiet, except for a few remarks from Shafik, who didn’t want to admit that they’d got it easy. The class might’ve been a bit quiet until Afifah asked me about the formula for the volume of a sphere and from the corner of my eye, I saw Azri’s mouth forming an ‘o’ before he closed his ears with his small (Yes! He’s small!) hands trying his best to ignore the remarks I’ve always said to him before that he knew were about to come out from my mouth.

(Translated!) “You guys should memorize the formulae and not depend on the ones that would be given to you (as my batch can remember, we HAD to memorize it, didn’t we haha..) WE had to memorize it all. If you don’t try memorizing it now, I don’t know what would happen when you’re 26 (which most of them know, is MY age). So, in our uncivilized time, we not only had to answer 50 questions, we also had to do it ourselves without the help of calculators AND had to memorize the all mathematical formulae. Ohh, poor, poor us” while making the most sympethetic-to-self face I could ever make.

Then I swaggered to the whiteboard while writing down all formulae they asked, with this smirk that I purposely exaggerated, just to piss them off hahah.. and what a good time I had! I couldn't help teasing them while repeating my earlier remarks and my usually cheeky class were having troubles trying to answer back to me, much to my delight!

Pity them, they had to endure my ‘berlagak’ness until the end of the class.

And yippee to me to enjoy this class more than ever hahah..

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