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Learning Attitude

No matter how old you are, you are always learning. When we are babies, we learn to crawl, walk and run. At school, we learn all the subjects taught by the teachers. At work, we learn to do our jobs better. Even when we are retired, we learn how to use our time wisely.

Thus, the learning attitude is important for you to learn effectively. Below are the learning attitudes that help you to reach a new height:

  1. Start from zero — Whatever you learn, keep an open mind. You know how to ride a bicycle, but when you learn how to drive a car, do not assume that the bicycle and the car are “the same”. Start from zero is easier because you assume nothing.
  2. Positive thinking — Why do we need positive thinking? Positive thinking keeps you motivated, you believe that you will eventually learn and learn well.
  3. Can-do attitude — Other than positive thinking, we need the can-do attitude. Yes, I can do it!
  4. Find the root cause of the problem and correct it — Along the way, we face obstacles. Why I can’t just learn how to dance? Is it because I do not how to count beat? Is it because I am not interested in slow dance? When you have found the root cause, correct it and keep going.
  5. Understand — Understand the concepts, understand that things need time, understand what motivates you, understand that you are who you are, understand …
  6. Implement / Practice — Practice makes perfect. When you have learnt a language, you will soon forget about it if you do not use it in daily lives.
  7. Enjoy — Enjoy the journey. Learning journey is fun and exciting.

Have a positive learning attitude and you will be a better person.

I am not Perfect

This is the continuation from Try to be like the turtle.

Why do we compare with others? Because we want to be better, if possible, we want to be perfect. But, nobody is perfect. Because of this “Nobody’s perfect” principle of mine, I never give full marks in a survey form. Until I met this young trainee at the company I worked for. She did not get full marks for her trainee report that I gave her and she went all the way to her school’s teacher to get in touch with me even after her training period had ended.

She is hardworking and she has done her job well. So, I “revised” her report, which was already high marks, to give her full marks. Nonetheless, since then, in my dictionary, she is 0 mark in attitude. I would not feel offended if she had told me on the spot when I gave her the report on the last day of the training. She could tell me that the marks are very important to her and that she had really worked hard during the training period.

After she has graduated, from her Facebook’s various comments, I can see that she faces obstacles at work. Everyone faces obstacles at work, but when I read her comments, I feel sad for her. Yes, she can ask the teacher to ask the superior to give her full marks, but she cannot ask her teacher to ask her colleagues or bosses to give her full marks at work. This is reality, face it!

I am not perfect myself. When I was younger, many parents compared their children to me, who had good academic results. But what the parents did not see is, what an unhappy and boring childhood I had, few friends, studying all the time.

Children, be like the turtle, at ease in your own shell.

Parents, let your children be like the turtle. A child who grows at ease in his / her own shell will become a happy adult.

Singapore Education System

If you have been reading my posts, you see that I use general terms such as children or write how old the child is. Every country has its own education system. Thus, using general terms is easily understood by most people. If you would like to know what K2, P1 or Sec 1 means in Singapore, below is the table to show the education system in general*:

Stage Sub-categories Typical Age Short Form Used
Pre-school Playgroup age varies  
Nursery 3 — 4 N1, N2
Kindergarten 5 — 6 K1, K2
Primary   7 — 12 P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6
Secondary Lower Secondary 13 — 14 Sec 1, Sec 2
Upper Secondary 15 — 17 Sec 3, Sec 4, Sec 5
Post-Secondary / Pre-University   age varies JC, poly, ITE (depending on which institution you are in)
University   age varies

* Note: I do not have children (as of now). The above table is made based on my personal understanding. If there is any deviation from the current system, please feel free to update me. Thanks.

The World Has Changed

The world is changing and moving every second, though you may not notice or want to admit it. Until one day, you notice that you have one or two strands of grey hair, you start complaining about the young generation, you start taking care of your health, etc.

Things are changing but nothing changes…

Thus far, from my more than 10 years of teaching experience, I have noticed the following:

1. The use of technology to assist in teaching

(More than) 10 years ago, I used books and dictionaries to teach. Students sat there obediently, listening to your teaching. The teacher could ask the students to do a lot of homework without getting complaint from the parents. The reason behind is, the students do not have smart phones to play with, thus they could spend the whole day doing homework.

2. The children start questioning

Because of internet and technology, the students now are exposed to more knowledge than the students 10 years ago. They are overloaded with information. Even with the technology to assist in teaching, they are bored, their attention span has become shorter and shorter. The old method of teaching is not suitable anymore. The teacher has to be able to answer all types of questions from the students, ranging from academic to non-academic.

3. The parents also start questioning

The core family is getting smaller; my grandfather had eight children, my father had three children and me, zero (correct at the time of publishing). The consequence is that the parents put (very) high hope on the only child, they want the best for their child and hope their child excels in life. They keep looking for the “best” tutor, without realizing that sometimes the child is the root cause.

I must admit that I am old. I keep up with the latest technology, not only to assist me in teaching, also to have the same wavelength with my students. Nonetheless, I do not grow up in their environment and they do not grow up in mine. The generation gap is still there. Thankfully, there are still a lot of students out there who have the interests to learn and I will keep teaching them.

A Teacher with a Blue Highlight on Her Hair!

I saw this girl on a TV programme, which the interview was focusing on her father, a hawker stall owner. She has blue highlight on her hair, and her occupation is teacher. Maybe she is an arts teacher, I do not know. But I feel that there is something not right about the hair.

I have nothing against teachers having highlight. It is a personal choice whether you want to have highlight on your hair or not. I am just wondering, if you are a parent, and the tutor you have just hired has obvious highlight on his / her hair, would you continue to engage him / her as your child’s tutor?

Maybe I am the conservative type. I have always wanted a highlight on my hair, especially during festive seasons when other people are  changing a new image by changing hair styles. But, the first thing that comes into my mind is the reaction of parents and students that I am teaching. Because of that, I have been delaying the plan to change my hair style.

Parents, may I have your opinion?