Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Altogether now, LATBG!

Instead of Good, or Excellent, Brian's teacher wrote "Yow!" when he got full marks for his spelling test. I had to laugh when I saw that. And Brian said another time, as Mr, I'll refer to him as Mr Smith here, was returning his spelling test which had no mistakes, he said, "Brian, you're a beast!"

He also has this comments/suggestions box where students can write in their suggestions about anything (and it can be anonymous); he reads these out during snack-time. Once he read, "Dear Mr Smith, I'm so sorry you don't have hair. Can I get you a wig?" Obviously, he made it up. Yes, he's bald.

And when he wants the class to listen up, he goes, "Look at the bald guy." Even more effective, he now goes, "LATBG!" and the whole class replies in unison, "LOOK AT THE BALD GUY!"

At the parent-teacher conference last month, he told me his nickname for Brian was Big B. I think Big B's gonna have a great time this year with TBG.


tsulin said...

What a cool teacher, TBG is indeed entertaining and at the same time educational.

bACk in GERMANY said...

Now you make me wanna swop place with Brian...
anyway, Brian's extremely adept in caring for young children; feeding, bathing, changing clothes, brushing teeth etc...
No chance, Big B.?

Sigh... you have good fun with TBG this year!

monlim said...

Sounds like a really terrific teacher! I just love teachers who have a sense of humour. Lesley-Anne says at the beginning of this term, her teacher went up to the board and wrote his name. He said, "Say it with me, DAN ANG. I'm your teacher, in case you forgot over the holidays."

Lilian said...

Tsulin: It's only been a month plus, but I really think TBG's the best teacher Brian's had in all the schools (this is his 4th since Pri 1) and countries (4th incl Singapore) that he's been to in the last 4 years. As I wrote that, I realised the poor boy has had to go to new school 4 times since Jan 2004.

BiG: If Big B can do it, Little B can too, did you hear that Bryan? :)

Mon: L-A's teacher sounds really cool, see what I mean about male teachers? Not all, of course. Brian's ex chess coach in Sg is also a primary school teacher, and he can be pretty funny too in his quiet ways, and he is so dedicated to his students, that it's actually humbling to see (cos I could never be like that).

monlim said...

Not all male teachers are good lah, Lesley-Anne's science teacher is a man and apparently the class can't stand him. Her science teacher last year also a man and bored them to tears...

But I do agree that male teachers understand boys better. Maybe the female teachers cannot fathom how some of them can be so juvenile!! Andre and his teacher (female) definitely zero rapport, he didn't even bother to get her anything for teacher's day.

Lilian said...

Way to go Andre! Got character this one. I've had my own run-ins with teachers during my school-days, would even entertain thoughts of scratching that b****'s BMW. Always too chicken though.

I've had some dud male teachers too, maybe men teaching girls in a convent isn't such a good idea. Too intimidating for them.

One of my male teachers was a bit loco, he stood at the front of the classroom, mumbling his instructions the entire periood. Poor guy, he even talked to himself, I'm getting an image of him in my mind now. I was in Form 1, he rode a scooter to school with those watermelon-shaped (longish) helment.

My Physics teacher hated me, gawwwddd, he was boring as hell. I wouldn't pay attention in class and he'd stare at me with his lips all pursed. And he was well-known for flicking his boogers, our seniors warned us not to sit on the front row at the lab, we nicknamed him Pei Si Tan!

haha, then there was this cikopek Malay teacher who thinks he's quite the stud, I always got caught reading Sillhoute Romance books during his very boring Bahasa Malaysia lessons.

Oh oh, when I went to a boys' school for my Form 6 (A levels), there was a baldy who killed any interest I had in Accounts. He was the most snide, most sarcastic, pain in the a*se ever, even the boys in that school hated him. When there are parties/gatherings, a standard gag was to drive out past his house and shout, "BOTAK KANG!" That's his surname, may his rest in peace.

So many stories! So little time! haha.

Alcovelet said...

That guy is a cool dude. No wonder the kids love him! Can you imagine a class of rowdy boys vying to get his approval? What a genius!

Lilian said...

Yes, pure genius...this much I will give to the Americans, they are very witty!

Anonymous said...

Here in Canada the kids have no pressure from school until they're in grade 11 (~ JC1 in Sgp). Last yr in G1 my son had no homework except a 10-word spelling test every Friday and a home-reading program, about 3 books a week. But they did write journals nearly every day in class.

Despite some flaws in the system I somehow feel the approach over here is more 'age-appropriate' than in Sgp where kids are drilled in test-taking skills right from... K2? This may be impt to train kids for the all-impt 'O' & 'A' levels examinations where how many A's a school gets is really really crucial in some circles (*smirk). But I really don't think test-taking skills is all that impt when it comes to graduate, post-graduate level or the rest of the kids' lives for that matter.

My kid left Sgp in the middle of K1.. Whew! 'Siam'-ed the P1 lottery and also 'siam'-ed his extremely 'ngiao' K1 teacher who traumatized me with frequent parent-teacher chats in which I'm berated on how my little one wasn't toeing the line exactly the way she wanted. Funny, he never had this problem with previous teachers before and never had it ever in Canada either.

Anyway, I like the approach the teachers have over here. PTC's are invariably happy events and the teachers always greet you with a huge smile & talk positively about your kid in any ways they can think of. If there's an area of concern it's discussed encouragingly as something that happens to kids frequently and suggestions are gently hinted at as to how similar scenarios have been effectively managed before, in a very confident & upbeat way. There's never any undercurrent of woe or recrimination.

On the other hand in Sgp I was always made to feel like an inept parent. I guess there is so much stress & expectation in the system that everyone feels insecure--teachers included, which is then passed on to other points of contact.

Over here the class size is small--20kids per class--which can account for teachers being able to give more attention to each kid which in itself would have probably prevented a lot of behavioral or learning issues. And when you start off on a good note, teachers feel they can and are doing a good job for each kid, so they're generally in a state of better morale.

The whole society generally does not expect people to work as long hours or be half as productive as in Sgp. There is no need to--I've asked many Canadians this question before: which country does Canada compete with for economic survival? And no one could ever think of any. The only competition is found in the ice-hockey rink, I concluded! This may account somewhat for why the men are so crazy about ice-hockey over here--at the end of the working week they have excess energy that they have to somehow dissipate somewhere.. (quite unlike Sgp, I must say!)

So if you don't pine for the 'high-life' and you're happy to stay put in Canada for the better part of your life --i.e. the country with one of the largest natural-resource reserves in the world--you don't ever have to hear anyone tell you that you or your kids must learn to be competitive & to stay competitive :-))


Anonymous said...

Some comparisons to boggle your mind:--

British Columbia (the province where Vancouver is in) has a population of 4+ million (close to Sgp’s) yet the land are is larger than France, Germany & the Netherlands put together!!

The entire country of Canada has a population of 30+ million, which is about the population of the state of California.

There is more than enough natural resources to spare for everyone (including the 2nd largest oil-reserve after Saudi Arabia, btw), I always feel that humans are such a scarce resource here that everyone is 'pampered' by the state. Hence many of the things that people have to angst about in Sgp are largely ‘alien’ and irrelevant here. But I don’t blame the ethos in Sgp because Sgp can't have more different geophysical realities and competition IS a fact of survival there and the kids do have to learn it from very young. And the pie IS getting smaller in Sgp. We have had to work much harder for a house and a car than our parents did, and it’ll only get harder still for our kids.

Why emigrate to Canada & not Australia—some have asked. Well Canada is right next door to the U.S. of A. which is the Happening Land of Opportunities so if my future generation(s) can’t heck the slow life over here they can just drive over for the bright lights & the adrenaline rush.