If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them!

Yesterday I got to handle a two-period lesson for a class since the teacher who was supposed to take care of it was absent. The class was Form 1 Tekun, the last and weakest class of all.

The students were so naughty, noisy, extremely talkative, hyper-active, and less motivated. Most of them couldn't read properly. Not a word I said went into their heads.

I thought that in order to teach them the knowledge of a syllabus, they need a more experienced teacher, not me. So I just forgot about teaching them History (that was the subject for that lesson). But I couldn't ignore them. Their parents sent them to school with more than just a purpose. Not only to be able to score the exams, they sent their children to school because they wanted their kids to become a human, a better person. So I knew that I must do something.

If you can't beat them, you join them. If you can't make them listen to what you wanna say, then you listen to what they wanna say. Try to win their hearts first.

I started a topic. I asked them, "sape kat sini yg suka main bola sepak?" (anybody in here loves playing football?) Most of them raised up their hands. Then some of them said excitedly, "saya suka main ragbi, cikgu!" (I love playing rugby, sir!), "saya main badminton!" (I play badminton!), "saya selalu main hoki!Best.." (I always play hockey! It's fun..), and some other sports as well. I wrote all the sports they play on the whiteboard, then I started asking the reason why they love playing those sports. I also told them that each person must give a different reason, they must not repeat whatever their friends had said. So they gave loads of reasons to me, excitedly. "Sebab boleh sihatkan badan, cikgu!" (because it makes my body healthy, sir!), "boleh kuatkan kaki dan tangan, cikgu!" (it makes my legs and my hands strong, sir!), "boleh kejar orang, pastu tendang diorang!" (can chase people and kick them!), and more.

Then I changed the situation and made myself the centre of attention. I asked: "sekarang cuba teka, saya main sukan apa?" (now can you guess, what sports do I play?)They were all shouting, trying to make me listen to their guesses. Well at least now they were focusing on one topic.

After that, I created another topic; favourite movies. I repeated the same procedures, and the same situation happened. They were shouting, but so eager to make me listen to them.

And for the last activity, I drew a picture on the whiteboard. A balloon, that was what they said. It was indeed a balloon. Then I told them that they could ask me to draw anything they wanted. So again, they were all so excited to ask me to draw a picture of a man, woman, car, spider, you name it. So I did it. They were happy, and they said, "cikgu ni terer la!" (you're good!).

Later, I asked one of them to come in front and draw a picture. Then all of them wanted to do it, to show that they could draw as well. Well I said, "kalau kamu duduk diam kat tempat masing2, saya bagi kamu lukis." (if you sit quietly at your place, I'll allow you to draw) Guess what? They did what I told them. Except for one or two who couldn't wait to hold the marker.

I enjoyed the class. It was hard to control them, and I knew that the only way to make them listen to me was that I must listen to them first. And it worked.

And today when they saw me, they greeted me with a smile, and asked, "bila cikgu nak masuk kelas kitorang lagi?" (when are you going to enter our class again?). I promised them yesterday that the next time I enter their class, we'd be doing the drawing session again. At the meantime, they should keep drawing and then they could show it to me. So one of them said: "saya ada lukis gambar baru!" (I've drawn a new picture!). There was even a student from a different class saying, "cikgu, kawan saya cakap cikgu pandai melukis. Bila mau masuk kelas saya?" (sir, my friends said that you're good at drawing. When are you going to enter our class?). Damn, I was so happy! Every time I walked in front of the class, they'd be shouting, "cikgu, masukla sini! Woi, tu cikgu semalam, cepat bagi salam!" (Sir, come in here! Hey, that's the teacher from yesterday, greet him!)

You see now my friends? Listen to them first before you want them to listen to you!


Nene Matahari March 6, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

wahhh,you'r my dream teacher..haha
buttt,wat about History?huhu

+Ecchan Amaya+ March 6, 2009 at 6:05 PM  

yeah.. i feel lonely whenever i write my words... why?

daudsvillage March 9, 2009 at 7:18 PM  

ahh ai...bile aku suruh lukis gambar utk aku,xde plak ko wat...

Igniz March 9, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

daudsvillage: lukih gmbr utk ko xdpt paedah pun..bkn ada markah kat prakticum..hehe.

Ophelyatie March 17, 2009 at 2:19 PM  

Well I should give marks for getting the students' attention but I do wonder the real purpose of the class. Ms Yatie.

Igniz March 18, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

yang tu kelas ganti je, miss..cikgu ckp just buat aktiviti..jgn bg bdk bising sudah..hehe..

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