Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PMR Madness

It's Wednesday and we're in the third day of the PMR exam. Left school at 4 pm just now and saw the PMR Exam Secretary sitting on a bench at the school door all alone. She looked limp. But still able to muster a smile...

So I had to say,"Hey Jen, still alive? Ha ha..."
She smiled........well, what else can you do when your mad PK says something like that. Especially after a memorable first day.

I roamed the Form Four classrooms, growling and threatening infanticide to anyone who dares to sing and shout out loud when the PMR exam is going on in the next block. Things didn't improve when three classes of Form Four entered their temporary classes and found out the fans were not working. So we had to do a quick reshuffle of classes. While the Form Four coordinator handled that, I walked over to where the Form Threes were assembled.

I boomed out,"Dah periksa dokumen? Semua bawa kad pengenalan dan slip peperiksaan?"
(Have you checked your documents? Did everyone bring their identification cards and exam slips?)

But knowing my young people pretty well, I said,"OKAY...sesiapa yang terlupa bawa kad pengenalan atau slip peperiksaan, sila berdiri di tepi." (OKAY...whoever forgot their documents, please stand at the side.) Almost forty students got up and moved to the side. I glared at them..."Tadi cakap ada..." (Just now you said you brought them.)

One smart aleck tried to defend himself,"Tapi cikgu, saya tidak tahu perlu dibawa." (But teacher, I didn't know I had to bring them.)
I shot back,"Then what have you been doing with your ears the times I, Mr Khairi, Pn Wong have been telling you all to bring them...and how are the invigilators going to know who you are if you don't have your docs? And weren't you the one who laughed the loudest when I told you all what your seniors did during PMR last year?????"

And so on and so forth.

But the icing on the cake came right in front of an Examinations officer visiting. He came to see our Special Ed kids take their exam papers and saw a pair of Form Fours casually walk down the corridor leading to the exams block, push aside the HUGE sign (bigger than four heads put together) that shouted KAWASAN LARANGAN (PROHIBITED AREA) and began a leisurely stroll past the exam classes towards the boys' washroom. The school exam secretary pounced on them. When she reported the incident to me, I almost expired from chagrin.

So Tuesday morning, I roamed the Form Four classrooms again, frothing at the mouth about people who do not or cannot read signboards and who do not listen to announcements made umpteen times.

In my 16 plus years of teaching in schools, I have heard almost everything there is to be heard...from the kid who filled in a government form with green ink ('But the instructions didn't say anything about ink colour!') to the one who signed his form 'Lotus Jack'. Lotus Jack...and he had a very dignified almost royal sounding string of names. Oh and there was another who bent the fan blades to resemble a swastika. And yet another who justified puncturing the teacher's tyres by saying that he didn't really mean any harm and if he was really really bad, he would've punctured both. Everyone's got one spare, right?

I think I should compile all these stories and make money from books based on the True Singapore Ghost Stories format.

True School Tales? Unbelievable School Stories?
How about..."School Tales That You Won't Forget!"

Promotional Exercise For Form Six Teachers

Been 'lost in PTK space' for the past three weeks... why oh why did I register myself for a repeat of the PTK? Must be those dollar signs in my eyes :)

Yesterday one teacher hesitantly asked me about the Form Six promotions. Immune to all the questions, and also rushing to a PPSMI meeting and lugging my unfinished PTK essay under my arm, I just said,"Don't worry don't worry...the dept will organise it."

Today, TWO approached me at different times. The first wanted to know when I would organise the next filling-in-forms session. Blur me just said...wait wait...
The second teacher was more specific. He said,"Have you checked the MOE website in the last two days? The letter and forms are THERE."

A light switched on in my head. I put the PTK essay, exam timetables, PMR madness etc etc... ALL OF IT aside... and checked the website. Since my last visit 2.5 days ago, there was one crucial update. IT'S TIME FOR FORM SIX TEACHERS' PROMOTION OPPORTUNITIES MADNESS AGAIN!

For those who have at least three years of experience teaching Form
Six students, this is your opportunity to be promoted. Check out the
info at

And English teachers, beware! In the list of subjects, there is only
Literature in English. I don't see MUET anywhere... In the nineties,
there used to be two English subjects; English Language (Listening,
Reading, Writing and Speaking) and English Literature. Wonder if MUET
is accepted.

Otherwise, dust off your Shakespeare ... and *ahem* the translated versions. And dig in for a long odyssey....

You know what I'm picturing? In the heat of promotional madness, some may just offer Literature in English in their schools even though the students are barely able to use basic English. Oh hey! and if only one student takes it up, you'll have fun teaching one-to-one...after all, the policy is never to close a form six class. I have a form six science class with only two students ;)