Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Shooting the breeze

Today at the lab I gave a test to the students.  They ended early so they had 15 minutes more and some of they kids said “cher, talk, tell us something interesting leh...”  I told them that they were really sweet to have been so responsive during my observation; the kind kids actually figured out I was being graded after a while  and tried their best to be model students.  Although at times my nerves undermined my delivery of the lesson.  So there we all were in the lab and I asked them to think of the question that one of the students had asked.  “What happens if we hold our breath, will we use up all the oxygen”  what genius, what a wonderful question but during my observation, all I could say was “let me think about it and I will get back to you  on that”.  Shoot me.  My sup pointed this out kindly after that although she did say it was a very well prepared lesson.  But shoot me.  So today, in the lab in a more relaxed environment and having made sure I opened all the windows to ventilate the room*, we addressed that question.  I asked the students if it was possible to hold their breath till they passed out.  We had a good time doing that.  And of course we can’t do that cos carbon dioxide will start to accumulate and this will be the main stimulus for us to catch our breath again.  We went on to talk about hyperventilating and I related a story of how my cousin did that during my grandfather’s funeral and I had to get her to breathe into a plastic bag.  In the few months that I have been teaching these Sec 3 kids, I realised that no powerpoint, no demonstration and no animation can beat the power of a good question.  It really taught us – me the trainee teacher and the kids something.  As usual the time just flew by and the moment was lived.

*When you step into your classroom each morning, throw open whatever doors and windows you can and take a breath of fresh air.  Not only will you be ready for the challenges of your day, but it will fill your classroom with fresh vital energy your students need to succeed.

- from the book Feng Shui for the Classroom

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