Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Parent-Teacher-Conference was on last Thursday.
We were very pleased with the progress of the two boys at school.

Darling son YW, being in Kindergarten, is reading at Level 6. He is able to write two or more sentences, while expanding ideas in writing. We are pleasantly surprised to learn that he is also solving various types of math problems, including multiplication and division! We know that he is able to write equations involving addition and subtraction. But multiplication and division? The next step for him will be to be able to explain his math thinking, applying counting shortcuts (5s, 10s), and working with two star numbers and two/three stars words (spelling and reading). We do not expect him to do so much in school. We are very happy to know that darling son is enjoying learning and loving school!

The above : "First Quarter Reflection" darling son did in class before the conference.

Darling son is in Grade 2 this year. He is probably the youngest in the class. Some of his friends are at least a year older than him.

Reading through his reflections, I would say darling son is very much aware of his own strengths and weaknesses! He knows he doesn't finish his work on time, as can be seen from his Math timed-test every Friday. He takes longer than the time given whenever I give him an exercise to do at home. He thinks that he spends his time wisely ... good division of time between reading (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), drawing his comics (just like those in the Wimpy Kid), playing with his Legos (Power Miners Rule!), and doing whatever minimum homework from school and those given by his mom. He has been getting full scores most of the time for spelling in class, and although he dislikes writing in his Home Journal 5 days a week, he does make an effort to finish it before going to bed. That is what I call self-discipline.

I am pleased to read what he writes in the Reflection sheet ... I want my parents to know that .... I am listening. I guess the next step is for him to act on whatever he has heard? Listening but no action is no use.

Much as we were pleased with the progress of our boys, we were not too pleased with darling son KW's teachers. During the conference, she showed us a picture the boy drew .. the world map. The kids were asked to draw one before the topic was taught, to show their idea of how the world map should look like. Darling son draw "Singapore" in the centre of the page. At one far end, he drew United States. Near to Singapore, he drew China. I interpret "Singapore drawn at the centre" because he knew that Singapore is near the equator, and the equator is at the centre of the page if you open the world map. But the teacher said (with a laugh) ... "It's so typical of kids to draw their own country in the centre of the page." .... is she missing something? Is she not seeing what the boy know about "the equator", or is she ignorant of the location of the tiny red dot? Before I could correct her, she went on to say that for us, Koreans ... erh ... Koreans? She thought we were from Korea! After a quarter term with the boy, and having asked them to introduce themselves to the class the country they were from?

Singapore is a very small country, no doubt. I cannot expect everyone here in the woods to know where Singapore is, although it would be nice if they do. I am not offended if they do not know. Some moms in the school thought that we are koreans too, and start a conversation by speaking korean to me. There are also people asking me "Where is Singapore?", "Is it part of China?". But as a teacher, and a teacher in school with many international students, I seriously expect her to get her facts right. Being single-minded in her perspective, and not being able to see from the students' point of view doesn't help in getting her students interested in her lessons. When we asked "Why choose Australia to study?", the assistant teacher told us "Because my boyfriend studied there and I knew a bit of the country." .... Eyes rolled ... Speechless. To me, that is not a good reason for teaching the students about the country Australia, since your main topic is the "Continents".

Now I can truly understand why darling son KW has been saying "School is boring, I hate school" every morning as we walk him to school. Darling son will do whatever that is required of him as a student when in class. He will do the given homework and submit on time. He will learn his spelling. But he is not enjoying learning and his lessons. Sigh ....

I can only pray that he works hard enough to be moved to another class next year ...

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