GEP

Looks like the Ministry of Education’s finally made it official — no more Gifted Education Programme at the secondary level:

Gifted kids to take ‘integrated’ path (Channelnewsasia.com) NOW MOE finally slaughters SACRED COW (The Electric New Paper)

Nothing surprising, apart from the TNP article being bizarrely smug about their “prediction in 2004”. Because YELLING CAPITAL LETTERS in your headline makes you SOUND MORE CREDIBLE.

What’s surprising is that where I teach, the school’s shutting down its internal GE programme as well. A pity — the small class sizes were nice and manageable, and it felt easier to connect with them than the one or two non-GE classes I’ve taught (granted, I’ve only taught 9 GE classes vs. 1 mainstream here and 2 elsewhere). Maybe it’s my own prejudices at work, but I’m not certain it’ll be as easy to amuse the mainstream kids with my nonsense. We’ll see, I guess.

First day of school

It was no easy task dragging myself back to work after nearly two weeks away from the classroom. At the end of the day, I’ve just about lost my voice, my lesson plans are in disarray, I haven’t finished typing the notes I promised the kids two weeks ago, I owe my bosses all kinds of paperwork, the randomly inserted new timetable slots completely messed up my schedule…

But there were moments in class today when I managed to make the kids laugh madly at one of my usual absurd examples, drawings or voices. And seeing them — especially those who were, just barely a week ago, crying their hearts out — laugh like that, even just for a few seconds, even if they took nothing else away from the lesson, made me glad to be back, and made me glad to be teaching.