Wednesday 7 March 2012

Learning Psychology: What's Your Focus?

Image from
These two days I have been training the Form 3 students' oral skills in order to prepare them for the TSA (Territory-wide System Assessment) Group Interaction paper. Like I have mentioned in my earlier entry, Speaking: A Story Of My Learning, many students lack substance in their group interactions, but in fact for the Form 3 students, there is more than just that.

Every group of students who join me in the practice has no idea of the rules in the examinations, they do not even know how they will be tested. Could it be that the school hasn't prepared them for it, or they simply cannot care less?

After explaining the rules to them, I set my timer to 3 minutes and hit start for the countdown of the preparation time, some will talkto another student in Chinese during this "examination", some will make noises rapping their pens on the tables, and today, I had a classic student who did not even bother writing down anything! Really, it is a matter of choice in the examination for one to write or not write, but he performed terribly, and so I gave the entire group another chance to prepare, and this student looked at me and told me, "I don't have a pen."

I was absolutely disappointed. First, how can anyone go to school without a pen? What does he plan to do in school if he doesn't have to write down anything? Second, couldn't he tell me and ask for a pen before the "examination" started? Third, couldn't he literally ASK me and not say "I don't have a pen"?  The examiner has no obligation whatsoever to lend a pen to any students under any circumstances. The examiner needs not be smart and translate "I don't have a pen" into "may I borrow a pen from you?"

What are these students thinking? What's their focus? Why do they need to go school?

Image from waukesha

I am unsure whether any one of you readers are facing similar problems, fingers crossed, let's hope not, but we must try to ensure this will never happen to our future generations at all cost, otherwise, the future -- their future, is bound to be devastated.

As a teacher, I tried to wake them up, explained to them that in 3 years' time, they will be facing the grand challenge from the HKDSE (Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education) examinations, if they don't start working hard now, when they are in Form 6 they will look back with regrets and tears for their laziness. Some students appreciated and thank me before they left, while some walked out of the room thinking that this whole oral practice was a waste of time.

Obama speaking to high school students
Image from LA Times 

I hate to predict how these kids become who they are now, but if I had a kid, I would definitely be a very strict father because I knew, harder work in the early years means better days in the future.

One day late is one day lost.

fingers crossed -- (also cross your fingers or keep your fingers crossedto hope that things will happen in the way that you want them to
devastated -- (adj) completely destroyed

Speaking: A Story Of My Learning @ Locky's English Playground