Sunday, December 25, 2011

Imitation of words.

If there is one thing I have observed about language, it is that people around you may copy what another one may say.

In the last three weeks I have been back, I have been fairly consistent in my use of words in conversing with others. Particularly in the Cantonese language, being that is my family's main Chinese dialect.

In follow up to this practice, I have observed that they do repeat the words after me. My mother is mandarin educated and fluent in cantonese. However she has been slack in her fluency.

Malaysians have a terrible habit of using up to three different languages in one sentences. Obviously that is not possible when speaking to someone who is not from Malaysia.

Another is the pronunciation of the sounds in the english language to the blend sounds of "_th" or "th_". It was a bit of pain to my ears to hear the pronunciation of words like booth, teeth, them, and many other words where the last  bits have been bitten off.. LOL.

So the moral of this blog entry is, just use common words that people may fairly understand. People will imitate you if it makes sense, or sounds good to them.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UTS Spring Semester 2011 Results are out!

So University of Technology, Sydney has just released their results
for Spring Semester 2011.

So what were my results?

*Drum roll please*....

International Management- Distinction. (75 marks)

Managing Work and People- Credit. (71 marks) It was a difference of 4
marks for to Distinction *sigh* but better than nothing.

So now its back to serious business. Heh.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Parent's impression on teacher's departure.

This post is in continuation to the previous post c(shall add link later), after having a chat with parent, HP.

The parent, HP finally related to me her impression on the departure of the teachers (meaning me and a colleague), and how her son felt about it.

Though I did not bring the topic up, I am guessing from her bringing it up that she wanted to both share and confirm some details.

On my last day of work at the centre, the employer had released a newsletter to parents in regards to my colleague's departure. The newsletter was not written in the most positive light, and it was most fortunate that my colleague did not have the 'opportunity' to read it due to intervention of the other staff.

HP expressed that perhaps the employer was not pleased at my colleague's early departure.
In response, I did not say much, but just merely nodded. But really, what could I say? This was a situation created of a publication in passioned haste.

She then stated that her son asked if his class teacher would leave as well, being that both of us teachers had already left. I could only smile to that.

Guangzhou speaks only Cantonese

HP's son speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.

Actually, HP speaks to her son mostly in Mandarin, but he is able to speak in snippets and pidgin Cantonese with his peers.

I did ask HP how she learnt Cantonese. She mentioned that she spoke a different dialect from Eastern side of China, and had married into a Cantonese speaking family in the South. Her in laws could only speak Cantonese, and no Mandarin at all.

Mandarin was not pushed as the main language in China until maybe forty years ago. Even News broadcasting in Guangzhou is in Cantonese, and not Mandarin like most parts of China. This created a special situation for that part of the country. Hence the main dialect was Cantonese with not much monetary incentive to learn Mandarin.

The younger generation perhaps are able to converse in Mandarin, but the older folks had no motivation to do so, as with the case of her in laws. To some degree, Guangzhou is like Hong Kong, with Cantonese being both a dialect and a language.

A Chinese Parent's Perspective on Montessori.

Today I met up with a parent, HP, from my previous work place. After dropping her son in school, she came to pick me up for coffee at Roselands Shopping Mall.

I knew she would be asking me lots of stuff about school as well, so I was mentally prepared for that.

Apparently HP is sending her son to a Montessori elementary school nearby in Hurstville as well. The elementary school fees start from 8,000AUD a year, which she deemed fairly affordable and within travel distance.

It would seem that she was quite impressed with the Montessori curriculum after having observed how her son behaved at home, and cleaning up after himself. The significance was more after her in-laws expressed how impressed they were at how he carried himself when she had brought her son to visit the family in China.

I did have to give an explanation on the Montessori curriculum, and how in the normal australian preschool, the curriculum and teaching materials were worlds apart, where at normal preschools, it was not necessarily stressed for children to pack away materials after working with it.

Instead, staff in a normal preschool had to do most of the packing away than the children did. Which basically relegates staff to the position of an overpaid domestic housekeeper.

Being Chinese (from China), she did stressed a lot on academics for her child. Being Chinese (from Malaysia), I understood where she was coming from. Academics is an area where all Chinese, and asians stress a lot on if they are born and brought up in any Asian country. I am not generalizing on this.

She did ask whether there was a reading program, as her son seemed able to read quite a lot of words.

I explained that it was not really a formal 'reading program' (which I think is what she meant), but the Montessori teaching materials did offer that outcome in learning to read and recognize numbers and letters, which may not be as comprehensive in a normal australian preschool.

The school does have an afternoon school readiness, but I think that is just bringing together and reviewing what the children have learnt in the morning; as the morning session is when the classroom teacher over a period of time, gives individual presentations to children on how to form their alphabet and put words together.

Finally, she expressed her views on my and a colleague's departure which I shall share in a different post. (will add link later. Pls remind me).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seriously Blessed

I Really Am.

As on my resignation at my previous work place on Friday, I've been continuously getting texts from my casual work agency. I did not even call them, but I did reply some of their messages.

Perhaps that's why.

I have yet to accept any shifts, but the temptation is there. Money is always a temptation. Casual work pays even more by the hour.

The whole reason I resigned from my job was I needed some 'me time'.

For now, if I can spare the time (apart from getting actual study) is to only take casual work assignments. I would have happily worked casual for one or two days a week at my previous workplace since I know the routines and all, but I doubt that's gonna happen any time soon.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Two more days to go!

Tomorrow means its two days till my last day!

I can't believe it's almost the end of my term here in the centre.

I won't get to see some of the children tomorrow as Wednesday is their last day of school for the week. Goodbye Zara.

Sadly I had an assignment due today, else I'd have stayed back to have a word with the Supervisor. Oh well.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

She's got spunk.

Lorin came to work today. A co-worker remarked that this new lady has spunk.

Well, considering the fact that this lady is in her mid 40s, and at least twenty years of work experience under her belt, from a management point of view, I would say that should be so.

Due to her years of experience, she would be able to handle both the management's leadership style, as well as the other colleagues. It is a good thing to have someone who has such aptitude as if I were hiring for someone, as I understand the importance in bringing in someone who has the experience to help me bringing the work through.

Anyways, this lady seems to have got on well with the children. That's a good thing to see.

I was hoping for a lady who could speak some sort of Chinese dialect, but well, I'm sure the parents will survive.  It is up to the management to take the initiative to deal with these sort of situations when they have already been made aware of the need.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Going back to 'Shu Lam'

I had this conversation in Cantonese with Tong-Tong, a 4 yr old girl from HK.

me: I'm going back to Malaysia. Dont miss me, ya.

Tong-Tong: you going (back) 'shu lam' (forest)?

Me: Yes. I'm going back to 'shu lam', you cheeky girl.

Tong-Tong then hugged my legs, laughed and ran away).

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Last work day on 11.11.11

After having extended discussions and negotiations with the Supervisor and Boss, it has finally amounted to my bringing my resignation date forward.

Before putting in the notice, I did prepare my colleagues mentally for the fact that that could happen.
My Boss wasn't amused, but she let me off.

Hence my last day is on 11.11.11. (Long Long Day, as the numbers might translate in Cantonese).

It is an auspicious date for a chinese to be leaving on. How significant is the date I don't know though.
I have started telling the older children of my departure, and that its about 7 more sleeps before I leave.

The older children have a better understanding of what I'm trying to say. They are about 5ish or going to turn 5 soon. Anyways, my departure had already been announced in the monthly newsletter about two weeks ago or earlier. The parents who read it have either come up to me, or mentioned about it.

The predominantly Cantonese and Mandarin speaking parents were the first ones to ask me about it.
Its 5 more work days to go. But first, I have a four page essay which I have to complete by Wednesday next week.


Sent from my Nokia phone

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rare like a unicorn.

So a younger colleague of mine remarked to me:

"Apparently you are like a unicorn. It's rare to find someone in these parts that holds both a Montessori Diploma AND a Teaching Degree. We normally find one or the other, but not one with BOTH."

Those from Malaysia reading this, take note. This IS the case in Australia.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A frickin hot day!

Today was one of those absurdly hot days in Spring.

Two ladies came in for an interview with the Boss. One for the position as a Trainee. She would only start in November as she was still doing her HSC (High School Certificate).

Another interviewed for the position as an Early Childhood Teacher. She will come in for induction and training for the next two weeks, possibly under my wing.

Lets pray this works out well. I really need my time off.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Monday, October 17, 2011

A 3 year old trilingual child.

Today, Wei-Wei a new 3 year old child started. Apparently he was already attending another day care centre before joining ours.

His father is Cantonese chinese from Australia, and his mother is a Greek lady from London. So he was speaking fluent English to all the Assistants when he came in.

When he saw me, he started speaking Cantonese to me as I had spoken some Cantonese to him during his Orientation visit to the centre. I realised his grandparents were most likely from HK, as he was using HK cantonese rather than Malaysian Cantonese.

He started calling himself 'Wei Wei', which is his Cantonese name his grandparents call him by. The child practically attached himself to me the entire day.

I linked him up with a 4 year old child, Tong-Tong, whom I described to him as 'jeh-jeh' (meaning big sister) who spoke the same dialect. It turns out Tong-Tong and Wei-Wei were from the same family day care.. no wonder lar...

The Supervisor tells me that the child apparently also speaks Greek when he visits his Greek grandparents in London.

Wow, he truly is a trilingual child without having to even learn it at all!

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sandy Boy/Girl

I've heard the children singing this at preschool. I saw this child with really blonde hair, and thought of this song:

See the little sandy boy/girl sitting on a stone.
S/he's Crying, Sh/e's Crying
Because S/he's all alone.
Stand up Sandy boy/girl and wipe your tears away,
Choose a friend, a special friend
To dance the day away

Tra la la la la la la la la la
Tra la la la la la la la la la la
Tra la la la la la la la la la la
Tra la la la la la la la la la la la la

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things Children Say: Chicken Noodles!

So recently the children have been saying "Chicken Noodle" to tease
each other.. (no idea what it means)...

Child: Teacher, you're Chicken Noodle!
Teacher: Oh, Chicken Noodles? (with surprised tone). YUM !( with
exaggerating tone)
I love chicken noodles!!

Child gives perplexed look and doesn't know how to reply then runs off.

Teacher: and you wanna beat me at my own game? Hmmph!

Things Children Say: Your teeth will fall out!

I heard a kid say this 'your teeth will fall out if you drink so much Coke!

Things Children Say: I'll Tell My Mom On You!

I hear the kids saying this all the time, ''I'll tell my mom on you.''

Then i replied,

'well good. then i'll tell your mom on you!''

and the kids started protesting no no no!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Countdown to Exams.

So I have just finished a group presentation with my International Management group.

That's one group assignment down, and now its two assignment, one being a group presentation, which is mostly on paper,
and one personal assignment.

Our presentation was quite "dry". Heh.

What can I say? Then again, most of the others were too. LOL.

Then its down to 2 lots of three hours written examination. One on the 23rd Nov, (International Management), and one on morning of 28th November.

Today I put down an application for leave with the boss. She did not approve of my leave, but then I realised that I had not put down the reason for my leave. I was advised to re-apply for the leave putting in the reasons as well.

Anyways, since it's seven weeks to go before my examinations, who knows who may come for an interview within these 7 weeks.

So guys, pray that my boss can find a replacement. Yes, so I can get off work and finally do what I have to do!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Work or not to work?

So I just met with a friend who came down from Tasmania today. Since she is a mother of a one year old child and is also working, she had a better understanding of the childcare benefit system.

Childcare was at least minimum about 16k Aud per year for five days a week in Tasmania. Whereas it was about 25k Aud per year for the rate in Sydney.

Considering that my current childcare workplace charges 70Aud for preschool and 75 for nursery per day, and does not provide food, and is located half an hour from the city by train,
that is considered expensive.

If one parent is not earning at least 50k minimum treshold, it was not worth going back to work, as the childcare charges is enough to eat off the entire wages earned. With a second child, one parent should be earning 75k.

There is also a yearly rebate for each child when doing tax returns, which is about 8k but I am not sure if this for combined incomes, or on a single income.

Hence, I think as a result of this, many people have opted to put themselves as 'single parents', as the benefit for them is much more. Or some couples opt to divorce, separate, but still live under the same roof.

Tsk Tsk Tsk.

Really abusing the tax system.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Harry Potter: Real vs Pretending.

Today the son of my employer dropped by the work place. His house is next door. He told the Assistants in the workplace that he met the 'Daniel Radcliff' as he had gone on a trip to America on an excursion.

Later I overheard one of the Assistants telling a 4 year old child, XM, that one of their friends met 'Harry Potter' saying to the child that Harry Potter 'was real', and he was 'alive' and a real person.

The back story to the child and some other peers were that they were going on about 'casting spells' and some of the Assistants were actually encouraging them.

Now, I have no problem with Harry Potter, or watching their movies. But I do have a problem when a child who is yet to differentiate reality from truth is told that what they see in movies is 'real'. The Assistants did not realise the way they were talking was confusing the child.

Today in the afternoon, the same child XM, was with me, and had asked me for some stick and connectors set which he said he wanted to use to cast some spells. Now, I have put away that particular set as the children were not using them appropriately in the way it should.

When I told him that Harry Potter was not real, XM protested saying that it 'was real as someone had met him'.

So explained to him that 'yes, someone had met Harry Potter, but he was the person who was pretending to be Harry Potter'.

XM did not really understand, so I had to explain further.

'remember how you are pretending sometimes when you are playing outside with your toys? Well, this person is also like that. He's a real person, but he's 'pretending' to be Harry Potter' but he's not Harry Potter'.

There is a reason why action hero movies are restricted to children until they reach a certain age, or can only watch with parental guidance. The above is one of the reasons.

I concur.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Monday, September 26, 2011

Learning Mandarin.

Today there was a family who brought their young daughter to the child care centre for orientation. The parents & family are from China, so obviously they could not speak English well. The father seemed to have no difficulty with the English speaking bit from what I could gather. However after having a simple chat with the mother, I realised that she had difficulty in communicating in English.

Unfortunately the family was from the northern part of China, so they did not speak any Cantonese, else i could have been more help to them. Even If they came from Shen Zhen or Hong Kong, I might have been of better help to them.

When I do return to Malaysia, I believe its high time to learn up Mandarin.

Even in learning Korean, once we reach Intermediate level, much of the vocabulary refers back to 'hanja', which is korean for chinese characters. This is as up to about 600 years ago, Korean was written in 'hanja' characters. Hence knowing how to read Chinese characters aids in remembering multiple korean vocabulary. 

However in the mean time, I am just going to have as much practice in Korean conversation as this might probably be the last opportunity for me in a very long time once I leave Sydney!!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The straw that broke the camel's back.

So today was not one of my better days.

I had been feeling low throughout the day, and by the time it was almost an hour to going back, a comment from a junior staff made me go into tears.

I could not cry loudly, but that was basically the straw that broke the camel's back. She was basically throwing some rude comment about eating chocolate cake and lazing around.

Normally, that would not affect me, but I was already feeling rather down by then.

She probably later realised that I was upset, via comments from other staff, and did not apologize.

But she had a guilty look on her face much later, and smiled at me. I later told her after clearing my emotions, that I didn't really care too much about some chocolate cake, but I was just having a really bad emotional day

It was a miracle that I was feeling much better by the time I finally left for home.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So I finally tendered my resignation.

So I had wanted to resign earlier in mid year, but due to unforeseen circumstances, that plan was cancelled.

Finally on Monday this week, I finally tendered in my resignation. I gave it to my Supervisor who forwarded it to the Boss.

Then the Boss came to me and spoke the next day, asking if I could delay my departure to another two months (making it a five months notice!).

I did go home to have a think about it. However after having a chat with some mates, I decided that I had to know my priorities.

Spending time with my family (no matter whether we see eye to eye on certain things), friends and loved ones, to me has more priority.

I may have to speak again with the Boss some other time this week, but at least that would have given her some time to let the information sink in.

May God grant me the wisdom, serenity and strength to settle this time of change.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Monday, September 05, 2011

Leadership styles.

So it's Freddie Mercury's birthday today. Google claims it on the search engine. (Not that I care very much). Did some checks on StatCounter, and found that my childhood blog, and my skincare blogs
apparently are the more popular of  my blogs, average about 55-60 page loads over a period of 90 days.
That's a good thing, I hope.

So anyways, today is my day off, and I am trying to finish up my literature research report on Leadership Styles, namely Participative vs Autocratic Leadership style.

I'm now in the library of University of Technology, Sydney, trying to complete my report. Anyways, I don't normally state the name of my institution, but seriously, unless I am writing some unsavory report
of the institution, I really do not have much I should think about. I now have about 9 pages, with at least another 5 pages to go before I finish my report.

I've been working on the report since the last three weeks, reading up the first week, and starting to write on a skeleton framework from the second week, and this third and final week, just summarising and writing out my thoughts into cohesive readable paragraphs.

Anyways, when I am finally done with it, and get it back from my lecturer, I will post it up on this website, with its relevant references and all. Now let me brainstorm a bit before I start on my

Now why does one say that leadership style is important?

In any organisation, it is essential to have good management. Good management is needed to (Daft,p22, 2005) maintain a "degree of stability, predictability and order through a culture of effeciency.
Management is different from leadership in the essence that  it helps the organisation consistently achieve short-term results, and meet the expectations of various stakeholders, wheras Leadership creates
change, within a culture of integrity that they survive over a long term period with a long-term goal, and move the organisation into the future. (Daft,p.22, 2005).

Daft, Richard L (2005) The Leadership Experience 3rd edn, Thomson
South-Western, USA

Friday, September 02, 2011

How much do you love your mom?

Teacher to child:

Teacher: how much do you love your sister?
Child: lots and lots and lots.
Teacher: how much do you love your mum?
Child: (thinks for a while, then..)
I love her as much as my sister.
Teacher: (laughingly) Heh, good answer..

Teacher recalled story to the child's mother later.
Mother: Heh, she's being diplomatic.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Only a few key speakers...

So our group today met up for a assignment discussion.

One of my group members, Byron noted that in class, it was only a few key members who actually only participated in class discussions.

Byron is of greek background, and local australian upbringing. He claims he has 'verbal diarrhea'. HaHa..

So, right I guess I'm not the only one who has the same observation.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Monday, July 25, 2011

Politics: All Female Work Place.

Anyways, here are some tips from a church mate on how to manage politics in a female dominated work place.
- Don't fight directly with females.
- When complaining to the Supervisor,don't mention names.
- Fight intelligently. You need to know how to play the game. If you engage in arguments with staff, you lose time to complete your work.
- Be professional. You need to find something credible to say to staff before trying to win an argument.
- If you are sick, and staff are trying to guilt trip you on not going on leave:
you have to say something credible that they can't argue with: i.e,
'research says children are vulnerable to sickness. If I am here, I may pass it to them. I don't want to do that'.
- When you speak to the boss: do not be too direct but do not be too vague either.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Mind your Ps & Qs.

I don't like it when younger staff, especially those in their late teens and early twenties try to give older staff lip about getting work done.

I finally told one of them off earlier. I should have done it earlier, but the way she requested me for assistance in finishing some work was really rude and appropriate.

When I told her off for the way she spoke, her response was, 'fine, I'd do it myself!', which she did. I had my own work to do, and if she wants me to help her, she'd have to sound 'apologetic' and 'humble' about it, rather than being rude about it.

This is definitely the beginning of a good thing.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Speaking Cantonese: a case study.

So today I spoke Cantonese to some of the children. It was pretty interesting to note the children's responses upon listening to the teacher speaking a 'minority language'.

There is a four year old female child, Vee, whom I swear whose Cantonese is better than mine. She's been in the centre since the beginning of the year, and she only speaks Cantonese still.

Due to this, she sometimes randomly tells me things that she doesn't tell other staff.

I.e., her mom bought her a new car seat, or her friend might have gone to the supermarket, and her dad also eats Mandarin oranges. All in Cantonese.

Sometimes she uses words that I don't even know, like today. LOL.I couldn't really ask her to translate it to english though. LOL.

Anyways, I find that responses range from:

- children who speak limited Cantonese, are delighted, and actually respond back in broken Cantonese. This was from a 3.5 yr old male child of mixed anglo-saxon and chinese background, who primarily spoke english at home, but whose grandmother spoke Cantonese.

Primarily this was from the group who were Chinese but spoke English at home, but still had someone speaking some Cantonese.

I find that the children from this group tend to be delighted to speak Cantonese, when another person does, and will try their utmost best to reply in their limited grasp (i.e 'broken Cantonese') of the minority language.

- children from purely Cantonese background. The 4 yr old male child, D. responded in English. However, as I continued in Cantonese, he actually reverted back to responding in Cantonese after a few minutes.

This group tends to start out speaking their home language, and as their fluency in the mainstream language picks up, their use of the home language decreases.

I would believe that children from this particular group tended to be more sensitive to speaking in the 'main stream' language as they always spoke the minority language at home.

- children who spoke only Mandarin, or non chinese background.

For this group, the most they do would look and stare intently. Sometimes they would ask 'teacher, what are you saying?', or 'what language are you speaking, teacher?'

Anyways for the record, I speak Cantonese, and my Mandarin skills are adequate enough to have a short conversation. I speak, read and write English, & Bahasa Malaysia, and a fair bit of Korean.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Community Language

Today I had a child who spoke to me in his own dialect when he was on his own. Which I was surprised, as I had been only using English with him all this while in the past half year.

Perhaps it is so that people, and yes, certain children are more sensitive in wanting to communicate in a 'community language', say English, in australia, when with others, but on their own, they will revert to their own home dialects.

I say sensitive, as I have some girls, who keep giggling in Indonesian non stop once I start a few words in Malay to them. And these girls are competent in English as well.

So when dealing with the more sensitive personalities in public, I will use the 'community language' with them. But on a one to one basis, we revert to 'home dialect' as the child chooses.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Friday, May 06, 2011

Being focused at work.

My Coordinator had a bit of advice for me during our discussion on Wednesday.
Its not possible to get along well with everyone at work.

As a person higher up on the hierarchy at work, it is important that I am able to delegate work without allowing personal relationships and preferences affect my ability to carry out and complete my job in the work place.

Her main point was that I should be able to foster the relationship enough that the work gets carried out, and let matters slide as thinking of it will eat away at me, and I will end up being distracted and not focused at work.

Ok.. Point taken.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Calling in Sick.

So I finally called in sick for the first time since I started in this current day care centre.
I was going to call in at 6:30am but surprisingly, my ex housemate's phone decided to go on a morning call wake up at 5:30am! Siao!

Anyways, to let you on into the full story...

I came in for work on Wednesday, and halfway through the morning, my head suddenly decided to feel heavy and hot. I started to have spasms.

My Coordinator thought it was best I went home. But not before having a short discussion with me as the Nursery was having Accreditation next week...

Having never been sick before, it was a bit of a shock for me too...

I caught a train to head to my ex housemate's place in the city, as my current place in Narwee was being fumigated.. My landlady told me it was best I find something else to do....

Hence I ended up staying in Jo's place for the night. She asked me if I was going to call in sick the next day.

Call me 'paranoid' or whatever, I'm the type who goes to work everyday and never gets sick, nor applies for sick leave. But once I get sick, it can last up to 5 weeks the longest!

I called the boss early in the morning, and she decided to play hardball by insisting I should see the doctor today.. *ahem*.. But she still gave me the day off.

As I was already sick at work, most of the staff would have been 'mentally prepared', or at least the one who was supposed to take of early today would know that they had to stay back later with a reworking of rosters due to absences.

Well, I did eventually go and see the doctor neways, and he gave me a medical chit for three days off! (Not that my boss may give me neways!)

I had looked pretty sick before seeing the doctor as I didn't take any medicine before seeing him. Paracetamol would act as a 'buffer' hence covering any possible symptoms which would be important for the doctor to check/notice/observe in regards to my illness that I had.

So today I'm back in the silence and rest of my own home, as there was way too much stimulation at Jo's place to keep my mind rested for a sick girl. Heh...

Sent from my Nokia phone

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Maori show in April.

So its a lovely sunny day today. A bit of a breeze, and we had a maori one man show at preschool this morning.

Apparently the centre brings the maori show in twice a year, once in spring, and once in autumn.

The Coordinator brought her 2.5 year old grandson, K. to watch the show. He ended up staying all morning, first maybe an hour at the nursery, then 40 minutes at the maori show.

He then went off to play on his own amongst the other children when they went outdoors. K was really a pioneer of his own. No crying or tears of sorts was seen!

After which, the Coordinator sat beside K. as he had his lunch in the preschool room...

I really love the Coordinator, but having her grandson on board is another kettle of fish...

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What a child taught me about human behaviour.

Today I came in for an early shift, and had to work with children in the morning Montessori classroom.

I was asked to work with a child who was working with Long Rods. The first time I asked the child, JM to show me the 'longest' rod, he refused.

In fact he just sat down there and did not look at me when I asked. This kept on for almost 10 minutes.

Then the children broke off for church service for about twenty minutes.

After that I was assigned back to him to work on the Long Rods. Getting a bit frustrated, I decided to use a different approach with JM.

I decided to play a game with JM, whereby I took the shortest rod and asked if it was the 'longest rod'. JM just laughed and said 'no, it's not'.

Then I pointed at another rod a bit longer than the shortest rod, and asked if it was that one. JM said it wasn't one, then finally pointed to the longest rod. He took the rod and arranged it on the other mat.

There was also a bit of hesitation in completing the rest of the activity but I told him, 'oh, if you don't help me, I can't do other work', and after a bit of more persuading, he completed the rest of the activity without situation.

After that, I thought about the episode.

Why did my first attempt fail, but my second attempt successful?

Was it a power struggle?

I brought this up with my Coordinator when I met her for discussion today.

In the first attempt, it was possible that the child may not want to do what I want where there may have been some 'power struggle' involved as he didn't want to do what I want.

It was his will against mine.

In the second attempt, I really went down to his level. Playing a game, and allowing him to be the 'clever one' gave him, or allowed him to assume the position of 'knowledge' or 'power'.

Which may have appealed to him, as he was 'teaching' the older one, or someone in position.

The same may apply for managing staff in a centre. Hence unqualified staff may be younger, and a qualified new supervisor may want to delegate some tasks.

However I would say this episode shows us that adults are not that much different from the child I worked with.

Supervisors have to 'speak on the same level' as the staff to communicate with them, and get them to do what she wants to delegate.

If the staff have a strong will, they may do like what the child, JM did. Which is doing the opposite of what is wanted.

So yes, learning to 'communicate' on the same level is an important skill that supervisors need. Or for anyone in an important position to succeed.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

You need to be strict with your staff.

Today I had a discussion with the Coordinator in regard to my duty follow up. As part of my current duties, I have to do spotchecks on the childcare settings.

Its not just when its time for Accreditation renewal, but apparently its continuous accreditation principles in place.

Last week, during my spotcheck in the Nursery, one of the staff had not signed off her duties.

The staff in the Nursery tried to give me the run around in protecting the girl, but after reasoning it out, I realised it was not my responsibility to get that particular staff to have her duties signed off, so I wrote that it was not done.

Doing so would allow the staff to know that I take my duties seriously, and nothing less.

On reflection, this actually applies not only with staff, but with family members as well. Many times, parents are lenient with the children, especially when tears are involved.

Hence, as a result, children end up 'controlling' the parents instead. Take the case of children who do not want to have their meals, or eat certain foods. And parents give in.

When parents are not firm with their children, it ends up that they have difficulty managing their children, and all is not for the better of it. Children end up being overly spoilt and pampered, and all parties involved suffer.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Culture is a part of who you are.

If there is one thing I've learnt about in coming to Australia, it is about my values and about who I am.

Coming to Australia has helped me be aware of how culture has made me think the way I do, and do the things we do.

There are two aspects that affect the way an individual goes about doing things.

First, its the culture. The second is the four main kinds of personality groups which is Choleric, sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic.

For the purpose of this entry, I will write about culture.

I was watching this Four Little Princess vcd yesterday night, and it occurred to me that even as young as preschool age, children sit at desks and learn to read.

I do not want to discredit the other educationists, as I feel that it is important for a person in education to learn and be aware of theories in education.

However, what one must remember is that what is viewed as 'learning' and 'going to school' is different from culture to culture.

I was pondering on the view why most chinese view a student sitting down and knowing their letters, able to do math, and quoting philosophy is considered as learning.

Then I realised that this has always been the way it has for centuries, and it is deep rooted in our psyche to think that way. It is not easy for people to change their mindset overnight.

When I first started learning about alternative types of education, I always wondered about the chinese way of learning, which is mostly book learning, and how unhealthy it could be.

The chinese way, or at least the one that I am exposed to, could be called the 'Oriental' way, as I have realised that the japanese and koreans seem to subscribe to the same way of thinking.

There are many more other things I observed myself doing, even in a foreign land, and I realised it as a result of the values and practices I have been brought up with.

The more I go through life, I begin to learn and appreciate my own culture, and discern that which is important to pass down through my generations.

And that, really, is one of the important things we can leave for our children. An understanding of who we are, and pride of who we are and is, and will be.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First day back to work after CNY

So it's my first day back to work after three weeks of Chinese New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur.

The first day back in Sydney was a bit disorientating. Its been three days since I came back, and by the third day, my mind has calmed down by much.

For so many years of my life, Chinese New Year celebrations has always been part of my life and I have ever only been away only once during the celebrations. Its probably harder on my current housemate, who has celebrated almost every CNY away from the family.

I greeted some of the chinese parents 'gong hei fatt choy'. Some of the staff asked if I had lost weight, and they noticed I had curls in my hair.

I gave out the souvenirs, and most of the staff were pleased with theirs as it suited their personality.

When asked, the children thought I went to the jungle ... Hahaha.

I would really love to stay longer to work, however I'm now faced with a choice as I'm not getting any younger, and my parents aren't either.

Probably this is what is called the heart of a child, and love for the family that ties the family together.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A childcare centre is a business after all.

Here is something my mom brought to my attention when I was back in KL.

Not all teachers are meant to be leaders. She had some teachers whom she had appointed to be the Head Teacher in a number of her schools.

However, these individuals did not seem to possess the personality to be able to lead a group of staff, and the junior teachers/assistants.

They were better at 'teaching' a group of children, but not in delegating duties, and ensuring the school operates smoothly. Hence,

In australia, I have noticed that a lot of the 'teachers' can be very particular about following the curricular.

However, one must remember that in the end, whether it is a childcare centre, or kindergarten, it is still a business establishment. A business establishment has to break even and make profit to survive at the end of the day.

Hence the administrator, and manager of the centre has to learn to look past the 'curricular' to ensure that the financial aspect is being looked after.

Else, at the end of the day, they'd be out of business, and teachers insisting on strictly following 'curricular' will end up penniless, being out of a job. Nobody wins that way.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A common language.

So today it's my last day at work! Well at least before I go for my three weeks off back to Malaysia.

I was just reflecting that the kids who get along well, or pair up together initially tend to speak a common language.

For instance, there have been two new children in the past few months, and those kids were speaking Indonesian to each other, and stuck to each other during class, and sitting beside each other during lunch.

The Cantonese speaking children too stuck to each other like glue, separating only on days where their normal set of friends are away, and then would they then find the other English speaking friends.

The bilingual children, say the chinese ones who spoke english from the start, but their own dialects at home, would be seen mixing with a variety of both the English speaking, and maybe sometimes another child who may know the same dialect.

Today during outdoor play, a younger child, Joyce, was having problems in accessing play with the other children, and kept coming back to dob on them. An older chinese girl, Allison went and helped her. When I asked her what happened, she just mentioned that perhaps the other child, a boy listens to her, and when I asked her why, she replied perhaps because she was much older than the boy.


Sent from my Nokia phone

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One child leaving today.

So today, one child L* is leaving.

He brought a really big sponge sugar icing cake to share with our classroom. *Yummy!* I loved icing sugared cakes!!

His mom prepared a gift for all the teachers/staff, an adult's movie voucher.

Finally, his mom prepared a farewell card, signed by all the members of his family addressed to all the staff members.

Some of the staff cried.....

Tomorrow, another six would be leaving. I'm hoping they're all not going to be bringing a cake each as that would be too much for our shrimp of a fridge to handle! LOL.

I hope I'll be able to manage the flow of the emotions that will come too...

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Monday, January 17, 2011

PassionFruit for playlunch.

So today, whilst doing play lunch with the children, apparently one of the parents had brought in three pieces of a purple fruit, the passionfruit.

Having never tasted nor eaten one before, I had no idea what it was.

So I asked the classroom teacher who told me the name of the fruit. (i've ever only come across the fruit during one of my Sothys facials, but that is another post...)

Anyways, the administrator happened to be in, and then decided to make a learning session out of it.

So, what ensued next was my cutting two of the three pieces into half, then quarters, and leaving it on the playlunch tray.

The teacher then presented the fruit during group time......

Much later, when it was pack away time, it seemed that not much of the passionfruit pieces were touched.

The administrator explained that the passionfruit was quite pricey at the markets, going at a AUD1.50 off season, and at AUD1.00 on season. Not many of the parents would bring it in for playlunch as it was costly, and not much to share around.

In the end, I ended up scooping the remaining passionfruit pieces onto a plate, and giving it to her, as it would most likely be just thrown into the bin as none of the staff would actually bother with it.

Well, lucky her!

Sent from my Nokia phone

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Health is Wealth.

So recently, my menstrual cycle decided to pay me a visit. It is worth a mention here, as the last time I had mine was more than six months ago.

About the time I first started my position at my current work place.

My cycle comes about four times a year, making it a seasonal four monthly occurrence. So it was late by two months, which is a bad thing.

About two weeks ago, I was on Christmas leave. And recently, I have had a shorter shorter work load.

Now, I've been doing some reading on the menstrual cycle, and its about two weeks, or about 12 days before a female gets her menstrual, that her ovulation takes place.

So about two weeks ago, I was on leave = essentially, meaning my body was at rest. Both physically, and emotional from work stress.

A female's monthly menstrual cycle is an indicator to the doctor whether her internal body system is functioning well. That's also the first question the doctor will ask when they come in for a check-up.

The fact that I'm getting my menses now is a good sign. I hope my Boss continues to give me the same current work load as she does now.

Sent from my Nokia phone.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Coming up to six months now.

So, it'll be six months I'd have worked at Montessori centre by the end of January.

It's definitely good to have work only in one place, as that eases my worry of whether I'd have work for the week, and of course it's easier to foster relationships with both staff and the children in that way.

Anyways, I'll be heading back to KL at the end of January for the sake of renewing my passport.

If it wasn't for the sake of my passport renewal, or that enrollment hasn't really been that great, the Principal wouldn't have been that easygoing about making a decision that quick. LOL.

See you peeps in KL in a month's time!

Sent from my Nokia phone

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