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

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