Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In the school, there is no bad boy

Received this little card in a sharing session... Wow! There is no bad boy in a school?
First thing first, have I ever label any of my students 'bad boy' in my teaching career to-date... especially all the normal technical and few N(A) classes I had (bascially throughout my years of teaching)...

There are those who really made me literary vomit blood!!! Yes, hated to hear their voice, hated to see them... just hated to even to get into those classes... Yes, indeed, those 6 months, I really dragged my feet those classes... I thought, with my forgiving nature and optimism, I could fight back the 'setback'... no, I lost those 6 months... the regretful 6 months... It has done enough damage on the good things I saw among my students since it started day 1... nevertheless, I must say, I've never label anyone of them being "BAD". Things didn't work out because of many reasons and factors... anyway, they were just there to toughen me, I guess. There isn't enough time and effort to establish the kind of chemistry with them, I need more time to 'tune' to the right channel... perhaps, the biggest excuse I could have, I took over the classes in the middle of the year and have not had enough time to re-adapt the N(T), N(A) environment...

So, what really defines "BAD"? Very subjective! No child is bad, by choice, by nature.
Lots of these are shaped by the environment, the kind of influences the child has been subjected to. So, what he is, is really what he had gone through, what the external environment has done to him. Back to the school of thought that says, all are born like a blank slate. So, how it turns out... depends what's next, and next, and next... as Jen commented, 人之初,性本善。

What seems to be bad in our eyes may not necessary bad from other perspectives. It's bad because there is a misalignment in values, in perspectives! What's not right in one community might not appear right in another. Similarly, for people! There's where we should step back to think... put ourselves in others' shoes and see from their perspectives. Perhaps, that helps us to understand better why that particular person is "BAD" or the action/choice is inappropriate. Background story tells alot... and it may just change our perspective. Be less judgemental. Of course, if it is necessar, then help one to re-align its values/perspectives to those of the organisation/community. If not, perhaps the person shoud 'get off the bus'?

As Mrs Chew summarised nicely, Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Mutual Understanding (Stephen R. Covey).

Don't let the boss wait...

This caught my attention... while immersed in crafting another email.

My reaction? Hahaha...
a change in one's attitude? an attempt to create some kind of impression?
so, don't let the “someone” wait if and only if it's the boss? Ha!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The frog in the well says...

Was just letting out some steam the other day... No not letting out steam, but reflecting... no, not reflecting, but sharing... hahaha.... so confusing, right? That's part of the pscycho-ing process... to move from negative to positive thinking (my LKY-way, hahaha!!! Oh yes, sometimes rather Ah-Q, too!)

Nobody likes to be 'slighted' in front of anyone... I'm very sure... especially in a mixed group (that involves both internally & externally). It's not a pleasant experience when a fellow colleague puts you down (be it intentional or unintentional; be it direct or indirect)!!!!!

OK, to think positive, it's because of one's insensitivity - due to lack of self-awareness? lack of EQ? which I mentioned to a number of friends previously. Or of course, to put it across in a less positive manner, it's because of one's selfishness!!!!!

Why did I tie these 2 words together? Of course, it's based on some established patterns...

Well, the basic operating principle of a team is to contribute and collaborate to bring out the best output of the team! Mentioned in the book, "The 17 Esential Qualities of a Team Player" (by John C Maxwell), there's a paragraph on the 2nd quality - Collaborative:

Collaborative teammates do more than just work with one another. Each person brings something to the table that adds value to the relationship and synergy to the team.

Sometimes, I just wonder, while one possesses the right skills, knowledge and experience and there exists a situation when one could contribute to better the outcome of the situation, however, disappointingly, one just kept quiet! Why? Is it because it's not one's "offical baby"? So, does that mean that one would just leave it to continue to go wrong? So, is it because of ownership? or it's because one waits for others to ask? Then comes the what if... if others not aware that one has the experience, then how on earth will we know that is all over the place?

How does the "Frog" thingy comes about?

Well, it all arises from a casual talk/reflection with some friends one evening... sharing about the frustration described above. Oh yes, sometimes I just felt that I was the frog in the well... hahaha... realising that I know so little when having discussion with external parties... and sometimes more worse still, not knowing my peer(s) possesses the necessary knowledge/skills till the latter spoke about it in such discussions. The 'wall' of the well 'grows' (trapping me in!!!) as the discussion continues...

Of course, needless to say, the peer(s) is like the chirpy bird that talks while I was that 'frog' quietly listening to what the wise bird rattles... my reaction? one could guess, needless to say...

Well, don't presume the frog is really a frog that lives in the well.... sometimes, the frog might have made its world tour and brings with it wisdom and knowledge to be applied when appropriate... Has the bird above well really seen the world? The sky's the limit? Well, it might not be aware that it's enjoying the good weather sheltered by the coconut tree that limits its vision...