Day 5: Tan Xuan Ping

Thursday morning, the second best day right after Friday. Waking for the 6.20am class has became a normal and natural routine, sort of. Just a splash of water to the face and trying our best to brush our teeth, we’re all awake and ready to go to morning session with the lovely and cute “darjah enam” class. Morning is usually slow so we would find some ways to start the day with a blast with the kids. For me, I would try to give a surprise pop quiz or just ask something about them, where they would be interested to talk instead of being gloomy.

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The first few days with the kids would always turn out to be really quiet and only me talking, as days past by, the kids started to be more active and showing their true self, which is partly good and partly bad. Good as they would have more interaction in class that would made it more interesting, bad in a way that they would be more rebellious and chat too much. A simple reminder would always work to ask them to continue their homework.

As the short morning class went by, it’s time to go to the next class without having breakfast YET! The first normal class session was a “darjah empat” class where we were conducting Mathematics. The approach was to separate into a group of 3-5 kids. It’s always tough to start teaching right after meeting, so as cliché as it can be, a self introductory session then games that involved Mathematics. After trying my best to teach them about conversion of unit for about 40minutes, a teacher came to announce that a milo truck came to the school.

The kids were all excited and started to line up to receive their share of milo drink. It feels extremely nostalgic to be in that position, the feeling of excitement knowing the best drink you can ever taste in school was here, but not only that, a short break from class too, which was also great as a teacher to just catch a break and get a iced sweet milo.

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Then comes the afternoon session after a short nap. Afternoon sessions with our kids had always been maddening, tiring, frustrating, but also rewarding. It’s either mathematics or English, but Thursday we’re doing English. Firstly the maddening part is explaining the same words to them multiple times over and over again, tiring because I would always around to each kids as they had difference pace of progression, frustrating because they would be easily distracted, but all and all manageable. Rewarding because the looks from the kids after they finally understands, the face of happiness that they finish their work with the correct answer. It’s better than getting the present you hoped for, it’s better than winning a prize, it’s the best feeling to see someone else success as you pour all of yourself. It’s like reaching your hand out and someone reaches back to you kind of experience.

After the afternoon sessions, come the little lecture for the kids on how they did well or bad the day before. It could either be congratulating them or a scolding because they didn’t follow the rules that were laid out. Then a briefing of activities that we, the volunteers were preparing for them. Thursday was a super chill day, it’s free activity day. Where the children get to choose to either go play sports, read books or play board games. Everyone was running wild because they can finally leave their seat to do something else. The kids were the most craziest when it comes to sports, getting super hyper with just a simple competition of racing. They can be racing the whole day and not get tired which was very tiring for us to tag along with them for the whole 2-3 hours.

Then came the best time of the day, night sessions. Why do I say that it was the best time, everyone is wide awake from all the activities and ready to work. It’s usually the time with the best progression. After 2 hours, it’s time for dinner and chilling at the canteen.

After the long day, the group came together for a reflection for the day and it’s to turn thepower off and start charging for the next day.


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