Thursday, February 24, 2011


on my Bday, i think i am a failure ...

F1. i inspire others to write narrative inquiries of their teaching practice and beliefs... but yet i can't even write a book for those I have inspired;

F2. i train others and design research on creativity... but yet i can't even find answers to my fundamental questions on creative thinking;

F3. i encourage principals to empower teachers with authentic assessment ... but yet this particular P just kept insisting the teachers must still give a defining grade with the use of rubrics;

F4. i help teachers recognise the importance of Lesson Study... but yet i can't even lead those i have partnered for months to understand what it means to 'see' learning from students' point of view;

F5. i bring educators to understand the liberating power of constructivism and learning by inquiry ...  but yet my wife purchases packs of exams papers for my  P1 son;

F6. i desire teachers to appreciate that education can be imaginative and exciting ... but yet my son's P1 form teacher sends weekly email to us parents on decontextualised modes of assessment- test, spelling and 听写;

F7. i demonstrate to Singapore teachers how to maintain a healthy lifestyle from my video in MOE OLIVE... but yet for months I have been walking with a limp;

F8. i exclaim that technology can transform the way digital natives learn and interact... but yet i kept editing and self-sensoring my own private thoughts for fear of backlash someday with my digital footprints;
F9. i tell others its important to help children know that its ok to be themselves  ... but yet i dont even dare to share the contents of this entry for fear i stumble i others;

F10. i  give creative parenting talks to other parents ... but yet i had to succumb using the cane to discipline my daughter;

F11. i long to carry my son the way i used to... but yet each morning he refuses even to say goodbye to daddy;

F12. i love my parents my deeply ... but yet i do not have the courage to say "I love you";

F13. i really want a loving relationship with my wife ... but yet I never seem to match up her standards of keeping my study room tidy;

F14. i (used to) teach others the harm alcohol does to the liver as a bio teacher ... but yet I drown my sorrows in wine;

F15. i lead worship in church ... but yet my own relationship with God is...broken.

In short ... i am a failure. F!

o ... one more F....  i have done well to help some local ministries and govt agencies take on innovation to a new level both locally and overseas.... but yet i detest the idea that i need to be back in green undergoing 20th C regimental training next few weeks for a force that claims to develop 21st C 'warriors'. So much for assessing performance indicators of success for NE! 


Zahiriah said...

I write, and I delete, a few times, and that is because, I do not know how to pen the words you wrote to me when I needed them most. You have been an inspiration, and I am only able to share this with you:

Reacquaint yourself with you, the real you, all else is illusion, enjoy your cup of coffee.

P.S. : Because of 811, I have made critical decisions in my life, that may seem selfish by others, but, I know I am now following my purpose, and I believe, it is the everyday moment to moment things that bring us closer to our purpose, and I know you are too!!!

Let me share with you what the reflection in 811 has led me to :
1. Immediately after I left the system, I was talking to 350 university scholars from around the world about what it means to be a part of the voluntary humanitarian work. From that talk, sprang a few sustainable projects that are benefitting the less advantaged.
2. I have set up an NGO sending and hosting youth volunteers from around the world to do volunteer work in areas that they can relate to.
3. I have gone around the world to do more voluntary work, helping disaster areas.
4. I have freed up my time to spend it with my 4 kids who now always have smiles on their faces, i don't receive anymore nasty notes from their teachers, and my 17 and 14 year olds treat me like their friend.
With me, you have been a winner. My life now is testimony to that, and I am sure I am not the only one.
Lastly, I dont need to live by anyone's standards, except my own, and that of God/Universe. No one can touch my I AM.
(errrr, this wasnt meant to be this long, just came out)

from an old soul,
(your past 811 student)

Preeti said...

Hi John
I have learnt in social studies that you must evaluate using a criteria. Depending on which criteria you use the ranking of what is most important/ significant emerges.
Look at those photos carefully and the signifance, energy and thoughts that went to it. Does that look as ones that was dedicated to a failure? If it does, get your eyes ( ps ; brains checked ) too. We did not have to do this. There is nothing we could gain from these. All of us know that nobody fails MLS if they submit their work BUT we wanted too. Because we enjoyed what we learnt from you and appreciated it so much that we wanted to reciprocate it some little way we could. How many tutors out there with a million articles to their name can share such experinces. I really do not know. That is also not important . What is more important is that you have it.

F10. i give creative parenting talks to other parents ... but yet i had to succumb using the cane to discipline my daughter;
you are not perfect. If you are you will be GOD. But I use to cane my elder son but I have stopped long ago when I reaslised that his caning was linked to my ego. I was afraid people will judge my failure or success based on my children. My son scored 24 points for L1 R4. I am one teacher who can make almost any student ' dance to my tune" . I do not know why but I take it as God's grace. yet I could not help my son. How? Well I chose to see the journey he had to go through , his steady progress from barely passing 3 to passing all 7. I chose to his journey rather than react to the results. He is privately reatking his 'O's. Is it tough. But so what? Am a I failure . No. My advise to you , please never t cane your children.Be stern if needs be, but there is no need to cane. I learnt painfully and took sometime to undo it. Just like us, I am sure our children are sensible, it is just that we are judging them by adult standards. I am a very judgemental person, with age I have learned to understand and not judge esp to those dear and near to me. Ask your self when you go home are you as energetic as you are when you are with us. Do you smile and praise as much. I have learnt that CHARITY begins at HOME so I try my best to save some of my emotional energy to those who matters most in my private life. The only reason why son does not hate me is because I had the luxury of time to do many things with him. You are a busy man.
Haha Funny isn't it how we all look at each other and feel we are failures. i looked at you and when you said you were 36 . I said wow! so young and you have achieved so much. I felt envious. But my logical brain said surely that came with lots of sacrifice.

Am I willing to sacrifice BEING with my children for to achieve my aspirations. No! I made a choice. It has consquences. Make yours.............. let it your children........ they grow too fast. I know I sound like a grand ma but what the heck. At 44 and 1 foot in the grave... i sure do have some liberties.

After reading my email, I was hesistant of sending in but since I spend so much time on it I might as well send it. If it does not make any sense, at least you will sleep well knowing that you are valued enough for people to want to reply to your mails.