Role Of Modern Soldier

I did a post about my son being enlisted for National Service as soldier.

He had just completed his basic military training and he would be posted to his unit soon.

Our family would be observing his graduation ceremony today.

This got me thinking about the role of a modern soldier.

In The Past

In history, everyone of us know about countries that tried to take over another through war to acquire the resources of another country.

The duty as a soldier was to kill and conquer then.

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There were many cruel and sad stories with many soldiers losing their lives regardless of which side the soldiers were from.

Death was an unavoidable fact during a war.
Families would lose their sons and fathers.

Our Modern Age

For most countries, our soldiers in this modern age have the role of protecting their countries from foreign invasion and they are not meant to take the role of conquering other countries like the past.

Soldiers would also help during major disasters. They would risk their lives to save others.

They are no longer killers but many are saviours during terrorism and disasters.


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They would also help to suppress riots to bring a country to peace.

Nevertheless, there are some who have to fulfil duties that they do not like even if it goes against their own moral values.

In Conclusion

History provides important lessons for everyone that war can be cruel and countries at war would suffer at both sides.

With greater awareness, most countries would avoid war since war can cause death and hurt the economy.

Every single life is precious regardless of which side and everyone has someone who would feel sad when death occurs.

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A modern soldier is to protect the country and they no longer take the role of simply a killer machine.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

The Work Review

As a teacher in a local government school, I have work review meeting with my direct reporting officer who is usually the head of department.

We would meet at least 2 times each year to look at the various work that I have done in the school and outside school related to developing others and developing myself as an educator.

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I do not know about the evaluation system of teachers in other countries so this post is simply to share briefly about how most teachers in our local schools are being evaluated.

Standardised Work Review Template

Regardless of the school that I transfer to locally, there is a standard work review template given by the Ministry of Education.

This work review template would require us to share about our individual class performance, the way we support our students’ well-being, our own professional development, how we work with parents, how we develop other teachers within school and outside schools etc


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This template would also require us to evaluate our own strengths and weaknesses.

It also provides an avenue to discuss our aspiration for the future so that the reporting officer can keep in mind to provide the opportunities needed to assist us in realising those aspiration.

It is really like reporting our work done in all possible areas.

Performance Grading

We are being graded for our performance each year around October.

During this grading session, principal, vice principals, head of department and all key personnel would gather in a meeting room to rank each teacher against another based on their work done and contribution.

With the room, they would discuss and debate about who deserves to be recognised more than the other.

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It is not a fun process as there can be times when both teachers are good but they are forced to have one above the other due to the ranking system.

There is definitely great tension in the room and each reporting officer would need to support the teachers under them whenever possible.

They can also share the negative feedback for those who are not performing up to the basic expectations.
It is really the brutal fact against another brutal fact.

Who is better?

The performance grading really does not determine who is a better classroom teacher since there are other factors like the events that one organises as well as many other contributions beyond classroom.

The teachers of this generation are not evaluated solely on how good we teach but it can be the positive impact we have to the school or beyond school.


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It is hard to judge who is a better teacher since different classroom culture may require different types of teachers.

Even the type of teacher for each class is not an one size fits all.

A wonderful teacher who can teach a high progress class well may not be able to teach a low progress class effectively.

A low progress class may benefit greatly from a teacher who knows how to break confusing concept into great simplicity for low progress learners to understand.


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It is really hard to judge so teachers should not be focusing too much on whether they are better due to performance grading but how much they have helped the students under them during the academic year.

In Conclusion

Regardless of how much I dislike work review, there is a need for it as it forces me to evaluate my own work for the year.

It also keeps a close guard against teachers who may not be doing their jobs properly.

Work review may not be the only factor that determines how good we are but it is a tool to let us see our own blind spots through active discussion with our reporting officer and self-evaluation.

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As teachers, our main focus should not be how good we are comparing with other teachers but how much we have helped the students in our classes.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

Earn free crypto from Coinbase Earn Education Programme

I am pretty excited to earn some free cryptocurrencies from Coinbase.

Coinbase has started a crypto education programme called Coinbase Earn where we can earn free cryptocurrency by watching short crypto educational videos.

Each short video, about 2 min, comes with one short multiple-choice question to earn $2 worth of cryptocurrency.

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Below is the introductory video about Coinbase Earn

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I first noticed it because it allowed me to earn free eos since I had recently opened an eos account. It was indeed a temptation without denying it.

I earned a total of $10 worth of eos that was about 1 eos. It is free money so it is pretty cool.

Before you can start earning from coinbase, you must at least have a coinbase account.

There was also another opportunity to earn $50 worth of Stellar Lumens with $10 worth of Stellar Lumens for watching videos and completing simple multiple-choice questions.

Below is a screenshot from my coinbase account of what I received directly into my coinbase account.

The other $40 worth of Stellar Lumens would be for 4 successful invites to complete the short lessons with each successful invite that completes the lesson to earn $10 worth of Stellar Lumens.

You can take a look at the Coinbase Earn Programme for Stellar Lumens if it interests you.

I have yet to earn the $40 worth of Stellar Lumens and you can complete the short lessons through my referral link if you like but you can always choose to head over to https://www.coinbase.com without going through my referral link with no obligation.

I rarely make such post to introduce any programme.

If you do have a coinbase verified account, it is great to earn some free cryptocurrency.

If you do not have a coinbase account, you can also choose to sign up for one if this programme really interests you so much.

You can choose to totally ignore this if it does not interest you.

You can also choose not to sign up using my referral links without obligation and I do hope it is an exciting news for members on this platform with a coinbase account to earn some cryptocurrency if you have not done so.

I managed to earn a total of $23 worth of cryptocurrency simply by watching short videoclips and answering simple multiple-choice questions.

Please do not read and follow this post blindly but you can do your own research to verify the facts and this opportunity.

I have also stated clearly about my referral links in this post which you can choose not to use them without obligation.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

This article was first published on my blog at Whaleshares.

Is it really a school holiday for teachers?

It is finally the mid-year school holidays.

I can finally take a short break from seeing my pupils.

It is not really free time for me as I still have to conduct holiday extra lessons for the 1st and last week of the school holidays.

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While I am at home, I would be busy crafting the Year-End Mathematics Examination for the graduating classes.

It would probably take me a few days to complete setting the examination papers.

Since I am a Math representation from the Mathematics Committee so I have to complete the Math analysis to find out the percentage of passes as well as identify the weak areas of the recent Mid-Year Examination.

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The good thing of school holidays is teachers can catch up on our sleep especially most of us usually sleep about 5 to 6 hours during school days.

As a family man, I would also need to spend some time with my family by taking them out.

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I am left with very little time for myself.

Most of my personal time would be spent on the platform then.

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May all the teachers who are having the mid-year school holidays be able to take a short break and have a good rest before the next lapse for the next half of the year.

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Do not neglect the need for rest since we are really not machine regardless of how committed we are for our job as selfless educators.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

Freedom To Express – Graffiti

Vandalism is a serious offence in my country.

Drawing on the public wall is really not allowed as the offender can be fined or even caned for serious ones.

It would be considered destroying public property that belongs to everyone so it is not right for the selfish desire of one individual to vandalise for the sake of venting out one’s anger or frustration.

I was really surprised to visit a eating house that allows anyone to draw or write on its walls.

Customers can use markers or pens to draw or write with no restriction or permission needed.

It is therefore a great place for youngsters to vent out their urge to vandalise legally.

The below were the photographs that I had taken when I was at the eating house.


My son had just entered Secondary School and there was a parent briefing early this year.

While waiting at the school canteen, I noticed that the school had made an effort to put up drawings of students that looked like graffiti.

Freedom to express emotions without formal restriction may be lacking in most schools.

It is great that the school even put them up to provide ownership and recognition for these students since most of them may have lacked the recognition throughout their educational journey.

All schools must find ways to provide freedom for expression through drawing or writing in any form.
Rather than having the enforcement of ‘No’, we can say ‘Yes’ with boundaries set up for freedom of expression.

Below are two photographs taken using my mobile phone when I was at the canteen in my son’s school.

I am quite sure we can see the benefits of making what is unacceptable to acceptable as long as the right boundaries are set up.

The current generation is not the same as the past and they face new challenges that we do not face when we were at their age.

They often desire freedom and we are the ones that are suppressing them.

Giving them freedom within the boundaries with choices can allow their inner feelings and thoughts to be expressed.

As educators, we get to know our students better and we can establish better rapport with them.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All pictures were taken using my Samsung S8 mobile phone.

Last Day Before School Holidays

It was the last day of school before the school holidays for my students.

The mood was high especially we had an Art-And-Music Festival during the first two periods of the day.

My students definitely had no mood to study or do any work.

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I can still continue my lessons but I would be teaching kids whose brains were somewhere else.

I can teach but no one would be able to learn.

With my predicted classroom mood of the students, I booked the computer lab in advance last week so that I could assign some online questions with immediate feedback while my students can enjoy the cool environment since computer lab is an air-conditioned room.

The reward is they are allowed to use the computers to play some interactive games or watch some music videos on youtube.

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My students definitely like going to the computer lab since I always give them lots of freedom.

They are allowed to listen to music using the headphones while doing their online questions.

This really breaks the normal classroom routine but it added spice in their lives.

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My students would remember these fun moments even when they have graduated.

I could have forcefully insisted them to listen and follow my normal lesson routine and do the required work but I would be fighting against the majority of them.

Rather than going against them, I decided to flow with them and I can also win their hearts over.

Teaching is no longer a one-way traffic but we need to teach how students want to be taught.

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We may think we have taught well after a great presentation with all the powerpoint slides but we would be surprised to know that most of the students do not understand if we ever ask them to give their honest feedback.

Most teachers may think the way they teach is the best way to learn but the current generation may have very different needs from the past students.

We need to stop and ask them how they want to be taught.


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Last day of school before a long break is not the last day of school for the year.

Time does not wait but we can always try to catch up on their work when their minds are more ready to acquire knowledge.

I can teach but they would probably forget what they would have learnt on the last day of school since there is no chance to revisit and reinforce during the school holidays.

I guess my decision of using the computer lab was a wise choice.

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Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

Building An Inclusive Society For Disabilities

It was a dream for Singapore to build a place where disabilities can get the help they need to blend into the society.

The founding of the Enabling Village was just the realization of such a dream.

It is a dream that everyone can be useful regardless of their disabilities.

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Everyone can play a part in this society as we raise the awareness that even the disabilities can contribute positively to the growth of our country.

A speech by the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Official Opening of Enabling Village on 2nd December 2015.

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Enabling the disabilities through Enabling Village.

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Enabling Village provides training as well as job opportunities for the disabilities based on their current capability.

It also organizes activities to raise the awareness of the need for an inclusive society for disabilities and special needs.

Through the effort of Enabling Village, disabilities and special needs can find a place in our society and get accepted based on what they can offer as individuals and not based on what they do not have.

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It provides opportunities for disabilities and special needs to build confidence and self-worth.

They become contributors to the society and not just takers and receivers.

It truly warms our hearts as more organizations and people are willing to step forward to offer their help and expertise to enable disabilities and special needs.

I hope this short post is able to raise your awareness of the need to enable the disabilities and special needs regardless of their current conditions.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

Secret Life Of A Latchkey Kid

This post is simply a sharing about a recent discipline issue that I had to handle as a teacher.

It is not to teach anyone what to do but it may just be an alert to parents with children that are going back to an empty house daily after school.

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It was a shock to many teachers when we found out about what had happened as the boy had presented himself as a polite 12-year-old boy who rarely had discipline issues even though he was diagnosed with ADHD.

The Story
The family is facing with a crisis as the older brother is diagnosed with Leukemia and was warded in a hospital to undergo treatment.

His mother had to visit the hospital daily while his father continued to work to support the heavy financial burden of the family.

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As a result, there was no one in the house in the afternoon. My student was given the house key so that he could return home to rest after school on his own.

His parents had the good intention since he was viewed as a boy with good character but he betrayed their trust.

He had brought several friends home for a few months.

He had kissed with physical contact with a younger female student several times.

The schoolmates reported this to the discipline head of the school.

Consequence

It was a serious case but fortunately it did not go further than physical touching and kissing.

The parents of both the girl and the boy were informed and had a meeting with the discipline master.

The girl’s mother did not proceed to lodge a police report and she agreed for her daughter to receive counselling.

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The boy’s father took back the key and the boy would have to wait for someone to fetch him daily after school with his freedom taken away.

The boy also had to go through counselling.

Love or Infatuation

All of us were young once and we had our own infatuation when we were young.

The infatuation we had was definitely not true love.

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It was really the physical attraction and the unstoppable excitement of affection.

The truth is young children may not even understand the difference between love and infatuation.

We need to educate them so that they do not regret foolish acts that they cannot reverse time for change.

They may lack the maturity and they may be greatly influenced by social media by the wrong ways.

In Conclusion

It is definitely hard for the boy’s parents when they are facing a crisis at home.

The trust is broken and it may be hard to believe the boy again.

As teachers, we have educated our students about the danger of physical contact but they may not have taken our words seriously.

The boy was crying during the meeting with his father.

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He was back to normal after the meeting so I wonder whether it was impactful to him.

Parents are often the ones who may experience disappointment but we must continue to educate them even when they have broken our trust.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I had recently handled a student who refused to learn and do his work.

The subject teachers were concerned as he did badly for the recent mid-year examinations.

As a result, the subject teachers requested for me, who is the form teacher, to call for a meeting with his parent.

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This meeting was important since it was the graduating year for the boy so the subject teachers do not want his parents to be surprised if he is not able to get promoted to Secondary School.

Fake Stories

The boy had lied to his teachers that he had been doing work at home assigned by his mother.

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He had constantly refused to do any work and he would keep disturbing others in class.

He also refused to attend the remedial lessons after school that were meant to provide additional support to him since he was not coping well with his studies and he may not be able to clear his national examinations which would be coming this September.

He stayed back in school everyday to play but he told his mum that he had remedial lessons everyday and he would only play after his lessons.

He would also rush home to have a quick lunch and told his mum that he was rushing to attend his remedial lessons which he was only rushing to play.

His poor mum had to rush to prepare his lunch thinking that his son was so hardworking.

The boy would say that he had done a lot of work in school but the truth was he had refused to do any assigned by his teachers.

The Truth Was Out

We met his mother and the truth was out.

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He had lied to his mother about how hardworking he was and his excuses of not doing additional revision at home due to his stress in doing lots of work in school.

He had spent most of his time playing in school and he was also addicted to mobile games.

He has wasted his time and refused to learn for the whole Semester.

He had broken the trust that his mother had given him.

It was really hard for his mother to accept how her son really was in school.

The empty promise made by the boy to his mum that he would surely be able to clear his national examinations when his marks was below 20 marks out of 100 marks.

He had hidden his examination papers from his mother due to fear.

Learning Gap

This boy had never really worked very hard in the past and he had missed out learning lots of concepts due to lack of concentration and attention.

He had spent lots of time disturbing others as well as boy-girl relationship.

Based on his teachers, he was not even able to sit still for long to complete a single task.


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He was probably unable to understand what he had to do since he had not been learning well since last year.

Learning gap became wider when too many concepts were left behind and accumulated without making an effort to learn them.

Without the basic foundation, the topics, that build on those foundational concepts, become extremely hard to cope.

In Conclusion

The boy had about 4 months before the national examinations.

It is still not too late to start working and learning what he had missed out.

Since there would be a mid-year school holiday, it is a good time for him to catch up on his work.

It is never too late when one is willing to try.

It is only too late when one has given up on trying.


Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

A Chance To Learn

Primary Six Leaving School Examination(PSLE) is a major examination for 12-year-old students in Singapore that determines their next step of learning journey after primary education.

While many can celebrate their successes, there is a small percentage of students each year that cannot clear it.

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Learning can be a struggle especially for special needs and those with learning difficulties.

After failing their PSLE, these students are given a second chance to learn at Northlight or Assumption Pathway.

The struggles that these students face and the effort of their teachers in these schools can clearly be seen in the videoclip below.

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Getting back up

It is not easy for these kids to gain confidence in learning especially they may have failed since the moment they entered primary school.

Failing is just normal to them and getting a pass is a miracle.

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The teachers in these schools would need to find different ways to get the students back into believing that they can learn.

Building their confidence to equip them with the essential skills to survive the competitive society is crucial.

When they can believe in themselves, they can continue to improve regardless of how fast or slow the learning may be.

Result is not everything

Something that impresses me when the boy studied extremely hard while his result may still not able to make it.

The school took his learning attitude into consideration and additional marks were given leading to a pass.

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I believe that we can have employees with great academic results but their attitude to learn on the job can ultimately determine their success.

The willingness to learn regardless of how hard it may be can be the key to future success.

Being recognised for the effort put in is really going to be great motivation to continue to work hard with a great attitude.

In Conclusion

As educators, we are all guilty of neglecting certain students due to the need to cater learning needs of the majority.

With this article, I do hope it impresses some teachers to start taking special note of their weaker students to find ways to help them to build confidence through small milestones of successes.

Let them take a step at a time and let them find successes that they have yet to taste in their journey of learning.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.