Sunday, March 15, 2015

When a triangle becomes a diamond/square...

It's been about 1 week since I started blogging… Throughout the week, I have friends and strangers dropping me a note telling me that whilst they don't normally read blogs, they do find what I write interesting and at (most) times inspiring… (I'm sure that's largely because they never expected me to be that 'wise'.. ) It was quite humbling to know that even one of my teachers back in school was actually reading my blog (Aww… you know who you are.. and with that, thank you for your quiet support )

Somehow my experiences, as mundane and simple, were something they could relate to and at times made them re-evaluate their choices in life. (Awww…) It does seem my struggles as essentially a wife and mother are not mine alone. The only thing that was different was I talked about it and added in how I grew from it. Of course, while many may not have down the same as I have, I hope it had at least provided you a glimpse as to what could have happen if you so did the same as me. (After all, we don't need to touch fire to know it burns)

And somehow, of all the entries I wrote, nothing beats the one on Audrey's test. Till date, that alone has received 16200 views (and it is increasing as I type…) That post went 'viral'. It struck a chord with parents, educators and even students. People from Australia, America, UK, Indonesia and even South Korea could identify with it. With that I also have received some comments that if I had been too harsh on Audrey. Maybe I did, but the key take away was not that I was harsh. It was I failed to celebrate her small successes and hopefully I had subsequently inspire her to do better in her next test. I admitted that I failed my test as a mum, but I was not shy to admit it and I shared what I would do differently next.

But I do wish that mothers and teachers could share with me how they have been proven otherwise before by their students. That the child had seen or done something before because it was something that as adults we have overlooked on our part.

I share another example with you…
When I was a trainee teacher, my professor always told us to be mindful how we draw our triangles.
Most times when we introduce a triangle to young kids especially, we tend to draw our triangles as should in Figure 1. I did a symmetry class with a P3 (9 year olds) then and I too did show them over the projector a triangle like that. 

Me: Class, do you know what shape is this?
Class: Triangle.
M: Very good. (I slowly inverted the triangle until the tip was at the base in front of them) Now class, what is this shape?
C: Square (said some) NO! diamond! (said others… essentially i have every shape but triangle)
M: Ok. Calm down. (I inverted the triangle back to Figure 1 again) Let's try again. What shape is this?
C: (in unison) Triangle.
M: (I tried inverting to Figure 2 again with them witnessing it) And this?
(Again the class responded with anything but triangle… and no i can't continue teaching symmetry if they can't get this right)

How is that possible?? With that I switched off the projector, and I called a girl up.
M: Class, what's her name?
C: Ying Xi
M: Okay. (I asked YX to sit) Class, who is she?
C: Ying Xi
M: Very good. (Now i asked YX to turn around with her back facing them) Class who is she? 
C: Ying Xi (The class was starting to giggle… obviously, they are either getting it or they thought I was dumb)
M: (Now i got YX to bend over) Class who is she?
C: YING XI! (okay… they finally got what I wanted to say)

With that I asked the girl to go back to her seat and switched on the projector again. 
M: (Showing them a triangle just like Figure 1) Class what is this?
C: Triangle
M: (Inverting it to Figure 2) And class, what's this?
C: Triangle! (Woo hoo… I TAUGHT THEM!)

The lesson continued and everyone was happy.

I am sure most times adults do their best to protect and teach the young ones. But if no one shares what they learnt or what to do differently, our ways will be just our limited knowledge on figuring what is best… It could be a similar experience that you have experienced form a test paper, or just a normal session chatting with your kids…anything! Point is.. Why reinvent the wheel? 
If you have anything that had inspire you through your teaching with your kids… please share… If you are willing to share, you can always email me at, and with your permission I will post it for others to read… 
I'm not sure if anyone would respond to this… (Ha!) but if you could… let's be each other's eyes and support for our kids. :) 

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