103. An Appeal To All – Don’t fail any students

slc

When every year – more than 50% of the total students fail the SLC exam – can you feel ecstatic about your brother passing with a distinction, or your sister, son, daughter passing with ‘flying colors’? How can you be even happy when over 300,000 students couldn’t make it through the ‘iron gate’ this year as well?

Our education system has failed us.
Our examination system has failed us.
Our government, policy makers, educationists and teachers – they have failed us.

I am a teacher and I want to make an appeal to all the teachers, examiners and those who check answer papers.

Don’t fail any students.

Yes, educate them, teach them and also let them through this stupid SLC system. Don’t push them back into darkness because they couldn’t impress you through this illogical three-hour exam system.

Give the students a benefit of doubt, especially to those weak students who perform poorly in exams.

Let them through.
Let all of them through.

Dear teachers, examiners and those who check answer papers. Please empathize with the students and send them through this exam!

If you can prevent students from committing suicide and save their lives, why not do so? As teachers, we are supposed to save our students’ lives, aren’t we? Screw the marks, LIVES are at stakes here. So, just send them through.

They will figure it out when they go to the real world later.
Just let them through.

(Pic: Internet)

102. Speaking at the Speakers’ Club

speakers-club-ku

I always thought that I was a ‘good’ speaker when it comes to speaking in front of an audience. I am teacher and I am speaking all the time… in the class, with the students, everywhere. So I had to be good at speaking, right?

NO!!!

I remember how horrible my first speech was in our Speakers’ Club – KU. It was humiliatingly all over the places. No content. No focus. No interaction. Since then, I have promised myself that I will work on my public speaking and be a confident and interactive speaker and presenter (and yeah an effective teacher).

So yesterday was the fifth time I spoke in the club as a featured speaker and as usual, I was a little nervous about it. A couple of days ago, I wrote and finalized my four minutes speech on the title “The Book that Changed My Life”. I rehearsed it, on timer, for about six times in front of the mirror (Yes, mirror – I don’t know why). I was pretty sure that I would nail it the way I had written it.

I wrote my speech on the structure of Identity, Struggle, Discovery and Result framework (I learnt about this from Kevin Rodger’s video on youtube), and rewrote the speech a couple of times. I added my personal story, which made a point – following the advice of the amazing Craig Valentine (tell a story – make a point).

I have also been self-teaching myself the art of public speaking by watching a lot of TED Talk videos, by listening to whatthespeak podcast and by reading Dale Carnegie’s books on speaking – just to name of few. I have been focusing on improving my movement and non-verbal signals – purposeful movement, confident eye contact and complementary hand gestures.

Despite all these preparations and practice, I still felt nervousness boiling in my blood. During the delivery, I mispronounced a few words a couple of time and I forgot some of the key sentences that I had planned on speaking with emphasis. But what I have improved are pace and pause in my delivery, movement, eye contacts and other non-verbal signals. I have also understood the importance of ‘you’ focused questions, and improved this technique ‘look to one-speak to all’ as prescribed by Craig Valentine.

Lesson: practice, practice and practice. I need more ‘stage time’ (as coined by Darren Lacroix) and I need more practice. I guess being nervous is a positive thing because it keeps me on the guard and stops me from being over confident.

I am working hard on it. Everyday, every minute.

Oh, by the way, the book I talked about was John Wood’s Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. It’s a wonderful book.