miss

I was given the chance to teach at a primary school yesterday and
I have to say it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had since I started teaching way back in 2013
I’m used to teaching high school kids and I find it amazing how these kids, who are still so young in age (compared to me anyways ha) and yet have questions that are beyond their maturity
their inquisitiveness and genuine curiosity about how things work or why things are the way they are is just refreshing, especially with these jaded eyes
it really reminds me (every single time) why I chose the path I am in at the moment
sure, I complain and grumble a lot about it but (ok, cheesy bit coming) it’s the sheer sense of wonder of the world that made me interested in science
or just knowledge for that matter
to those who know me well, pretty much knows how I have all these random trivia facts in my head and I will give you funfacts voluntarily
I remembered when I was little, my dad would get us to watch documentaries and when he went through newspapers, he would cut out these random facts about places, things or animals and I would paste them in my many many factbooks (nerd since muda rupanya lol)
but I also had a book where I copied all these Disney songs from the internet so yknow, all rounder lah
and knowing my mom, these books still exist till today

the primary school kids, were a whole different ball game
It was my first primary outreach experience: it was just 30 min drive up north Melbourne and one thing I realised is that, the first thing you noticed when you are away from the city, i.e. in a suburb is that there are no high rises at all, everything seemed so flat lol
anyways, we all signed in and we went into the classroom that we were going to teach in, everything was so small and low. The kids had their backpacks and coat hangers on the outside which was next to a sink and inside the classroom were these halfmoon shape tables with chairs. The teacher sat upfront and there were so many artwork sprawled all across the classroom. Everything was so. colourful.
We started setting up to get ready for our first group of kids and the kids were so amazing, engaging, a little bit hyper, asking me all sorts of questions
and here I am thinking “you’re 12, how do you even know these things?”
I get questions/comments like
“miss, what will happen if the earth didn’t have any air for 5 seconds”
“miss, I broke my leg the other day”
“miss, I’m a doctor now” – because they get to wear lab coats (so comel I just can’t)
“miss, doesn’t salt help kill bacteria”
we were talking about base pairing of DNA, how G will always match with C and A will always match with T
and one of the kids went
“oh, it’s kinda like a line in the middle, and both sides are the same”
“you mean, symmetry?”
“yeahhh”
again, so cute cannot tahan
the same kid asked us before the class
“are you the scientists?
and we went “yeah we are”
and she just went in total awe of us, legit, her eyes were just sparkling wey
I mean, COME ON
there was this one kid, who after the class finished came up to me and asked
“miss, why do I have a big mole on my skin” (he pointed at his tummy)
and I explained to him about melanin and how it gives people colour etc
and then he asked
“miss are you mong” – not sure of the correct spelling of this
apparently it’s a group of people who originated from China but don’t speak Chinese or Cantonese
conclusion: I looked asian then ha
but man, seriously that was such a great experience
and what made it worthwhile was definitely the kids
a teacher also commented on how in one of the groups, the boys who were normally disruptive in class were very engaging and on the ball
and for me, a feedback like that is just priceless
because then I know I am doing something right for the kids

I know this may seem far fetched, but if I could in my very small ability help to bring this back home and inspire kids from young to be inquisitive, to be curious, to just be kids and engaging, it will be friggin amazing
back home, it was pretty much how good one was being a sponge and I think that needs to be changed, big time
but hey, baby steps.

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