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Teaching vs. Lecturing February 19, 2010

Filed under: My life — joannegrech13 @ 1:05 pm

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to a lecture about concept mapping. It was quite interesting as it gave me a new perspective of how to show text to students. Concept maps consist of breaking down text and drawing a map with concepts and link words between them. It’s quite a good idea. My mind started running with ideas of how I could apply them to my students (both primary and post-secondary). As I started thinking, I noticed the huge difference of the amount of preparation it required to organise a concept map session. With children I had to prepare loads of work, these including pictures, flash cards, strings, etc.. With young adults it was enough just showing them a concept map and more or less they would be able to build it on their own by using just a paper and pen.

Lecturing is quite different than teaching. In fact there’s a huge difference in these two modes of passing on knowledge. When I was during my under-grad IT course (which I changed after a year) I used to sit and listen to lectures where discussion and questioning were limited or not accepted. If I didn’t understand I used to go home or the library and look up books to study and understand the subject more. THAT is lecturing. Reading for a degree is intended for mature students who are capable of studying by themselves. We never complained that we didn’t understand. Like I said, if we didn’t understand we researched about that particular subject. I think that some students who are doing an under-grad are way spoon-fed! They go to university and expect the lecturer to explain a topic like us teachers do. Some topics are too vast and too complicated to do so. It is the student’s duty to research about it. I am not saying that a lecturer should not explain something which a student did not understand, but, before doing so the student should do his utmost to research about the subject and try to understand. My point is that a student shouldn’t complain that a lecturer isn’t doing his duty. They should do their duty first before judging a lecturer. I am saying so since I have heard students complain about other lectures going on at the faculty.

I’ll continue this argument tonight till I have to go and give out a lecture myself! Ah, the joy of lecturing!

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Look at me! I’m Famous! February 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — joannegrech13 @ 10:13 pm

No, I’m not famous. Not yet, anyways. Right now I’m hooked on to DCG’s blog. Those who are Maltese know to whom I’m referring. She’s pasting nasty pictures of famous people on her blog. Brilliant! I just love gossiping! Now we can see asses and bosoms of certain high-status Maltese people. Ah, so they party and drink like we do! They even have affairs and hear hear, make mistakes! So what, one asks? I remember in my good old days (ok, not so old) we used to use to word ‘idol’ or ‘pop idol’. It meant that we saw popstars or famous people as ideal people, therefore, we wanted to live the same life as they lived, that being, having fun, money to swim in and partying all the time. We never mentioned the paparazzi, stress and long hours of work they required to be famous. There was another downside. Their lives was one hell of an open book. They can’t move without paps taking photos of them in Hollywood, L.A and maybe in a posh holiday destination. Not Malta! Do we see paps in Malta? No, unless maybe when Sean Connery comes to Malta (which is rare and which he does with discretion). But here we’re talking about politicians and the lot taking photos of themselves and putting them on, yes you guessed, Facebook! In a way, the paparazzi are the ‘pop idols’ themselves. That’s where I get frustrated. They’re professionals for God’s sake! I’m a professional myself and be careful what to do in public nowadays. I cringe when I see my 16-year old students in Paceville (which I started avoiding). Ok, I don’t show my behinds like there was shown in DCG’s blog but I still feel uncomfortable. As a professional I have to show that I’m serious in what I do, everywhere! I don’t go around wearing transparent garments for a lecture. Case in point tonight. Yes, a professional (very high in education) was wearing a transparent top, with her bra strap falling off during a lecture. I remember during my uni days that we had a talk from another professional high up (higher this time) in education. She was preaching what to wear for an interview. Her shirt was a tad size too small and her lacy, white bra was showing. My friend and I were utterly disgusted. Even the guys were- it wasn’t a sexy view! That’s what comes with being a professional. You get criticised all the time. You get people whom their job is to scrutinise you all the time. Us teachers get that alot from parents, especially when there is more than one class in a grade. You either stick with it or leave it. Simple! But please if professionals want to take photos of themselves having a blast of a time during a private (hopefully) party, they keep the photos to themselves. Simple! Well, maybe not so simple to people who have degrees and masters!

On a lighter note, Ady and I went to a lecture tonight which was quite good (except that I had to bear with the high-in-education lady who kept fixing her bra strap which was slipping off and which I could see from her transparent top). Ah, the south is beautiful. We rarely go there nowadays. Since today was a warm day, we could enjoy the warm breeze in Kalkara while we walked near the boats. Simply delightful! I’ll miss Malta a little bit so I’m enjoying these little moments which in UK you can’t really enjoy. I met an old friend of mine and a lecturer who kept giving me advice what to do when I move to UK. He also talked to Ady and started giving HIM advice. Ah, adults adults! Well, I must be off to my talking bed since tomorrow is quite busy with lectures and errands.

 

Isn’t it ironic? February 17, 2010

Filed under: My life — joannegrech13 @ 8:01 pm

I’m here sitting on a chair listening to nothing, absolutely nothing. Today I was babysitting and the children just slept. Normally I switch on the T.V to watch Scrubs or Grey’s Anatomy. Today I decided to stay in perfect silence just to recall what it feels like to listen to nothing. When I was doing my O levels my mum was quite worried that I listened to music while studying. A teacher had explained that some students require music to do so. Anyways, I can’t stand silence. Even now my hand is itching to grab the remote control to switch on the T.V. Why do I need sound? I just don’t know. Maybe I’m used to all the sound around me. At school it’s the children, teachers ranting about everything and cars passing by my class. In the street it’s the honking  which I immidiately switch off by switching on my mp3 player (ironic isn’t it?). At home I listen to some more music, maybe just to clear off my thoughts of the day. That’s it! I need sound to drown my thoughts. The only moment where I really think is when I go in bed and start dozing off. Some weird (but good) ideas start coming up at that precise moment.

What goes in my head when I’m thinking? I don’t know, maybe I plan for the future, think of how I’m going to plan the day or evaluate my day. Sometimes I think about what I should have said or done better during the day. I also evaluate my teaching and research on new ideas for the classroom. Although I love planning (a meal or a trip), I hate it just as much. It’s isn’t a nice feeling when you plan something and it doesn’t realize itself. So when I plan, I try and ‘cushion’ myself if the plan doesn’t succeed to avoid tantrums and crying (by myself of course). The song I’m putting here is all about this. I’m posting it with lyrics since the lyrics have a strong meaning. Enjoy 🙂 .

The moral of the story: just live the present. Plan, but don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy life!

I’m off to watch some T.V. now. Yes, my fingers itched so much I had to switch it on. 🙂

 

Blog roll February 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — joannegrech13 @ 7:17 pm

Please go in the section Blogroll and click on Facebook fails…hilarious! Enjoy xx

 

The totally independent woman and the frog

Filed under: My life — joannegrech13 @ 7:09 pm

Hi all. My blog title today is not a new film which I went to watch. It’s just that the cartoon ‘The Princess and the Frog’ should have been named like that! Today I had the opportunity to watch it with my two twin cousins, who were over-excited that they were going to watch it. Practically the story is about a waitress who worked hard all her life to achieve her dream of buying a restaurant. She first wishes upon a star (as usual) but her father had told her that she had to work hard to achieve what she wanted. Isn’t THAT a good advice?! To make a long (very long) story short, the waitress turns into a frog when she kisses a frog-prince. She isn’t amused (who would be anyways?) and after him trying to save her life and vice versa, they fall in love. Uuuuu how romantic! Anyways, the moral of the story is that happiness isn’t what you have worked hard for but having love in your life. True. Anyways, the thing which I was disappointed about was that although the girl chose the prince instead of her career,  the film still focused on the usual ending, it being that the girl got married and they lived happily ever after bla, bla, bla. Not that I don’t agree with that, but children, especially girls, are taught that to be happy one has to get married, have children and the lot. As you know I’m in a relationship so obviously I agree with having a family. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong in being single. Last time I was with my children and as children are ultra-curious, they started asking me questions like, “Miss, are you married?”. Me, “No”. The children seemed disappointed by that and continued asking questions, “So you don’t have children?”. Miss Joanne: “No, why?”. The children replied with pure sincerity, “Oh! But when I grow up I’ll have a husband and children. It’s  much better like that.” Obviously I wanted to get a lesson out of that comment. I told them that there’s nothing wrong in being single! They weren’t convinced anyways! The things our children learn! Bah! Girls, there’s nothing wrong with being single or not married…just follow your heart! I did that and it worked (till now!).

In my life I also learnt to risk as much as I can. I didn’t do rock-climbing or bungee-jumping (afraid of heights). All I did was to follow my heart and do what I wanted to do at the moment I wanted. I never regretted it. When I changed courses during my under-grad, I met a lot of people who told me that they wished they had my courage to change course. For me it was nothing but for other people it was too much of a hassle to change course to have a job which they enjoyed more. Hard luck, I say! I just don’t imagine myself spending all my life regretting my choice of career. Sometimes, I just say to myself to let go and not continue my studies and just work like other people do. Then I think, ‘What’s fun in that?’. Nah, it would be a boring life! So, I get myself together and continue planning. If that doesn’t succeed I’ll try something new! Speaking of fun, today was really fun spending my day with Ady and watching the carnival end.

First we walked through Valletta (which I totally love). While walking I heard the usual, “MISS JOANNE!!!!” Yep, my students enthusiastic that they saw their teacher with a MAN! Anyways, then we went to have a (quite expensive) thick flavoured hot chocolate. At least it was good. Then we went to watch (for free) the carnival floats which were really nice. Here are some of them.

Hope you enjoyed my post! See you soon (getting addicted to blogging!)

so enthusiastic! 🙂

Me while Ady was pushing everyone around him to try and get me with the float 😛

 

Private emotions February 15, 2010

Filed under: My life — joannegrech13 @ 8:29 pm

Howdy everyone!

No I’m not going to talk about hunky Ricky Martin and his song ‘Private Emotion’. It’s just I was wandering in Youtube and came along this song and starting philosophising about it (as usual). Are we private anymore? Nowadays we are lucky that we have Facebook, Twitter and the lot to find our long lost friends. We can all see their photos and we know what they’re up to. Last Saturday we were talking about someone who did something and we were asked how we know all these gossips! Simple answer: Facebook. We aren’t private anymore! This week I went to school really tired (you know, girly stuff) and my teacher assistant was like, “Ah, Joanne you drank a lot yesterday!” I was like, “No!”. After I realised I wrote on Facebook the day before that I was having cocktails with Ady. Unbelievable! There is a limit what to write on your wall on Facebook but I think that sometimes it’s better not to write anything so that no assumptions are made by your ‘friends’. I put friends in inverted commas because, really, are the people we add on Facebook our real friends? In my case no. Most of my ‘friends’ are just acquaintances and haven’t talked to them or seen them in ages! Well yes I’m human too and I am curious to what people I know are up to! Since Ady and myself have common students we decided not to tell them that we’re an item and we also decided not to add them on Facebook. I could already imagine our students browsing through our private photos and giggling behind our backs! Thank you but no thank you! On the other hand we’ve got nothing to hide but the teaching profession is a profession after all and I respect that to the full! That’s all about private emotions for today.

On a more non-philosophical tone, I spent this evening with Ady and his family (which is always entertaining). We spoke about Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog which I’m following at the moment (no comment regarding that!) and Ady’s parents cooked some wonderful canneloni. Obviously I asked for the recipe (well, you have to cook what your man’s mum cooks when we move in together). I use two main websites for cooking, them being http://www.bbcfood.com and http://www.allrecipes.com. Why oh why do I end up talking about food?! It’s a hobby which I do with passion and love. When love gets in the way, nothing can go wrong (uuuuu how romantic!) Thinking of love, I love my bed which is calling me! You didn’t know? I have a magical bed which talks to me when it’s bedtime and wakes me up when it’s morning.

Going, going, GONE!

Private emotion 🙂

 

Hello world! February 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — joannegrech13 @ 8:10 pm

Yep! Hello world. All of the world can actually see my blog! Whoa! When I was 10 my only connection with the world was a  British pen-pal which my mother recommended to practice my English (by the way her written English was really bad!). Now my 7-year old pupils already have MSN and they even tried adding me on Facebook! They know how to use a PC well and sometimes they even recommend ME what to do when I have a problem with my class PC.  Why, I’m realising I’m getting old now!

Well, let me tell you world a bit about myself. I’m a 24-year old girl/lady/woman who works mainly as a primary teacher. I have 24 girls in my class… yes GIRLS! No, they’re not as talkative as people think. Yes, they are one hell of gossipers and yes they’re adorable! I also lecture 16 year olds (who didn’t pass their ‘O’ levels)  in the evening which I enjoy. It’s the change of environment, the jokes we share and the still-childlike attitude of these 16-year old students I enjoy most. What I’ve learnt most in this lecturing position is that our educational system needs a makeover (sounds more interesting than a ‘change in the curriculum’), that certain students are more disadvantaged than others and that males talk much more than girls during class, really!

Well, as one can see I’m quite passionate about education. It’s education which brought me here. It’s education which brought you to read this blog. And it’s education which makes up most of every person in the world. Lack of education: lame job. Qualifications: a chance for a person to have a decent job. It’s sad but it’s reality. That’s all about education, pupils and the lot. Off to my fabulous life.

No, I’m not a popstar or something of that sort. I’m just a girl who appreciates life as it is. Right now I’m planning to move to UK (which I love!) with my boyfriend, Ady (who’s a researcher/lecturer/musician/Phd candidate…). I am currently looking for a Masters course and also for a job. I never thought that looking for a job in a huge country like UK would be such a pain. Sometimes I forget that London only is much bigger than Malta and that competition is much more than here. Well, hopefully I’ll get there someday. Apart from London we’re also thinking about Scotland getting  in our prospective future since Ady may have a post there (will keep you posted about that). I’m so excited about everything! Can’t wait to have a place of our own and have a coffee machine in our kitchen (I’m obsessed with getting one of those machines where you get to do your own froth and most importantly espresso). I love decorating, so that would be one of my looking-forward-to lists. I’ve never been to Scotland, so if we manage to go there it would be one hell of a ‘Jojo and Ady adventure’! Enough of my future because I’ll bore you to death with my imagination. This weekend? Oh yes, this weekend. It was Valentine’s weekend and also carnival (which I didn’t care about).

Ady and myself went to Gozo for a romantic weekend which started off with hell as there was a ridiculous queue of Maltese cars trying to go on the Gozo boat. We had to walk for about 2 km to get to the boat. Anyways, I was the chef for the weekend. On Friday mum got us some delicious ftiras (which are Ady’s favourite). On Saturday I cooked for Ady (and only Ady) some chinese duck with pancakes and a chocolate fondant. One word: heavenly! The fondant was cakey from the outside but melting as soon as we pierced it with our forks. Definitely will try that recipe again (I use the Olive BBC website, yum).

I’m off now since my bed is calling me from my room, jooooooo come here! I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep you posted soon!

xxxx