Thursday, March 10, 2016

Eclipse over campus

A false image of yesterday morning's solar eclipse. The actual eclipse is taking place somewhere up and to the left of this seriously cropped photo. This here is lens flare that has inadvertently captured the sun's crescent penumbra while I was trying unsuccessfully to shoot the eclipse itself.

But the point of this post is really to say how pleased I am that the kids were naturally captivated by the celestial phenomenon. Almost everyone was out in the open trying to capture a shot or a glimpse, one way or another.

Best of all, although it was time for morning assembly, no one rushed the kids to get in line in the parade square. A rare event to be marveled at took precedence over a weekly routine, and I'm glad we could recognize that fact.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Not yet predictably successful

After the big final results were released on Friday, instead of being relieved at the hugely successful percentage pass rate, I had been feeling disappointed at the small number of distinctions (a.k.a. 'A' grades) achieved by my kids.

It was almost like what I teach them doesn't translate into top band results at the exams. It doesn't seem to matter how or what I teach: it still isn't good enough. And this isn't the bosses talking, it's my own internal voice telling me that the results should have been much better.

But my disappointment is also an encouragement that GP is still worthy of respect and therefore still worth teaching. It means I haven't discovered a 'winning formula' yet for scoring As. It means that the exam still tests an individual's skills and knowledge on the spot and that it has not yet become just another just-fill-in-the-template-for-an-A exercise.

No cheap A grade here. Everyone works hard, but only those who really deserve it can celebrate their A. Reminds me of how tough my own high school English course was; how hard I struggled to perfect my exercises and research paper; and how proud I was of the result. Though I was hoping to get an A, I could respect that it truly was a hard-fought B that I could triumphantly say, 'YES!' to.

And it means my job isn't over yet. There is still much for the Master to learn. There is still room to avoid past mistakes and try new stuff. It's only when things get predictably successful that's when you know you're in a rut and it's time to retire.