Wake up call for MOE and Teachers

I was commenting on Mr Brown’s post on Facebook and decided to make it a blog post because too many things to say! This post showed up on my feed and the troll inside me decides to share my thoughts or more so to vent the frustration my ex-teacher husband faced before he left the service.

moeteacherquit

Good teachers do not mean no need for tuition.

The average class size in a Primary school in Singapore ranges between 30-40 students to one teacher and it is very difficult for that one teacher (or even if there’s a teacher-aide) to make a real impact to all the kids in class. For classes with good or smart kids, most do alright in school and is able to follow the crazy packed curriculum MOE and the school planned out. Some good students still need tuition to reinforce their learning, because there is just not enough one-to-one attention in school to help those who need that extra push to do well.

But the weaker kids that need a lot of coaching and guiding get lost in this crazy curriculum chase. Not all teachers are suitable to take up a challenging and weaker class. This class of 30-something kids need a lot of help and often before they can fully understand the topic, some of the teachers move on without helping the kids learn because must-cover-all-the-syllabus-before-exam!

Then there’s the book and file checking by the Head of Departments (usually conducted twice a year) to “check” that the teacher is doing their job and covering what is necessary to be done in class. Sadly this is also factored into the assessing and ranking of the teachers for their yearly performance and promotion. How can one assess the ability and quality of teacher with what his/her class of 30-something can or cannot complete?

Because teachers get MARKED for not delivering what is necessary during these books and file checking, what do they do? They rush through syllabus and do worksheets and activities for the seek of submitting all that is necessary to the HOD to avoid being marked. When the class falls back in time, instead of going through the mistakes in details and helping the kids understand, the teacher simply provided the correct answer and get the students to record the answers in the blank. WHAT? Where is the learning?? The weaker kids fail to do well in exam because there’s no teacher to provide them with the model answer.

My husband was tasked to teach the weaker class in his ex-school because of his experience and he is happy to do so. He loves teaching and working with the weaker students because he can relate to them well since he was once a very weak student in school too.

With 6 years teaching in a none mainstream school where teachers focus only on the students, academy, and their well-being, freed from admin work, freed from unnecessary interschool competition, doing things to bring-glory-to-the-school and the what not, my husband knows what will work and how things can be done better to help these weaker students in his P5 class in the mainstream school. So he carried out lessons in slower pace, moving at the pace of his class ensuring his students know what they are learning before proceeding on to other topics. Doing worksheets that will help build up the students’ fundamental and not loading too much just for the sake of completing everything he was told. He really just wanted the kids to understand and learn. In the end, the files he submitted for checking where a third/ half of what the other classes did. He got questioned. Rooting to his core and believe, he kept silent and continue to do what was necessary and focused on the well-being of his class.

He got ranked a ‘D’ for raising his class exam results. While the rest who spoon-fed kids with answers get better ranked. For the record, during his previous 6 years of teaching in the other school, he was among the better ranked and recognised teacher.

Tired from what he saw happening in the school, and seeing how the management in his last school choose to ignore his suggestions and feedback, he left. Marking the end of his 15 years of teaching journey in school.

Now a home-tutor earning only a fraction of what he used to but happier cos he gets to focus on helping his kids improve and learn. His pool of students now is makeup of his ex-P5 students taking PSLE this year, and some who stay around us. Often his students will complain feedback how so-and-so teacher isn’t teaching and just giving answers, or so-and-so teacher just ask them to do their work while he sits and do his in class….

The level of stress, long-hours of work, unrealistic objectives, the lack of support from the management in school, and many other factors led to good teachers leaving the service. They are not tired of teaching. They are tired of teaching in a mainstream school. I’m waiting and watching to see how the recent change in PSLE is going to affect this – in a good way or it’ll only be worst?

Seeing how teachers are struggling, school management not being supportive, the kind of “teaching” happening in his ex-school and how uncertain the future of our education is going to be, I’m worried. Well at least I know one thing for sure – which school NOT to register my eldest girl for next year during the Primary 1 registration.

Fox Kids & Baby Getting Hip with Fall Winter ’15 Collection

It was a morning of non-stop snacking, fashion shopping, tiny clay crafting, playing dress-up and being in their element at FOX Kids & Baby Fall Winter ’15 preview. If you still do not know by now how much our girls love FOX, go read about our fashionista moments with #FOXFashionSG since 2013! Gosh it has been almost 2 years already? So can I declare myself as a FOX Fashion style guru since I know almost all their collection over these years? I am very happy to see them evolving and bringing in better and more stylish designs over the years. And THIS season is probably my personal favourite!

Ayra and Zara in FOX Kids and Baby Fall Winter 2015 Collection
The girls styled in their upcoming releases for Fall Winter ’15, and these two outfits are my favourite picks from the preview. But silly me left them out in our stash! Must-go-back to buy them soon.

Moving slightly away from their usual cutesy cartoon character designs, FOX Kids & Baby brings in more stylish prints and monochromatic colours too. And finally the girls can dress to match me and Ayah instead of the other way round, because both me and him has got limited colours in our wardrobe and mainly in shades of black, greys and red, so this collection fits in well in our family!

Ayra and Zara at FOX Kids & Baby Fall Winter 2015 preview
The girls picked their own clothes to try during the preview, and this they do it too often these days whenever we are out shopping. Good thing I am still able to control them still and restrict any unnecessary spending.

Besides all the shopping and snacking on retro snacks from the 80s, we also got our hands busy making our very own cute accessories! Am impressed that Ayra managed to complete quite a bit with help from friend from Wing Tai.


And these are our combined effort from that day. Not bad right?
Ayra at FOX Kids & Baby Fall Winter 2015 Preview
Doesn’t she look like a big little fashionista shopper? Yes she tried on all those pieces. It was kinda crazy in the fitting room that day.
Ayra and Zara at FOX Kids & Baby Fall Winter 2015 Preview
One of the many failed attempts to get the girls pose for the camera. But this is quite cute lah, one busy eating and the other being her wacky self.
Matching outfits for our usual weekend day out to Universal Studios Singapore.

With whole lot more new designs to choose from this season, I think you’ll probably see me popping into FOX Kids & Baby every week to check out their new arrivals. And now they also have got a special treat for wt+ members, spend $60 nett in stores and get a free backpack for your little one.

Follow them on Facebook for their latest updates and promotions.

Disclaimer: The Loving Mum was invited to the preview and and provided shopping credits to dress up our little girls. All opinions are our own.

Dines Two at Price of One at Bistro 1855 with the Entertainer

A rare weekday night out was spent sampling delectable tapas and mains with fellow parent blogger, The Perfect Father. Just because I owed him a lunch appointment, I decided to ask him join me for dinner at Bistro 1855.

Since I became a mum, I’ve rarely had opportunities and time to hang out with friends, go out for meals or even eat food which I used to enjoy when I was single. Because you know, mums eat what the kids eat (cos need to share mah)! This probably also the reason why I’ve been losing weight without even trying (you know, eating only partial of a serving since I’m always sharing meals with my two girls).

That evening, I thought I would finally be able to enjoy a proper meal with a friend, I was sadden that it was more a sampling session with each serving shared among 4 guests. Good thing I’ve got the Entertainer app now, I would be able to enjoy more good meals with my family and friends whenever I can. And I make a promise to myself that I will utilise as much as I can before it expires on 30 December 2015.

Bistro 1855

Bistro 1855 offers main courses that comes with a salad bar buffet spread of more than 50 items to choose from during lunch. And to keep things fresh and exciting, main courses will change from time to time so you will never run out of things to try.

When night falls, Bistro 1855 transforms into a wine bar, perfect for a chill-out evening. Dishing out delectable tapas, mains and sharing platters, paired with their polished selection of house wines.

That evening, we got to see, snap and tastes SIX of their signature dishes from the Tapas and Mains selection. Out of the six, I tried five as I do not take pork, so their famous (and rather delicious looking) Pork Belly was out for me. But according to The Perfect Father, it was very crispy and well flavoured, great with beer.

1855 Wings

1855 Wings ($8) was one of my favorite from that evening. Very well marinated wings (shrimp paste) and fried just nice with a good crunch. What’s lacking is some spicy sauce to kick up the experience. Definitely having this the next time I’m back.

Rustic Fries at Bistro 1855, Source Bistro 1855
Rustic Fries at Bistro 1855, Source: Bistro 1855

Rustic Fries ($8) was done old-school thick cut style and it had lost its crunch when served. Personally I prefers hot and crunchy fries. But the sauce that came with it was good.

Cheese Platter

Cheese Platter ($25), oh cheese platter. What can possibly go wrong with any cheese platters? Serving portion was just right for sharing among 2-3 friends, and I think I had the most cheese and crackers that evening amongst those at my table.

Lamb Shank, Source: Bistro 1855
Lamb Shank, Source: Bistro 1855

Lamb Shank ($26) at Bistro 1855 is the other favorite for me that evening. Very tender, juicy and delectable.

Duck Confit, Source: Bistro 1855

Duck Confit ($20) is the least favorite for me. My past (once) experience with duck confit was a juicy and tender leg of the duck, but this I tried that evening was tough and dry. And it looks fried instead of baked or poached.

A group of 4 diners with the above order would have paid more than $87, but if you’ve got the Entertainer app, you’ll be able to redeem 2 offers (Two Tapas and Main Course) for this meal and would have paid just about $59 instead with two additional tapas selection! That’s about $36 savings, not bad right?

Entertainer Singapore 2015

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Get the Entertainer app at only $60.00! You’ll get the value back with just one redemption at one of their few dinner hotel buffets one-for-one redemption. Quite good for those who dine out often with family and friends.

Disclaimer: The Loving Mum attended a media tasting from the Entertainer at Bistro 1855. All photos and opinions are my own, otherwise credited to source. 

2014 Christmas Gifts Guide For The Whole Family

It’s time of the year to shop for the whole family, and I have been compiling my own Christmas shopping list so I thought it will be fun to share with you too. If you are expecting a gift from me, please do not assume all the gifts featured here will be for you ok! I am just sharing the ideal gifts in this guide. 😛

For the little ones

Poolzies Pool Shoes
These are great gifts for the pool loving kids. Read our review here.

Design your own cardboard house by MyPlayHaus
This is hours of endless fun colouring, painting and role-playing for the kids and family. And they are having a Christmas sale now!

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for the whole family

Fun crafty projects with DOHVINCI sets
If you haven’t seen our experience with these fun playdoh, read about it here.

For the memory keepers

Instax Mini 90 Classic
Everybody loves a classic design and this snaps and prints photo in a jiffy! Available at Passion Gadgets.

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for the whole family

Canon PowerShot G7X
Check my first impression of this black beauty here.

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for the whole family

Traveller’s Notebook
I got one myself and is loving it! This is great for those who likes to keep a journal or use it as a daily planner. Available at Tokyu Hands.

For the new home owners

Eubiq Flexible Power Outlet
Ideal for home with little kids around cos these power extension are child safe and looks great for your modern homes! Need more reasons to get this? Here are 3 reasons why you should consider getting Eubiq for your love ones.

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for the whole family

Cute chairs for the family from Chair-ish The Moments
These cute vintage looking chairs fit any home style and adds a retro feel to your home. Check them out and more vintage accessories from Chair-ish The Moments.

That’s all for now! Will add on to the list if I come across any more ideal gifts for Christmas. Happy shopping everyone! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Don’t forget to register for our 12 days of Christmas Giftaway! You’ll never know some of these featured gifts might just be one of the 12 gifts to be won! winks

Christmas 12 Days of Giftaway with The Loving Mum

Ho! Ho! Ho! The Loving Mum loves December, because the weather is cooler, everyone’s mood is happier, its more colourful with Christmas decoration everywhere you go and it is the season of giving and gifting! Ho! Ho! Ho!

To thank you, our dear friends, readers, followers and fans, we have prepared 12 gifts for you!

Everyday from 12 to 23 December, one lucky reader will be picked to win one of the 12 gifts I have prepared! Winner of each of the gifts will be announced daily on the blog and/or The Loving Mum page on Facebook. All winners will be contacted via email by 24 December. Each gift will be nicely wrapped all ready to be gifted to your love one this Christmas! You need to sign-up only once and will be eligible for all 12 draws! So the earlier you sign-up the higher the chance to win!

Terms and conditions:

  • By participating in this gift-away, you are allowing The Loving Mum to add your email address to our mailing list.
  • This gift-away is open to all residents living in Singapore.
  • All readers and fans of The Loving Mum is eligible to take part in the gift-away.
  • Participants must fill up all the fields on the submission form in order to qualify.
  • Participants need to sign-up only once and will be eligible for all 12 draws.
  • Winners will be randomly picked.
  • Only one winner per household is allowed to win throughout the 12 draws.
  • Prizes are subject to change without prior notice.
  • The Loving Mum is not liable for any damages, misfit or the condition of the prizes.
  • Prize winners will be contacted via email with delivery details.
  • The Loving Mum reserves all rights to disqualify entries if we fail to verify the entry.
  • The Loving Mum reserves all rights to amend or change this Terms and Conditions without prior notice.
  • This giftaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to The Loving Mum and not to Facebook.

Scroll to the bottom for the form to fill up for your chance to win, or click HERE to access the form now.

Earn more chances to win in our Giftaway!

Follow the following steps below for more chances to win. Every completed steps will earn you an extra chance in the respective draws as stated below.

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Here are the gifts you stand to win in our 12 Days of Giftaway!

For the gift you hope to win most do the following for an extra chance to win it! 1. LIKE the picture, 2. Share and Tag your friends, 3. Comment on the picture so I can add the extra chance in the draw! Click on the images below to go to the post on Facebook. Don’t forget to fill up the registration form below.

The Final Call

What will you do when your final call is near? When you know the final departure is fast approaching, with yet an unknown countdown clock. The wait for this final call is filled with pain, sorrow and much exhaustion. For everyone.

It had been a few scares since a few months ago, with frequent admissions to the hospital. When the phone rang, usually in the day, our heart misses a beat. But on Sunday morning, when a call came in at 3.30am, my heart stopped for the split seconds. She was in her final battle, the one before the final departure. With drips and morphine injected into her system, she won the battle to be well again for two more days just so she can spend more time with her family. When I visited her on Monday afternoon, she didn’t seem as bad as I was told, in fact she even managed to crack a joke to make everyone around her laugh. I was relieved to see her well. But that night, when his aunt called with choking voice, he knew that the earlier visit was a sign.

“Often a day or two or even a few hours before death, the person has a surge of energy, wakes up, becomes alert, can sometimes eat or talk and can spend some quality time with loved ones. This is a very special time for final spiritual practices and mental preparations, which can be shared with loved ones if it is the dying persons wish. This is a very precious time because it normally doesn’t last long, as most people become unconscious (unresponsive) hours or days before they stop breathing.” – The unexpected alertness

It was the second night when everyone was called down to the hospital, to be by her side.

Refusing to let go just yet, she held on for one more day. With no morphine in her body, she was living at peace.

This morning at 3.00am, when the phone rang, we both knew it was the final call. She has gone to a better place, with no pain. At complete peacefulness.

Rest in Peace, Grandma to my dear husband. 

Inspirations from the 60s to the Little One

The first person Ayra knows who were related to the 60s is her Grandmother, that is she was born in the early 60s.
Grandma and Ayra
Ayra calls her “Ah Ma” or sometimes “Ma!“. She is one of the significant role model in Ayra’s life. Grandma is the one who looks after Ayra while Mummy and Ayah are at work. Grandma teaches her new words and actions and shows her the way of life. We are very glad Grandma is still very much young at heart and catches up with latest gadgets and stuff.

Being a 60s child, Grandma’s style of fashion is quite hip and often buys 60s inspired fashion for Ayra. I have to admit Grandma’s style is more hip and happening than mine. She will doll up Ayra everyday, even if they were just spending the day at home. Every piece of Ayra’s clothes look good enough for a shopping trip to town.

Continue reading “Inspirations from the 60s to the Little One”