Monday, March 17, 2008

Diner at the Meetoos!!!

Well today i had a very enriching day... we had our first PGC in Teaching and Learning lecture, it was carried out by Dr Linda van Rydeveld, she is from Tshwane Uni in Pretoria, South Africa.

I was very much impressed by the way she introduced the topic and shared her experience- her first couple of slides were about perceptions. The parallels she drew between what the lecturer wanted to explain and what the student are actually understanding were very nice. What was even better was the fact that she was sharing her experience when she was a student.

The first 'assignment' was something about the qualities of your most memorable teacher, i was thinking about all the qualities of Mr Pourannen Sungeelee, my Physics tuition teacher.....but it was tough...this guy is sooo good.

To share a little story... when i sat for my exams in Year 9 (Form 3), i actually failed in physics, and since i was taking it for my O'levels, i badly needed some extra help...and since a Royal College student who has failed in his exams was considered as an outcast, all the teachers I was asking were coming up with lame excuses.

Finally I got to meet Mr Sungeelee, and as soon as i told him that i failed in Year 9, he said- 'Mo pou aide toi' (I will help you out).

Tuitions were on Saturdays at 13 00, and he agreed to give me extra coaching on Sundays as well, after badminton training.

What makes this man an exceptional person is the fact that he was passionate about Physics and Maths, and always had those stories about discoveries and uses of Physics concepts. H was even Philosophical. He was actually extremey inspiring and dedicated to one thing: He always had this sentence about him not caring if 'did not learn Physics', he was more interested in us actually 'Knowing Physics'. It took me some time to catch up, but end of the line, I got a '1' in physics,
came of 5th in Year 11 and got an A for my A-Levels.

Call that Performance, but that is all thanks to him, his effort and invaluable guidance. God bless you Ton. If there is one of my teachers I have most admiration, it is by far him, and even when we meet now and again, we have very interesting conversations about the 'Philosophy of Science'
Well to get back to today's teaching and learning thing, I came up with the following qualities for a good teacher : (How may of those i possess - my students will be in a better position to answer that)

1. Dynamic and/or wise
2. Passionate and/or in love with his subject
3. Approachable and/or Friendly and/or entertaining
4. Inspiring
5. Humble
6. Ability to demonstrate how the concepts we are learning/investigating are being applied elsewhere
7. Devoted to sharing his knowledge and/or passion
8. Ability to accept that he might be wrong, or is not knowledgeable in a field

I was talking to colleagues last week and i told the that i was very lucky to have such a teacher, simple 'coz he was different. God bless you 'Ton'.I loved his lessons so much that i even went to tuitions when i was not scheduled to. My love for Physics and Maths is greatly due to him.

Most of the concepts explained by Dr van Ryneveld were innate in him.

Anyways, after i finishe my TAL lecture, we went for lunch, and the day went by very quickly.
At 17 15, we were in the common room and Avi asked me if i fancied some 'cold cans of the mythic bird', i said yes, but little did i i know that it would be having diner at his place. I had a splendid time with his kids, and the '4th colour of the Mautitian Flag' Island was very nice with ice cold Orangina.... After some drinks (come on- you do not expect me to say how much) we went in to listen to his 'much talked of ' sound surround system i.e Christina's Christmas Present... the kids were having a very good time singing and dancing around, then it was music time and i must confess that Avi is very goood at playin music using his KAWAI 16-bit Synthesiser, he was amazing me.

After his creative moments, it was time for diner and then got back home.

I had a quick glance to the papers 'et la' The P.M. sacks the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the latter said that it was already a thousand days since the PM said that he will change the lives (I presume he meant improve) of Mauritians, and that he was mot satisfied as nothing concrete was done. Come on, Mr the Minister, did i it take you 900 days to realise that???? I know i am not a sining star, but are you insulting the intellect of those who are brighter than me?

I think you are late in realising that, may be you were too much engrossed in foreign affairs to see what was actually happening locally.

Anyway so be it...looks like you will soon join the opposite political party usual....Politicians are like Chameleons, they change their colours according their environment.

Tomorrow will be the 2nd day of TAL, i think that for my assignment, i will take a Psychological approach 'teaching' Programming, with mind maps, belief mapping and core belief creation or shifting..seems a difficult task but it is worth the try.

Comments welcome!


Anonymous said...

'4th colour of the Mauritius flag' + Island = Green Island

As for my music, I'm afraid I was only using the Kawai K4 as a master keyboard. Most of the sounds you heard originated from Logic on my Apple MacBook.

As for the Teaching & Learning sessions, I had them with Linda last year and I can say I learned a lot of things... even though I was already a decent teacher :-) Make the most out of it.

theoreticalminimum said...

I just came across your post mentioning Poorrananenden Sungeelee. I was not tutored by him during my high school days, but sat in the 'advanced' mathematics classes he held sometime between getting HSC results and me going away for university studies. I spent about two months listening to him, and he was without any doubt one of the best teachers I've come across during my 15 years of standard schooling in Mauritius. I wish I had known him well before that time since I am sure he would have inspired me in many ways. His understanding of physics and mathematics was more part of his personality, and part of his thinking. I think next time I'm back to Mauritius, I'll pay him a visit (I'm sure he won't remember me, but I'd be glad to see him, and have a chat).