Thursday, March 12, 2009 ;
2:00 PM
11 Mar
Wed

Went on the school bus in the morning together with kids.

ds1's class was to go to the airport for a field trip. Parents are not allowed because of security measures but me and 2 other moms were asked to go along and help with translations (i.e. Chinese to English). Ahh, that's where being effectively bilingual has some advantages. Especially if they are the 2 most commonly used languages in the world.

After walking ds2 to his class, I went to the ladies and took my time. I didn't know the class started their Today Show already! Argh, so by the time I strolled to class, they were in the midst of the Today Show segment and ds1 was the Host today. So I missed filming him.

Each child has a different role every week and they are scored against a rubric for presentation. For example, if you are the host, you host the show, and introduce participants, manage the audience and so on. If you are the weather man, you say the date, the current season (spring), talk about the weather. If you are in charge of the art/ craft segment, you show a piece of your art/ craft work. Then there are mystery bag segments (hide something in a bag, give the audience clues to guess it), topic talk (talk on a given topic with props), favourite toy (show and talk about your fav toy) and finally Mr Bear, which I had mentioned before. The child brings him home the day before, and spends time with him, then draws and writes in the journal about the events and present them the next day.



I managed to film the art/craft segment though. Here it is. He drew something, and he even had audience participation where his friends could come up and find the things he hid in his drawing. It's very funny.




Then the kids had an early snack and toilet break. The teachers then assigned each adult with 3 to 4 kids. I got these 4. They are a very lively bunch indeed. Easily the most active in the class. The teacher even asked if I could handle them, and if I found one particular one a handful, to please hand that one to her.

Even though I am not trained in Early Childhood Education, I was trained for 5 years in the national (and only) training institute of Spore for teachers, and it is supposedly a very rigorous programme so how can I not try my best and easily admit defeat and have to hand over my charges back to the teacher?

So of course I didn't. I stuck to it, even though at one part, the kids wanted to take turns lifting up my sweater to see my "undies"!!! Can you imagine that? And they love toilet talk. Kept joking and talking about poo poo, bum bums, etc.

That I ignored, unless they were getting loud, and I targeted the noise rather than the content, because the more you exclaim at this, the more they would love to engage in it. Or so I read in expert books. Not sure if it really works, cos my kids are still in that phase.

So getting up the bus, they also had to pull and push around. See? There are 4 of them, if you can see the one being pulled under.

Just outside the school, they were constructing a road! Finally! Cos that area had been without a road for so long. It's like being in a village. Took pics cos it's part of their Transportation Unit, so any type of vehicle might be considered related to that topic.

All along the way to the airport, the teachers will point out something related to the UOI.


Oh, by the way, you know how kids on the buses are? They're always noisy right? The kids in my group sat right at the back, that row of seats that are extra bumpy? And there were 5 seats there. They pointed to the remaining one and asked me to sit there.

Fortunately, being a quick-thinking person, I pretend to squeeze into the seat and couldn't. Then exclaiming that I was too fat, I sat 2 rows in front of them, where there was a spacious, and empty 2 seater. It was a choice seat cos I had a 2 row/ 2 column/ 2 seat radius all around me that was free of kids. Haha.

Later on, the other moms who came along and sat right in front, together with their charges and kids, told me they wonder how the teachers can stand it, having such loud decibels of shouting and screaming from 8.10am to 3.10pm each day. They both said they have headaches listening to the din.

I had a relatively quiet ride, only turning back once or twice to look at my charges who were pushing each other like anything. However, every kid was belted up, so it was quite safe.

Pic below: the groups moving towards the airport. Again I didn't volunteer to hold hands with my charges. I will conserve my energy for emergencies. Or when it is essential, like when they cross the road. My group is in the foreground.

In case you misunderstand that I am the least loving adult (since the rest are all holding hands with the kids), I am not! I love them so much that I am teaching them independence. Ask any parent, the hardest part is learning how to let go.


Checking out the boards and teaching kids how to glean info on flights from them.


Asking the kids to differentiate between arrivals, departures and telling them about the timings.
(I don't know how to take good photos in dim light! If I use flash, the reflective strips of the kids' jackets all flare up and spoil the photos, but if I don't use flash, everything is less sharp and darker. Any tips?)


Kids reading the different signs around the airport.

Group pic in front of a poster showing the airport. Again, those reflective strips...

Then F (one of the moms) liased with her friend who works there, and they got the lady to hand out fake air tickets to the kids. The kids can pretend to be travellers and receive their tickets. All for fun.


But the kids thought they were real tickets!

It was fun for them to go to the counter one by one, and have the next wait behind the yellow line, just like adults.

But then, their teachers had taught them too well. They were inquisitive, inquiring, whatever whatever (all the IB learner profiles) and so they read the "tickets" keenly. They turned out to be pamphlets only.

The kids in my group asked me, "Where are our seat numbers? We are supposed to have seat numbers right?"

"I thought tickets have our names, where is my name?"

"Where are we flying to? This doesn't say!"

"These are not tickets!" they chorused, finally.

They attempted to palm the tickets off to me after they realised it.

Look at their looks of disbelief, after knowing they had been conned.


I already saw another mom having all those pamphlets stuck in her bag, so I convinced my kids to fold theirs and put into their pockets. However, only my own son did so. The rest palmed theirs off to their teacher.

Then they all took a pic with the kind lady staff.


Then we all observed and watched the pilot (captain) and his cabin crew report for duty. Too bad they can't let the kids up on a plane, into the cockpit with the pilot. Security issues. At the Hill Air Force Base Museum (Utah), the kids can do that, mighty fun.


Taking a look at the list of dangerous and prohibited items that will not pass through security checks. The kids asked so many Qs about the weapons and explosives.

Then we went back on the bus to go nearer to the take-off and landing area.

Along the way, the kids were being silly again. But they were so happy, it was contagious. It got me walking with lighter bouncier steps too.

The sole rose among the thorns is proving herself to be as mighty as the boys.

This girl sat near me and she spilled her yoghurt all over her lunch box in the ziploc bag, but she still wanted all of her yoghurt, so she was licking the inside of the bag, the spoon and now the whole exterior of the box. She was so funny, so I took a pic. The kids had their lunches on the bus.

I made sushi the night before so that ds1 can eat without utensils. Most kids brought sandwiches and stuff that's easy to eat on the go too. Some brought chocolates, crackers and chips. But some still brought fruit and M's ayi packed a thermos of soup for him!

The soup spilled, needless to say, cos the bus was moving. The poor bus driver, he had such a mess to clean up later on.

This is where we could see the planes take off and land very clearly.

Security van. I just kept snapping pics of vehicles.

Cargo carried on carriages linked up into a long train. Kids were watching it while waiting for the planes.

The school bus and other cab drivers waiting and watching with us.


Other airport vehicles.


Long line of kids, as well as long line of cabs. The cabbies were all in a long queue that snaked all the way up to the arrivals section of the airport!

They had all brought passengers from all over the city to the airport, which is far away from the city (further than Changi to Jurong, I'd say), so all the drivers would rather wait here than make an empty trip back to the city.

We caught 2 take-offs and 1 landing. The kids were all very excited and mesmerised.

On the way home, tired but happy kids filled the entire bus.


A short clip of one of the take-offs, and how the kids cheered and clapped when it left the ground! Funny...



rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
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