15 February 2012

Total Defence Day

15 Feb is the day where schools here celebrate Total Defence Day. It was also the day where we surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 and a reminder from the ruling Government never to let it happen again. This latter part is a bit missing in my school today, but I guess they would have heard it many times in their Secondary School.

For us, the day was celebrated (a misnomer) with static displays and game stations from SAF, Police, SCDF and us. The crowd puller were the games part where they had something similar to paintball. The firing range, night vision experience and the rhino joy rides were also very popular.

I visited the stations at the Sports Hall and was quite refreshing to see the advanced weapon systems now. I had the opportunity to try on the latest SBO (very heavy) and SAW guns. The combat rations and full pack were also much improved.

While the stations and games were informative, I felt that the interactions were insufficient. It would be great to have more items for the students to try and experience. Perhaps more 4D type of experiences in the Auditorium and more hands-on experiences would be good. Next year, hopefully we can invite the Air force and then Navy for the year after to give a different feel.

Having more items may pique the interests of our students, but they have still a long way to go to touch their hearts. A good TD day should aim to spur them to want to defend our nation. The emotions part should be touched too. But that will be most challenging.

8 February 2012

Season of DISC tests

This is the season where we rushed out to complete the DISC Personality Profiling for our students by March. It is quite hectic as when you are explaining, no one bothers to listen to you, and once they start, they would all screamed and want you to help them out over everything. There is only one teacher to 40 crying students with snail-slow desktops and lagging internet connections.

Once they are done, it is our turn to be bogged down reading and explaining their graphs to them. We are to watch out for the overdrive, under-drive and transition patterns and flagged these to the Class Advisors for further follow up.

It is a good tool but unfortunately few students pay any attention to it. Few see the value of it and click the buttons flippantly resulting in many weird patterns and false alarm patterns. What a pity! We are throwing pearls to swines again.

A better way would be to use a cheaper pen-paper version and to explain in detail for those who are interested. Unfortunately, our school has bought into the system and use DISC to flag out students with crisis patterns. I feel that the results may not be very accurate as they do not take it seriously. Also, these crisis patterns are a secondary result of DISC, not the main product of who they are and how they can best relate to each other.

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