Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Engaging Parents Through PSG Activities & Networking

17 Apr 09. Saturday afternoon 2pm. TKSS library was seated withParents of TK students from all levels. This workshop was made available
to class reps as the primary audience and other passionate parents who have key voice from the grassroots.
Class reps, being the direct person-to-person connection to the PSGpopulation are engaged in this meeting to work towards supporting TKSSin the holistic development of the students and to prmote PSG and SFE programmes.
Mr Lee, the school principal, gave the participants a crisp update ofthe School’s initiatives and affairs. The session was littered withcandid questions and spontaneous responses. The issues and questionsbrought up by parents were frank, direct and current. The principalwas able to put the parents at ease when replying to the questions byproviding them with insights into how the school handled the issuesraised.A well-timed networking tea break came next. Parents continued on someof the topics with one another while others were able to make newacquaintances and renew old ones over coffee, tea and good fingerfood.Next, there were a series of presenters who talked about coming eventswhich parents can participate in. The audience was on hand to givesuggestions on the content of the events. In some cases, theyvolunteered to be a member of the organizing committees.My topic came next….blogging. Through blogging, we share experiencesand information. This is to improve ourselves as parent-stakeholdersand also at a personal level with regards to volunteerism. Parents whoparticipated in the school’s activities are encouraged to write abouttheir positive experience to attract other parents to play an active role.

Posting on the blog is easy. Simply sendthe article to the class reps or any of the committee members for itto be posted on the blog.At the end of the meeting, as an observer, I felt information wereflowing both ways… parents were engaged.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sports Day

The stands were filled.

Students were cheering loudly for their house. Yes, it is Sports Day for TKSS. The event was held at Bedok Stadium on 17th April 09, a Friday afternoon. I was one of the many parents who was there. Parents were there to cheer for their children as well. Students raced under various sports houses. There was a mass race to encourage student participation.

The teenage runners are a fast lot. The crowd whistled and cheered. Rashvinder was an excited parent when she stood up and cheered for her son who was running the 3rd leg of the 4x100m relay. She was beaming with pride when she said with finger pointing… “the runner is my son!”. Her unabated delight reflects the common parental feeling among us when we are there to witness our child’s participation.

Some made it a family affair. Khairul’s wife and child are in the grandstand to watch the proceedings. Khairul also participated in the end-of-day event. We watched the races and also took time out to interact with teachers and fellow parents.

It was a pleasant surprise to have the cheering competition towards the end of the program. The students were confident, highly energetic and having fun. They were creative and coordinated. It reminded me that they are more grown up and capable than my lagged impression of kids.

Among the parents, quite a few have made the trip and have notified me in advance of their interests to take part in the PSG-Staff race. Amarjit was lucky to be in Singapore to be able to make it for the race too. Jimmy and Christina are husband and wife who signed up for one of the teams. The PSG-Staff relay event involves dexterity with ping pong in spoon for the first 4 members followed by sprint for the next 4. This was organized to have maximum participation and interaction among staff members, PSG and Alumini.

On your mark, Get set, Bang! The starter’s gun was fired by the school’s principal. The first set of runners bolted down 50m gingerly holding a spoon with a ping pong in it. While waiting for their turn, the rest of the relay team members were cheering with enthusiasm. Ms Liz, a teacher was running fast to her students’ delight. Ms Lena Poh, Humanities HOD was also in the fray. Yoke Yin, Norlia, Veronica, Michael, Doris, Yoon Tak, Rashvinder, Mega were parents who took part in the race as well. Meanwhile, Nora and I were busily clicking away to capture the wonderful moments with the camera.

Parents came away with shared experience of the TKSS Sports Day to be cherished in future. I made new friends along the way. Having seen so many people running in the race events, I felt the urge to do some running too. Run for Health, Run for Fun, Run for Life. Okay, got to run.
Title: Mad Dogs
The starting horn blares,
As loud as a tiger roars.
I bolted down the lane
In a flash, like lightning.
My legs pumped like pistons,
My heart pounded like a drum.
My competitors ran like MAD DOGS
Relentlessly, hot on my heels.
Up the hill and down the road,
I started gasping like a fish out of water.
The finishing line didn’t seem any nearer,
As the mad dogs drew closer.
My legs turned wobbly like jelly.
Painful stitches sharp as daggers
Stabbed me above my belly,
As a few competitors overtook me.
Instinctively I responded,
Like an angry bull being poked and prodded.
Sprinting as fast as a hare,
My aches and pains I no longer cared.
The last few metres seemed infinite.
I surged forward furiously.
Everyone did the same,
Like piranhas on a feeding frenzy.
The crowd roared like thunder,
As my chest hit the finishing tape.
My spirits soared high.
I was so happy. Like an eagle, I felt like I could fly.

Poem by a TKSS Sec 1 Student