I was suddenly assigned to be the teacher-in-charge of the Basketball Girls Team for this semester onwards. Yes... suddenly. An email was all to inform me of the change and hoped I didn't mind that decision made by the school. Well, as it turned out my new assignment gave me more opportunities to do what I loved during my free time... draw cartoons for my students.
Following are cartoons I drew for the team as I conveyed different message to them during my debrief after every training session. My objectives are simple. I hope the students will be a better team and become more committed basketball players.
This is the first cartoon I drew for the girls just minutes before they board the bus for their second last zonal competition. The girls team had never won any games for the past three years. This cartoon serve to remind them to have fun in the game and it doesn't matter if they win or loose. If they should loose, then get back up and continue to work harder.
I observed that they girls needed more commitment to train and practice to be better basketball players than they are right now. They cannot continue to play ball like recreational players forever. This cartoon was made into bookmarks complete with lamination and given at the end of the training session. The message is to encourage the girls to take initiatives on their own to study and practice so that their ball handling skills would improve. I got inspired by Pistol Pete's training videos which I watched from YouTube. He was a legend in the NBA and was definitely very inspirational in his video on ball handling.
This one too turned into a book mark complete with lamination. Quote taken from a soccer coach to remind the girls that success requires lots of work in the background. Training doesn't just take place in the official training sessions. There are many things a sportsman would do outside training sessions to improve themselves. They think about their sports. They read up. They talk about it. They train extras on their own. A true champion works in-season and off-season with passion and commitment even when nobody sees them, or knows about what they do on their off-days.
This cartoon above did not turn out to a bookmark this time. It was simply reduced (in physical size), printed on paper and every one had a little cut-out of the cartoon. This cartoon was inspired by the fact that girls team did not have the crucial experience in terms of years of playing basketball compared to the better teams in other schools where good players from the primary schools gained direct admission to the secondary schools. Nevertheless, I thought the girls cannot give the same excuse year after year that they have less experience in playing because they can always play catch up. That requires more real training. It requires the team to taking practices seriously plus lots of self-intiatives to work skills out and practice on their own. Successful athletes are not produced in a day.
Whenever I draw 'Birdie', someone will never fail to say 'Is that a chicken?' Haha... nope that's not chickie. That's birdie. My bird cartoon character humanized to poke fun at humans or Singaporean habits and culture. This cartoon shows my wife thinking it's a 'Sparrow' this time.... =)
Sometimes we wonder as teachers, are we really so bad at giving instructions? Were they unclear all the time? Or perhaps it could be the students' choice not to listen and absorb?
Should teachers go to the class to motivate and to inspire? In what ways will a learner be expected to be motivated and inspired if what he is about to do isn't his cup of tea? lacking both in aptitude and interest. Worst still is not what he had chosen to do?
Great teachers inspire. I agree.
But it takes a miracle for a disinterested to be inspired the way it is traditionally expected (of a great teacher).
This cartoon was done during a workshop session for teachers on, 'Clarification'.
There are many things in life that requires precision. In certain jobs being precise is very important. For example an eye surgeon operating someone's eye. Being precise and accurate is also required of your school work.
To be precise and accurate means a requirement to constantly check your work and evaluate the contents for improvement. To reiterate the process until further effort to improve the work is no longer worth it. When you finish your homework, that is not the end. In fact, finishing your homework should be the beginning of the checking phase. To ensure you have the best possible answer within the time you are given.
Some students asked me: "Cher, what is Wendy's?" Well, if I drew MacDonald s, that would be too common. Wendy's is a pretty new fast food chain in Singapore.
Anyway, hope the cartoons will always be a good reminder for you to CHECK your work. =)
Very often you will hear someone emphasize on the importance of persistence. However, it will be interesting to note that having the habit of persistence doesn't mean will bring you success.
In the cartoon you will see some points on what persistence is 'not'... if you are persistent, but you persist in doing the wrong things, then that persistence will not be good for you.
However, though we know that being persistent is a good habit, we must be wise to choose the right things and persist. Having said that, we got also to be wise to know when to stop and change our focus when something is clearly not within our control.
Therefore being persistent is one thing. Having the wisdom to choose what and when to persist is another.
Rough pencil sketch of bulldog on paper. I took a photo using my iPhone had it transferred to my iPad. I then adjusted the brightness and contrast of the photo using PS Express. Next I import the adjusted image into Inkpad and started my illustration of the Bulldog in various layers.
If you wonder how I got my cartoons done up so quickly for my classes, here is an example of my sketches during my morning break cum preparation a few days before lesson. If I draw with a pen, then no further inking. If I draw them with a pencil, the next stage will be inking with a pen. Next I will use my iPhone to snap a photo, edit it in iPad, send it to my email from which I will print multiple copies for my students. Cool hey?
For prints, I will ink them in illustrator. But for classroom use sometimes I had to be swift and fast. =) My students enjoyed my cartoons. Ya?
Cartoons drawn for my students for classroom teaching and engagements. Printed and given to all. =)
Do not become a victim to 'impulsivity'. Pressures to perform or do well in studies may lead to over-eating for some people. Coveting for something that is not yours may lead someone to attempt to steal. Those actions are acts of 'impulse'. Make sure you learn to manage your thinking before you act. See below.
Next time you feel the urge or impulse to do something you know is not right, you can use the 'Traffic Light' method to help you. Red means 'STOP'. Stop what you are tempted to do. Amber means 'THINK'. Think about the consequences and effects upon yourselves and the people around you IF you fall victim to your impulsivity and do (or say) the wrong things. And once you considered carefully, make sure you respond rightly instead. i.e. 'GO' the green light.
In the example above, you could have asked for money to buy the things you want, (note that you may not always get what you wanted), but if you asked and got the money to buy the pens, you need not be afraid to be caught! If you managed your impulsivity with the urge to eat when stressed with schoolwork and instead went for a walk to relax your mind, you will end up healthier and fresher when you get back to work later on.
If only I managed my impulsivity. If only...
Many people do the wrong things without first considering what might be the consequences. Then later regret what they did. Most of the time, the consequences to those wrong deeds not only affect the person, but the people around him. So remember always (1) 'STOP' - stop what you are tempted to do (get into an argument, steal, lie, etc), to (2) 'THINK' - how should you respond rightly instead and finally (3) choose to do the RIGHT thing - 'GO'! You will save for yourself LOTS of unnecessary trouble later on!
Do not simply act (on impulse) because you feel like it, or think like it or want to. Sometimes our feelings can fool us if we do not consider them carefully. So remember the TRAFFIC LIGHT method. Its easy.
Cartoons drawn for my students for classroom teaching and engagements.