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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

English Syllabus Is Less Significant?

D
on’t rush while teaching. Plus, as an English teacher, I have no reason to do so. Do you? This might probably sound rather inapplicable for other subjects. I don’t know. Yet, for the subject of English, I firmly believe that there’s nothing to rush.

Teaching all topics in the English textbook isn’t supposed to be what I aim at – but I don’t mean the topics aren’t good enough and, actually, there’re loads of general knowledge as well as information a school student can acquire from. Undeniable.

Teachers could be the happiest persons whether they’ve managed to finish the syllabus earlier while their students themselves feel all scared, troubled for failing to comprehend the topic pretty well. What a pity! The students will be the exam candidates, remember? Not the teachers. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Finishing the syllabus isn’t a must. Even, to my mind, this is utterly absurd. Because neither am I teaching facts like Science nor formulae like Mathematics. And, the truth is, I am an English teacher. Teaching English should be a little bit different. It must be.

At the end of every lesson, my students are expected to have acquired something. Something called knowledge. The main focus, anyhow, must be a lot more upon the English mastery itself. Yeah, I’d love to highlight the mastery here. Because, after all, we want the students to master the language, don’t we?

There’re four learning skills i.e. reading, listening, speaking, writing + grammar. If reading, the students should be able to pronounce words accurately (Should they pronounce words as accurately as Mat Salleh? Of course not!) and read more fluently.

If listening, they’d be able to understand what I talk about. If speaking, they’re expected to be able to speak a little English. If writing + grammar, they’re hoped to be able to construct a few sentences in the foreign language correctly.

Have all the teachers got the right mindset that nothing to rush in teaching the language, I’m pretty sure that the teaching objectives of the English Language in school will successfully be achieved in the end, Insha-ALLAH (God willing).

Anything will work out when one does it the right way!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Don't Wear Only One Hat Forever


Irfan Khairi reminds me in his slightly thin financial book that someone would probably do more than 10 jobs in 20 years’ time. I couldn’t agree more since that’s truly what I myself have already proposed to do someday. Bila? Maaf, itu belum pasti, encik.   

I’m not gonna be a school teacher for ever. There’s another aspiration I’ve long aspired to become. A lecturer. An English Language lecturer, to be more specific – because that’s what I’ve been more into so far. However, I know I can’t attain that very hastily without knowledge and experience. Yeah, like I pointed out before, experience is the finest teacher in one’s life.

I gotta accept that I’m still too young in this career world. I need more than 10 year working experience before I proceed and then change my career to a lecturer. The conditions I read via an online lecturer application form in the past were evidently stated that teaching experience does count!

The preceding seven months working in school, personally, have proven a whole lot of my weaknesses in the teaching profession. Can’t deny how shamefaced I feel. After all the four year studies at Uni, is that all what I could ever do?! It’s a shame. Something unforgivable! Still, I’m pretty new. As though somebody has got lost deep in a thick forest.

None the less, there were some things done that I deserved compliments. I bought a book planner which, I’m positive, is really encouraged for a busy teacher like me. Possessing it should be a big help for me in daily life management. Regrettably, seldom did I flip it through which seemed to have no function at all. Because I got accustomed to writing down on a piece of A4 paper all my to-be-done tasks. That way, frankly, gave me much more comfort than the book planner itself.

I still feel dissatisfied somehow. I have yet to become a good teacher enough! Therefore, I must be thinking of something better. Something that can help me out of this complete state of affair!

Tell you what? I’m thinking of a small whiteboard. Gonna put it down strategically. Somewhere in my room (there in Sarawak). So later when the very first school week begins, I’m gonna jot down as many brief notes as possible of any tasks I’m to implement ASAP on the whiteboard. Plus, write down anything such as urgent reminders or something like that. By doing so, my life’s gonna be more organized than ever, isn’t it? All I need is consistency + discipline. Nothing more I suppose.
Time is money. I confess I had been somewhat pathetic in the past. Dozing off after school. Hooking up with students almost every single night. Both sound disadvantageous to me. Thought it’d be much fun so I wouldn’t feel fed up staying at home…alone. It transpired later that I was mistaken.

But, from now on, something must be changed. Something must be improved. My time management was terribly awful, I have to say. And one more thing, my P&P’s (Teaching & Learning) I carried out were really bad. I still consider I’ve met a huge failure in teaching. And I didn’t even feel contented with my previous working life, really.

And, excitedly, I wanna let you know that I’m going holidays next year. I’m not under pressure, hello, but going sightseeing is my pastime. Why should I keep waiting for another 10 years to go travelling around the world when I can even afford? Besides Sabah Negeri di Bawah Bayu, I’ve chosen Brunei Darussalam (since it’s pretty near to Sarawak – rugilah kalau tak pergi kan) and the other one is Singapore. Oh God, how come I haven’t reached that small country yet?!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

8 Months Spent for 'Cocktails for Three'

To become such a good writer, it entails someone to gain lots and lots of related knowledge as well as certain skills. It doesn’t 100% depend upon one’s talent, if you ask me. The truth is it can be gained through a proper learning. Step by step. No rushing.

Writing skills, I firmly believe, could probably be the finest basis that one ought to get learning and then practising because practice makes perfect!

And reading, as some of you might’ve known is my pastime. It’s a really good thing, I know. To be educated or even more knowledgeable, reading is one best way that leads to the success. Speaking of reading, I’d love to tell you that I’ve just finished reading up another Sophie Kinsella novel. “Cocktails for Three” is the title of the must-read novel.



Can’t recall pretty well when exactly I made a purchase of that novel. All I can remember is the purchase was made prior to my posting in May. Any day in April I guess. I had already realised on the very first day I possessed it that I seemed kind of unable to read it up in such a short duration. Furthermore, I was shortly posted and my most waited career just got started. In fact, I am a new teacher in Sarawak.

For the first few weeks I had been there, I could still spend a little time carrying my reading on. However, after several months, I had to take my mind off reading temporarily due to the ever-increasing workload. My main focus at the time was more on my job. Of course, my job!

In order to ensure I would be able to spend little time flipping through one or two pages of the novel, especially whilst waiting for the next class, I decided to put it down on my table in the staff room. Surely, I did flip through one or two pages every so often despite it wasn’t that a lot. And still, I was reading. (Some effort deserving a compliment.)

I didn’t naturally manage to read the novel a little more often so I made my mind up putting it down on a table in my room. I wished I could read it more frequently before sleep – even so, I didn’t even find myself reading it that much somehow. Again, work’s been busy. Or was it another lame excuse of mine? You think?

Back before the school break began, I had a hope. I intended to finish reading the novel up, really. And, definitely today, at this second, alhamdulillah I did it! I did it! Feel like telling the world about this good news! I feel thrilled to bits that I managed to finish my reading at last.

To my mind, what makes this novel somewhat extraordinary compared to other collections is the reading duration. Yes, the duration since, I’m telling you, it took nearly 8 months for me to finish reading it up! Wow! Too long. Whatever it is, I’m so glad. Really happy. Wanna hear my comments regarding the novel? Ahmn… from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to say…I like it so much!

Nevertheless, one thing I’ve to say. I regret. I regret for leaving another latest novel I bought there in Sarawak. Shoot! Thought I might allegedly have no time to read the much thicker, bigger novel. And, yup, it’s actually a lot thicker than this Cocktails for Three one. The title of the novel is ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ written by the same author, Sophie Kinsella a.k.a Madeleine Wickham. Oh God. I was being silly.

By the way, should you wonder why I’m so fond of reading Sophie Kinsella novels, lemme suggest that you read one of hers first. Who knows? You might possibly be a new fan of Sophie Kinsella novels afterwards. All the best!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Career I've Chosen

A photo with my Form 2 male students

Having a favorite job is everyone’s target in life. A varsity graduate like me dreams of a job that suits my educational qualification – no question. Setting the perfect goal “2012 Dunia Kerjayaku” before, with the greatest word alhamdulillah, I’d like to express my gratitude to ALLAH the Almighty as, from now on, it’s not merely a goal but a reality!

I couldn’t agree more that only if one does his favorite job will satisfaction be fully attained. It’d sound a bit incredible that someone would enjoy doing a job he dislikes so much. Hence, I’m convinced I shan’t ever regret for choosing teaching profession as my career. I shan’t. Just so you know, teacher has been my aspiration ever since I was still twelve.

When figured out, I’ve been a teacher for nearly seven months already. Due to this ‘success’, you’d better congratulate me by now and thanks for the wish. My workplace is SMK Batang Igan – a small secondary school with a small number of students. It’s located in Dalat (a little district in Mukah, Sarawak).

All I knew about Dalat previously was only because I used to read the short story ‘How Dalat Got Its Name’ written by Heidi Munan. It seems indescribable enough when I’ve got the chance to find out a lot more about this little district on my own. Oh God. How lucky! (Oh please get envious with me. :P)

I’d been naturally slightly well prepared to undergo this new world, to be honest. No wonder if I tell you, student disciplinary problems are amongst the most typical issues in school. (I think we should also discuss teacher disciplinary problems sometimes…heehee!)

More significantly, a teacher must and must have got with them high tolerance and patience. Nevertheless, the teacher’s patience is most frequently tested on account of their respective workload and pressure. (So KPM, please reduce our teachers’ workload!)

Experience’s the finest teacher in life and I gotta say. The previous experience has taught me to be a better teacher in the future.  Also, it keeps the quality of my work improved from time to time. There’re so lots of my weaknesses I’ve noticed after 7 months working hard. I confess. Undeniably, becoming an official teacher is far more complicated than a substitute or teacher trainee. Trust me!

“Jadikan hari ini lebih baik daripada semalam dan hari esok lebih baik daripada hari ini.” I’m slightly unsure either this is a Malay proverb or something else. Whatever it is, that isn’t what I wanna talk about. It’s such a good thing that one learns from the past mistakes. Once bitten twice shy. Keep it in mind.

Should one have truly taken the lesson, I believe, they won’t ever keep repeating the same mistake again unless they’re nuts.  They should be trying pretty hard to improve their own weaknesses or otherwise nothing will change.

After reflecting myself, I certainly need to put a whole lot of effort to be a much better school teacher. After all, not only does work ethic entail all that but so does my religion, Islam.

‘Bekerja kerana Allah, pasti ada ganjarannya.’