|sallina and I|
|my session in progress...|
|Dr Basil, me and Dr Ganakumaran|
|Carol- story-teller extroadinaire|
The 18th MELTA (Malaysian English Language Teaching Association) International conference came to a close yesterday in Puteri Pan , Johor Bahru. We had a plenary by Carol Read and I enjoyed her session very much. This time around I managed to follow the conference till the end and it's kind of sad that it had to end. As is usually the case with conferences, you must pick your sessions carefully because sometimes you may end up disappointed. I had two such sessions! I didn't really want to go to Dr Malachi's session but the Mutiara room was located on the second floor so I decided to stay put- what this meant was I had to listen to Dr Malachi's unsymphathetic comments about teachers not doing what they were supposed to be doing in the classroom! Mind you , I have attended a few of his sessions and the slant and tone were always the same-that we teachers are not really doing our jobs!! Well, that's food for thought for you out there. We've got to ask ourselves whether this is really the case. However, I think it's so easy for someone who has a PHD to make such comments because you are not there on the ground to go through the motions of teaching in schools. Perhaps he had a stint in school (and left for greener pastures...) but it's not the same as being there through and through.
There are two things I want to share. First, I won the Basil Wijasuriya Award as the best teacher presenter in the conference! This was something totally unexpected as I came with the intention of only sharing my action research with the participants. In the midst of my presentation, I suddenly coughed and a gentleman sitting in the front row handed me some lozenges (the original fisherman's lozenges mind you. What could have been better for my itchy throat!). It was only when I returned the pack that I saw his name tag and knew that he was Dr Basil! He had come to evaluate the session obviously. Well, I took home RM500 and a certificate from MELTA. A special thanks to Fiza @Pizza (a good friend who's pursuing her PHD now) for taping my session and to all friends who came to my session. Second, a teacher from Johor Bahru (she won first place in the teacher's showcase competition) approached me to tell me that I had inspired her to take part in the competition. By chance she stumbled upon my blog and was inspired by it. That's really great isn't it? That's what teachers should do- be inspired to do something they have never done before and to go to unchartered territories. I feel deeply humbled if I had inspired her through what I do and write in my blog and I hope to inspire many more. On top of this, I also met old friends, Dr Zahariah Pilus and Dr Nuraihan Mat Daud from UIA after 20 years! This MELTA is definitely something I will remember for a long time :)Thank you God!