Sunday, 6 May 2012

Am I a bad teacher?

My SKT...
Oh boy! A quick review of my scheme-of work indicates that am behind schedule! Time to take stock of things that have taken place from Jan to now. Why am I behind schedule? Let's see..
  • in-service courses in between (MBMMBI, Bah Teknik and Vocational) - as a master teacher, I do have some responsibilities for the PPD, JPN and MOE. I tried to replace my classes as much as possible but other things cropped up like school events which required students to be at the main hall. Therefore classes had to be cancelled. This is part of the dilemma of being a master teacher. You have to ensure your work is tip-top while at the same time try to satisfy many parties. Thus far, I have been able to survive and I believe strongly in God's words "Allah does not burden the soul beyond its capacity (2:286)". This has always given me  strength.
  • activities involving students (Fully Residential Schools International Symposium, Pubic-Speaking Competition). My good intention to delegate FRSIS to a colleague (for not wanting to miss classes two weeks in  a row) was misconstrued by the unit and a call from a senior officer resulted in my being 'instructed' to attend this conference. Hence I had to miss two weeks of classes. However, Allah is indeed kind- He rewarded my student with a gold medal and the officer concerned, upon meeting me, apologised for calling my senior assistant earlier. Indeed God works in mysterious ways...
  • I've been bogged down with marking students' written work. Last week I managed to finish 3 compositions x 3 classes and now I'm busy with 3 summaries x 3 classes.
  • Perhaps I was too ambitious with my scheme-of work because after four months of teaching, I discovered that I need to reduce the writing component of my scheme-of-work. My students will not be able to cope with the quantity...I need to slow down for eight students in 4 Bukhari, 5 students in 4 Syafie and 25/29 students in 1 Qayyim. Am now thinking of giving different sets of tasks for the poorer students in Form 4. Paragraph-writing would be more suitable for them then full essays. I don't know..I'm thinking still what to do with them. This is the problem of having mixed ability students in class. 
  • I'm learning to teach Form 1 again after four years of teaching upper secondary in my former school...they have just completed primary education and they still behave like primary students. Transition takes time. I realise that I don't have much patience teaching Form 1 students (forgive me God). They have a problem listening AND understanding instructions so you end up with a sore throat after Form 1 classes, seriously. Despite repeating the instructions at least three times (whoever said 'repetition is the mother of skills' has got to be brilliant), they still come back and ask the same question..SIGH..dealing with thirteen-year-olds is a different ball game altogether. 
  • I'm also writing a module-cum-book on 'Catch me if you can' novel for my students next year and it's been painfully S.L.O.W. Well, slow and steady wins the race. Luck is with me since we don't have fifth formers this year. This batch of Form Four will be our first SPM batch. I make it no secret that I hate some of the workbooks in the market. You're free to say the same thing about my book Step-by-wicked step. I have an idea of how to make this novel accessible to my students and I hope to complete this module by year end. If there's any publisher who might be interested, I'm game.
  • Lately there's been a deluge of paperwork! PBS came and the documentation is no joke. I am all for school-based assessment because I believe I'm the right person to gauge my student's learning progress and to grade them but hey, I need time to do all those filings and to embrace the idea. Having a thirty-minute in-house does not help either.  To make matters worse, a friend in faraway Terengganu was too busy to answer all my questions on PBS for I had too many...sigh...
  • Too much social media probably? Aha! This had to be it. But I do use it for professional networking because it appears to be faster compared to the normal email. I get faster responses although sometimes too much time is spent on reading who wrote what! I have only myself to blame for this. Perhaps Roslynn was smarter to deactivate her fb! 

Sometimes teaching can be described as madness. Am I wrong to say that it's hard sometimes to juggle work in school? Plzzzzzz.....don't say I can't lament about all this because people say, as a master teacher I'm supposed to be 'perfect', 'tip-top', 'up-to-date', 'highly-motivated' and all that jazz! What I know for sure is I have less and less time for my personal life-been spending less quality time with my family, been missing from the gym for a month, been postponing that facial and hair cut, been lying to my mum for not visiting her as often as she wants me to, been giving excuses for reunions with old friends, been postponing my daughter's hospital appointment..

Am I a bad teacher?

The Thinking Teacher


  1. I can totally emphatise with you on this one! It's hard to please everyone and most of the time, you end up feeling burnt out. When I started blogging, some people assumed I had too much time on my hands when I use it as a learning platform towards professional development. Another thing that peeves me off, being out of school on official duties (PPD/JPN/KPM) seems to be romanticised by others. I wish these people would realise, we need to juggle these responsibilities apart from the core business of teaching in school. Press on, Kak Rahmah. You have my utmost support. Allah knows our intentions :)

  2. hi fadzleen,
    i hope i'm not burnt out hehe..i never have enough time on my hands that's for sure. teaching itself is hard..i wonder how many realise that. what with all the additional responsibilities. but hey we Gc's never say die! that's why we are Gcs :) Press on indeed fazleen!thanks for your support!

  3. I do understand, however compared to yours, my problem is too little and often a result of my own procrastination, also, sorry to have added stress in you this week too...

    Azhar Khan

  4. Allah knows the best and u've given yr very best. So I believe u will get the best from Him along the way InsyaAllah

    1. thanks ahmad. after all we can only try our best!

  5. Hi Pn Rahmah.
    I'm your latest follower...discovered your awesome blog through Khalipah Mastura. I'm very impressed with your blog and your success stories(in teaching and publishing and inovating) always fill me with awe.


  6. dear sophyta,
    haha what has khalipah told you! thanks for visiting anyway :)

  7. Salam..subhanallah, you are such an achiever...u've inspired me very much to be a better English teacher in the future..

    I always lack of idea how to approach my students especially (the weak ones) and couldnt figure out the best techniques in teaching (at least for the time being) since i'm still new in teaching line.

    I would appreciate if u could share what should i focus first when i teach the language?

    I'm trusted to teach form 5 (first class) this year (fyi, this is my 2nd year of teaching) and i hv to admit that i'm actually worried (or lack of confidence) to teach them. I dont know where and how should i teach to prepare them for better result in SPM. They are at average level of proficiency so, what should i do to make them become better in acquiring the language? there's not much time left for me to experiment any techniques. As a master teacher yourself, i really need some help and guide...Thank you very much. =)

  8. Dear hidayah,pls let me get bck to u. Sorry m in the thick of things...


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