Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Reading Club 12: How to get from where you are to where you want to be, Jack Canfield

Got to blog tonight..after three horrid days in school!

pg 236, What to do when feedback tells you you've failed- my progress thus far in attempting to complete this book :) Didn't I buy this like three months ago? Gosh! How hard it is to finish a book these days-  a few pages here and a few pages there especially before going to bed. So pg 236 is progress indeed. When I flipped to the bookmarked page half an hour ago, I thought "How appropriate!", considering my recent disappointment. Here's what Canfield says about "failure experience":
  • acknowledge you did the best you could with the awareness, knowledge, and skills you had at the time (I like this because I know that I've tried my best)
  • acknowledge that you survived and that you can absolutely cope with any of the consequences or results
  • write down everything you learned from the experience. Write all of your insights and lessons down in a file in your computer or a journal called Insights and Lessons. Read through this file often. 
  • take some time to go back and review your successes. It's important to remind yourself that you have had many more successes than you have had failures. You've done many more things right than you've done wrong (how true!)
  • regroup. Spend some time with positive loving friends, family, and coworkers who can reaffirm your worth  and contribution
  • refocus on your vision. Incorporate the lessons learned, recommit to your original plan, or create a new plan of action, and then get on with it. Stay in the game, Keep moving toward the fulfillment of your dreams. You're going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Dust yourself off, get back on your horse and keep riding (love this one!)
 (credit: Jack Canfield)

Lessons learned:
  • Never, never, never give up!
  • You can only come back stronger and better.
  • Be thankful for all that God has given you.

~the thinking teacher~

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Why is continuing professional development (CPD) important?

Today I'd like to blog about a topic close to my heart- continuing (or continuous) professional development (CPD) and why it is important to an English teacher. This incidentally is the main reason for having my blog-to share and grow in our profession. The buzzword CPD has been used (or overused?) in schools and learning institutions that the meaning is sometimes lost and not fully understood. It surprises me sometimes to find teachers who complain on being asked to go for a meeting or course. I've always wondered what the reasons may be- travel? small children? time factor? personal business?  money? admin refuses to give permission? Granted that sometimes it's difficult to get permission to leave school but there is an alternative. You can always replace your classes first or later by swapping with colleagues ( I must thank Murniyati and Mona for always willing to swap with me) Yes, I do get tired the week I need to replace my classes but I will not forgo professional development! It should be an on-going process in the teaching profession that I've chosen. And would you believe that universities are now offering a Bachelor in Professional Development?

What is CPD?

It can be defined as any activity engaged in by an individual through which they continue to maintain and enhance existing competence and develop new knowledge and skills. It does not only refer to formal events, seminars, courses or qualifications. It may involve development in both technical and non-technical areas. It can include a wide variety of activities such as open learning, private study, work experience and more.

CPD has helped me grow as an English teacher. I remember having a toddler to mind at home but I still managed to somehow find ways to attend a course. CPD is so important I'm even willing to pay for CPD. So why is CPD crucial to an English teacher or to any teacher for that matter? Is it only important when you apply for promotion or career advancement? Yes, this is one reason but I'd like to think of it as an investment for my growth as a teacher more than anything else.  Imagine  just teaching and not enhancing one's knowledge and skills. Surely  there are new knowledge and skills you want to acquire. Transformations in curriculum are taking place as we speak and we just can't afford to be dinosaurs!! In addition, people are talking about having 'learning agility' as a core competency nowadays. Through effective CPD, you can improve your personal and professional competence as English teachers.

CPD can definitely benefit you because:

  • it builds your confidence and credibility
  • it is useful for appraisals. The current PTK undergoing modifications will I believe emphasise on CPD as one of the important criteria
  • you can achieve your career goals by focusing on your training and development.
  • you can cope better with change by constantly updating your skill set - now with the transformation in curriculum, a wealth of knowledge and skills will help you cope better and not be an observer by the sideline or be left behind.
  • it helps you become more productive and competent as you reflect your learning and highlight the gaps in your knowledge and experience - what some people refer to as 'capability enhancement' to increase our competency
Don't forget that it also benefits your organisation! You can always share what you've learned with your staff and impact your school in many ways.

CPD Opportunities

There are many opportunities for CPD:

  • your own school may have experienced teachers, GCs, who can share knowledge and skills. All you need to do is ask.
  • your district especially the District English Panel can identify your needs and arrange for courses - if funds are available, they can call experts from BPG, ELTECs, CDC, the divisions in the ministry to provides suitable input. But knowing the right input through learner needs feedback would be of great help to ensure the course is on target and on task.
  • the Education Department- from time to time, the JPN organises courses for teachers through their own effort or by collaborating with organisations/institutions government or private. Make sure you find out the latest from your Language Officers and JPN officers.
  • other educational bodies such as the Curriculum Development Division, Eltecs, international conferences that take place in Malaysia or outside. 
  • online courses in case you have not been chosen for any course.
  • private sectors- be on the lookout for career development programmes from the media
  • personal reading- the cheapest way to improve oneself- the only problem is you do not get a certificate but it can still be enriching. Many of us do not allocate enough time to read.

CPD is an investment to help me grow, improve and excel in my profession. It is what keeps me alive! I'd like to share the following quote that sends a message to every teacher on the need  to be competent teachers so they can raise students' achievement. And that way is through Continuing Professional Development.

"Every child needs—and deserves—dedicated, outstanding
teachers, who know their subject matter, are effectively
trained, and know how to teach to high standards and to
make learning come alive for students."
(President Clinton, Sept. 1996)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

National Level Teachers' Debate: Zone C

Date: 11-13th April 2010
Venue: Segamat

Just got back from Segamat for the teacher's debates competition. Johor, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang competed at the Zone C level of the National Teacher's Debate Competition. This year saw the debates split into zones first. Tn Hj abu Talib (KPP Bahasa Melayu), JPN Johor chaired the meeting. Madam Audrey Lim from IAB chaired the adjudicators' meeting for English.

Adjudicators and Secretariat

Tn Hj abu Talib (KPP Bahasa Melayu) JPNJ charing the meeting

Team managers

Semi-finals- Terengganu won against Kelantan

Presentation of souvenirs

Terengganu- the winning team to enter finals

Teacher Talk 16: Making them love English

Here's an email I received some time back. Any suggestions for this teacher? Please feel free to give your suggestions.

Salam. Im teaching in SMK ***( a rural school)...Students Population are mostly Iban. English is totally alien to them, in other words,it wud b their 3rd language. Trying to make them love English Language is a difficult task. To pass them in PMR n SPM is sometimes quite impossible task. Sigh. My boss always mentions dat English is THE KILLER subject....Sometimes, I do feel demotivated coz with tight budget to buy good n interesting books or teaching aids...I cant do much...So the only thing I do is go on line n find some good stuff to use for my P&P...Hopefully my effort worth it...Insyallah....Keep on sharing your ideas with us ,k...thanks

Sunday, 10 April 2011

SM Agama State Level Ihtifal Ilmi 2011

Date: 8-9th April 2011
Venue: SM Agama Kerajaan Negeri Johor

I was the Chief Adjudicator for the English debates amongst Agama schools in the state for two days. Hafiz (SMK Belitong) and Azlinda Abbas (Maahad Johor) were fellow adjucators. It was a marathon as we had to adjudicate seven debates altogether. However, all of us survived unscathed :) During my comments session I highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and congratulated the organiser for its effort. It was heartening to see the speakers trying their best and making use of English as much as they could.  The finals was a Kluang affair. Congratulations to SM Agama Kerajaan Negeri Johor, Kluang who emerged the winner and to Aiman Anwar for being the 'Best Speaker'. Congratulations to Madrasah Arabiah Kluang too for being the runner-up.

Azlinda, me and Hafiz

The Winners- SM Agama Kerajaan Negeri Johor

Runner up- Madrasah Arabiah Kluang

Saturday, 9 April 2011

So near yet so far...

The road is still long...Sometimes God withholds certain things from you for various reasons. It could be that you are not ready for the challenges ahead. It could also be God's way of making you a stronger  and better person. Or it could be that the time is not right. Whatever the reasons may be,  I will put all my faith in God because  He knows best! Jiayou!

Sunday, 3 April 2011


I'm making changes to my blog so there will be some missing links and tabs. If you can't find what you are looking for just type in the keywords in the search box. Happy browsing! Thanks for visiting :)

Benchmarking in SMK Telok Mas, Melaka

Date: 5 March 2011 (Saturday)
Venue: SMK Telok Mas, Melaka

I followed this benchmarking trip to SMK Telok Mas, Melaka, organised by my hubby's school (SMK Bandar T6) just for the fun of it. Was very impressed with the school's academic achievements and the 'bilik-bilik khas'. The school has been a point of reference and visits from all over Malaysia and overseas. The ERT room is sooooo beautiful I just couldn't help taking many photos! Thanks to Tn Hj Abdul Rahman (Principal of SMK Bandar T6) for letting family members join the trip. Some of the school programmes conducted were:
  • Minggu matapelajaran
  • Program Pacuan Minda- ss revise topics and do presentations of topics
  • Program Guru Muda- study skills
  • Extra Classes
  • Latihtubi Berfokus
However, I was rather disappointed because we couldn't talk to the English teachers (as it was a weekend, only a few teachers were on duty). It would have been great to exchange notes on the programmes for the English Panel. Still, the special rooms were something you would be really impressed with :)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

LDP1 : Attitude and Approach: Restoring The Passion for Teaching

Date: 2 April 2011
Time: 8a.m.- 3p.m.
Venue: Kolej Komuniti Kluang
Invited Speaker: Mr Phuah Seng Tiong (Ex-Principal, SMK Jinjang, KL)

An inspiring and timely talk which I needed to relook my role as a teacher. Some interesting points noted down:

  • Don't be a dinasour- don't be obselete, keep up with the times in your teaching
  • We need motivation regularly- "We need to fill up because we leak!"
  • We have a lot to of work to do to clear up the image of teachers and teaching
  • Teachers must have self-esteem and respect their profession
  • Teaching is about preparing students for tomorrow not now (long-term)
  • Teach students good values- appreciating their teachers and vice-versa
  • Enter class prepared-Where are you taking your lessons?
  • We need to fail forward not backwards
  • The investment in school is not buildings but students
  • Children are like wet cement- What impression are you going to leave?
  • When you enter class IMPACT the students, then INSPIRE, INFLUENCE and IMPLANT

Thanks to Mr Phuah for sharing your wisdom! Thanks to Barny's for sponsoring the tea break and lunch.