Thursday, 26 May 2011

MGCJ Convention 2011

Date: 24-26th May 2011
Venue: Damai Laut Resort, Kota Tinggi

The convention this year took place in Damai Laut Resort- all expenses paid by GCs themselves. As a matter of fact, we have been paying all the expenses for the past three conventions. Syabas to all GCs! We received a lot of input from invited speakers. Everything was perfect except for the AGM which was a damper  (not worth writing about here) and the poor accommodation. There were cockroaches in my room and bathroom. Luckily my super roommate (Ust Hasnah) disposed them all swiftly. Frankly, the rooms are not fit for use- soiled carpet, dusty lampshades, dirty bathroom, etc (i was sneezing by the second day). That stale smell lingered all day long...

Professionally speaking, there is a need to raise the standard of MGCJ conventions. We need more academic presentations. Since this is called a 'persidangan', papers would be what you would have expected. However, we had a lot of input about what the higher ups expected of us and I mean a lot! It wasn't easy just sitting and absorbing the input... I developed backache on the second day...well, just my luck. I was hale and hearty and enthusiastic when I started! The talks were:
  • Integriti GC Dalam Pendidikan (Pn Tg Azuana Mohamaed, Penasihat Sekolah Amanah)
  • Peranan GC Dalam Membantu Kecemerlangan JPNJ (Tn Hj Ramli , KSA, JPNJ)
  • Keynote Address: En Mohd Nor Ghani (Director, Johor Education Department)
  • GC Pemangkin Kecemerlangan (Tn Hj Zakaria Yusof, Ketua JNJK, Johor)
  • GC Penjana Kecemerlangan , (Tn Hj Hassan Topit, Pengetua Cemelang, SM Sains Kota Tinggi)
  • Closing Ceremony officiated by YB Datuk Dr Adham Baba, Pengerusi UniKL, ADUN Pasir Raja)
For future conferences, perhaps the committee can invite GC's to present papers that are academic in nature as you would find in conferences. This will definitely get GCs to learn how to research and present papers.

All in all, a well-organised event. Congratulations to MGC Kota Tinggi.

Me, Che Hasnah, my roommate and Roshizan
Tengku Azuan- Advisor to Trust Schools
Input on Trust Schools

Azmi, Yahya and Shukor....looking smart!

Yours truly...
Tn Hj Zakaria, Head of Johor Inspectorates

~the thinking teacher~

Saturday, 21 May 2011

MGC Kluang: Course for Excellent Teachers

Date: 6-8 May 2011
Venue: Tiram Indah Village, Ulu Tiram

Congrats to MGC Kluang, in particular Ismail Yon (YDP MGC Kluang) for successfully organising this course for Kluang excellent teachers. Over 80 GCs were present. The input sessions were:
  • Speak as a pro (Strategic Alliance Sdn Bhd)
  • Lesson Study (JPNJ)
  • Majlis Bersama GC Wibawa
  • Kerjaya GC Dalam Dunia Pendidikan (En Nurazrin Amir Hamzah, JNJK)
  • Satu GC Satu Inovasi (En Ismail Yon)
Congratulations to Ismail Yon for being reelected as chairperson for the next session and his committee members. Best wishes for another successful term!

'Speak As A Pro' talk by En Kamaruzaman of  Strategic Alliance Sdn Bhd


2nd AGM in action


Friday, 20 May 2011

ELDSS Teacher's Day Project

In a bid to instill a sense of appreciation for their teachers in conjunction with Teacher's Day, the ELDSS initiated the sale of doughnuts and cupcakes on the special day. Permission was given and orders were taken two weeks before. Three types of doughnuts and two types of cupcakes were on the order list. The committee worked very hard to make sure everything went according to plan. I would like to thank all the ELDSS committee members for their commitment in carrying out our project successfully particularly to Wan Er (President), Priya (Vice-President), Susu (Secretary), Amalia (Fm5 rep), Farah Yasmin, Yoges (Treasure) and everyone else who helped. Bravo girls!!  Am proud of you! In addition thanks to Mrs Nuraszlin (ELDSS advisor afternoon session) and her committee members for helping. I certainly hope we achieved our objectives. The whole affair was fun and we made a tidy sum too for the ELDSS fund :) I wanted to upload a slideshow as they are many pretty picts but the connection is super slow tonight.  Will see to it later. Well-done to one and all!

Valerie handing dedications to the teacher concerned
Are these mine? :)
Spoil yourself today teachers!
Wan Er, ELDSS President..a very capable young lady!

~the thinking teacher~

Lesson Study

Date: 18th May 2011
Venue: PKG Kota Dalam, Air Hitam

I must say this was a very excruciating meeting for me where ideas and suggestions just didn't seem to match. It was east meets west :) I've never felt so frustrated before...was at pains trying to explain the fundamentals of LS and to be understood. If only, one can be open to criticism and ideas. However,  kudos to the JU's for their effort. And all the best!

~the thinking teacher~

Teacher's Day

Bollywood dance by a Form 2 class..

A modern dance

Poem before the song by teachers

You could really say I 'menyumbangkan suara' literally :)

This post is rather late I know as I have been rather pressed for time lately. However, it's still not too late to wish all my former teachers, would-be teachers and all teachers a "Happy Teacher's Day". Keep the passion burning :) I decided to join the choir that morning itself after having been away in Perak the week before. Despite some audio problems, we sang the Kenny, Remy and Martin song beautifully (Biarku menjadi lilin...) The students put up some wonderful performances (thanks girls) and I was mesmerised by one athlete's dancing of the zapin!! Didn't realise she had a talent for dancing too!

~the thinking teacher~

Sunday, 8 May 2011

You can do it girls!

My girls in 4___ are a mixed lot- ability, style (hairstyles?), concentration etc. I must say that I'm still trying my best to  be  a good teacher to them. The information I got from conversations with other teachers about this class was usually unsavoury and I concede that I am guilty of being influenced sometimes. I must say the girls and I are still getting to know each other (them- my teaching style and I- their learning style. What? After four months? can call me slow but a good teacher-student rapport is important to me). Perhaps I was too influenced by the negative comments about them until one day in the lab (we're in the lab on Tuesdays because I so badly want to be in touch with technology (lcd) when I discovered something else about these students.

I didn't quite know what got over me but I was ranting  (I do rant in this class more than the others) on how students should be polite to their teachers and if they want to argue about a mark or two from a test paper, they should do so politely. I remembered a teary-eyed colleague who once related to me how a student slammed the test paper in front of her when she tried to explain why the one mark was withheld. She was obviously stunned by the behaviour as any other teacher would have been I supposed. Since the mid-year exam was around the corner, I cautioned my students to pay attention to how the content points were awarded, in Directed Writing so as to prevent such problems later. I mean, you know how students would really go after you for the one mark especially if it's a borderline case...

To cut a long story short, in the midst of my ranting, one of the girls commented that they would never ask for an extra mark from their teachers as they would fail anyway and that teachers do not think they will pass either. If my memory serves me right,  the student said, "No lah teacher, our class will never ask for extra marks because we fail anyway. Teachers don't think we will pass." My heart stopped the moment I heard this. For a while, I was speechless. Little did I realise that these girls had such low self-esteem! What happened next was me trying to convince them not to think of themselves so negatively and that I was an Arts student  too and how it didn't matter. If you put your mind to something, you will see results bla bla bla....I  wanted so much to convince them that if they put in effort in their studies, they would succeed when the bell suddenly rang  thunderously signaling the end of our lesson. 

I certainly learnt something that day- that these girls need encouragement and I was ashamed of myself for all the negative thoughts I held against them previously...

~the thinking teacher~

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Inovation in Teaching and Learning, JPNJ

Calling all English teachers! The JPNJ is organising an innovation programme to encourage teachers to produce innovations and in three areas:

  • Amalan Pembelajaran dan Pengajaran
  • Amalan Pembelajaran dan Pengajaran berbantukan Teknologi Maklumat dan Komunikasi
  • Produk Pembelajaran dan Pengajaran: Bahan Bantu Mengajar, Alat Bantu Mengajar, Modul
I was informed that it's not a competition but more of participation and those selected innovations will receive a certificate from JPNJ. 

Click here for more information about the programme.

Research and Innovation for all

Date: 27th May 2011 (Friday)
Time: 12.30- 2.00 p.m
Venue: School

Teacher in-service is a necessary evil.

With transformations in the curriculum and so many changes being implemented, it's difficult to keep up with what is expected. Hence, training is needed to meet the needs. Schools are no exception. Almost every free time is taken up for in-house training, one of which was the action research in-house I was involved in last Friday.

The in-house was conducted for twelve teachers who had no background or had never attended any AR in-house before in Lab 2. I was glad to share some materials and hope that the in-house is useful. After this, all teachers are expected to send their proposal to the Action Research committee. Speaking of in-house trainings/LDP, have you ever noticed that only a few actually carry out the recommendations? I think this depends  very much on whether or not the teacher works in a school that values innovation and embraces change. A school that believes in innovation and change will give teachers time to employ new approaches. The culture of innovation is there to support the teacher in his or her professional growth and not require innovation only because the PPD or JPN dictates it.

Innovation (including action research) should also be a culture for ALL teachers not just excellent teachers. It is a sorry state-of -affairs in schools when GCs are constantly put under pressure to produce innovations and research (the same people at that) while the rest happily let go and do nothing about it. It is very hard to produce an innovation (I should know because I'm always the one to do it.)  Some have never conducted an action research or innovation in their entire teaching career but tell others to do so and schools have the knack for taking this for granted as long as they can avoid being mentioned in meetings (for not sending in an innovation). What have we become in education? Schools do things because they are directed to not because they believe that research and innovation can develop their staff. 

The ingrained reluctance to produce innovation could be because schools themselves do not award teachers who produce innovations, hence teachers do not see the 'benefit' of doing research or innovations. I long for schools that have a strong support system for innovation and research (grants? sponsorship? certificates? PTA's involvement? simple acknowledgement?) I long for schools that nurture this culture without having to wait for the higher ups to lay it out for them. Can't schools generate own ideas  about how to run and manage its own R and D without having to wait for ideas from the top? Can't schools be enablers to the teacher's professional growth? Can't schools lead and not be stereotypes?