Thursday, 25 August 2011

Salam Lebaran

Salam Lebaran
to all friends, blog visitors and  students past and present. 
May you have a meaningful Eid with your families!
Maaf Zahir Batin.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Majlis Guru Cemerlang Malaysia Publications

I received some inquiries on books published by Majlis Guru Cemerlang Malaysia recently. The latest information I received from En Azizul Abdul Rahman is that MGCM is in the process of publishing two new books this October. The two books are:

1) Inovasi dan Kreativiti Menjana Transformasi Pendidikan: Idea P&P Guru Cemerlang,
    Penerbitan MGCM  
    Original Price: RM45.00  After 30% discount :RM31.50

2) 'Antologi Cerpen Taman Kasihku', Penerbitan MGCM
    Oiginal Price: RM35.00 After 30% discount: RM24.50 

The 30% discount offer ends 15 September 2011. You are advised to order in advance. Payment can be deposited to the following account (PENERBITAN MGCM, CIMB 01240000216108). Please send the payment slip as proof of payment to the address below. Payment can also be made via Money Order, Postal Order or Cheque. Send your payment to:

Penerbitan MGCM,
No. 7, Jalan Baung, 
Taman Bintang,
83500 Parit Sulong,
Batu Pahat, Johor.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Lesson Study Course, Kluang District

Date: 20 August 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 8.00 a.m. - 12.30 a.m.

Venue: PPD Kluang
Facilitators: Tn Hj Ezzudin Adnan, Mohd Redhzuan Amat, Rahmah Hj Sayuti

140 Excellent Teachers and all Senior Assistants from all primary schools and secondary schools in Kluang attended this half-day course. The objectives of the course were to expose the participants to Lesson Study and how to carry it out in schools. Prior to the course, the MGCK committee met to discuss the Kluang set up with Tn Hj Jalil Satari, PPD Academic. The following are useful documents for schools to use:

Monday, 15 August 2011

Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Berkesan, Buah fikir GC, MDK Publications

I just received the author's copy of the latest book by MGCM with RM100 as honorarium for my article. It's not much but the satisfaction of having something published is rewarding enough. There are altogether  32 contributions from Excellent Teachers nationwide on various topics. My article was on the public-speaking programme carried out as an innovation in my school (Tuesday's Date With PS). I was rather disappointed about some typo errors though..

The Director's First Visit

Date: 14 August 2011 (Sunday)
Time: 9.00 - 1.30 p.m

Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you! The Director of Sekolah Kluster and Kecemerlangan (BPSBPSK) Tn Hj Rosland Hussein decided to pay SM Sains Sembrong a visit on a Sunday. So all fourteen of us were dressed in our best and ready to receive him and Cik Hjh Zakiah at 9.00 a.m. Despite the power shortage, we had a cordial and beneficial meeting. The director went on a tour of the school and walked all the way to the surau and hostels ignoring the blistering heat. In his meeting with the teachers, he had high hopes for the school and had many important pointers to share:
  • the excellent infrastructure in SM Sains Sembrong is part of the transformation in SBP which includes excellent input, facilities and selected teachers
  • use the 5S and X-PLUS principles as a guide
  • encouraging networking and linkages with local companies and  higher educational institutions such as IPTHO and UTM
  • teaching has changed- students are more advanced than teachers in ICT for instance
  • the use of tablet PCs in the classroom
  • lesson-study as a way to improve the quality of teaching
  • use the principles of caring (kasih sayang) and respect with students- teachers to act like parents in accordance with the idea of 'loco parentis'
  • encouraging freedom with responsiblity among students
  • encouraging community service citing Singapore as an example
  • benchmarking other SBPs 
  • procurement of library books through the Asian foundation, MPH, DBP 
  • GCs must lead in school and divide their responsibilities well :)

Tn Hj Rosland, En Basir, and Cik Hjh Zakiah

Hello SM Sains Sembrong!

Date: 12 August 2011

My first day in SM Sains Sembrong, which is a five-minute drive from where I live. My posting was supposed to be on August 1st but the fax arrived later. I had considered applying since last year but never proceeded with the form (always missed the deadline actually). When I actually did make up my mind, it was just a few days before I left for Jakarta and Bandung during the June hols. Little did I realise that the transfer would be in August. Well, here I am in a new environment. May this hijrah in the holy month of Ramadhan be blessed by Allah in many ways. I will give my best to my new students and make new friends and let bygones be bygones. I was at a crossroads once before embarking on this big decision but after istikharah prayers, yes, I'm back in SBP or whatever they call it now. One thing is certain- I have become a better teacher, thanks for the stint in SMCC and hope to impact and touch more hearts in this new school. Carpe diem!!!

The administrative building

Dewan Khalifah

Teacher's quarters

The academic block

The surau

Aerial view
my first day- from left ina, me, ila and syamsul

finding it hard to choose which seat i like best..
ustadz aziz, me and ustazah friends in the block :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Farewell SMCC...

Date: 10 August 2011

My last day in SMK Canossian Convent..Thanks to Hjh Mahizan, Dr Rekha, Mr Cheng Meng Ang, senior teachers, colleagues in the English panel,  friends and students not forgetting Madam Tan Tong Yar (former principal) for her kindness and guidance. Thanks to my students in 4S1, 4PD and 5S2 and ELDSS committee members. I hope all of you will excel in your studies and may your future be bright. May SMCC be even more successful in the future! I have but many happy memories to treasure...


Goodbye seems to be the hardest word...4s1

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Has teaching lost its shine?

Much has been said about the teaching profession of late. Some say we have lost the respect accorded to us in the past. It used to be a 'noble' profession, we were told. 

I'm sure you've heard of stories of inspiring teachers in the past and their selflessness. Interestingly, one cartoon sketch came vividly to my mind. It was a picture of a pair of glasses that the teacher had left on the table. In his absence, his pupils were silent and completed the tasks assigned. All the teacher had to do was leave his glasses on the teacher's table and he could leave the classroom without worrying about the class turning into a mayhem. Such was the respect and 'fear',  I might add, that the teacher exuded. If we were to try this today, we would be lucky to have our glasses back!

Has teaching really lost its shine? Admittedly not an easy question to answer but we have to admit that of late, the profession has had its fair share of 'beatings'. Here are some 'beatings' about teaching/teachers:
  • the labeling of teachers as 'guru 25 hari' (25th day of each month is pay day!)
  • teachers lack of professionalism- books not marked, not entering classes, preparing low-quality exam papers, doing business in the staffroom etc.
  • teachers are highly paid 
  • teachers involved in immoral activities
  • teachers go back early 
  • teachers enjoy long holidays
  • and so on and so forth
While some of these assumptions may not be true, I think we need to reassess our roles critically and objectively. If we consider teaching a professional occupation, then we should consider some of these questions and answer them honestly:
  • Is teaching a professional job? Being a teacher, I consulted the OED, which gives this definition, verbatim: ‘a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification’. Something we can read and explore..
  • Do we have specialised knowledge in relation to our job?
  • Do we have excellent practical and literary skills in relation to teaching?
  • Do we produce quality works: products, results etc.?
  • Do we display a high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities?
  • Do we have high morale and motivation?
  • Do we respect our peers? We sometimes envy those who do better than us instead of learning from them.
  • Are we competent? For the competencies expected of us teachers, you can go to Standard Guru Malaysia.

I remember a colleague who remarked some years ago:  

"Teaching itself is hard Kak Rahmah! Forget about marking, courses etc..." 

This coming from someone who had taught for fiftteen years then. I wonder how many share the same feeling. I totally agree. Teaching is hard and has become harder by the day. That is probably why some left mid-way. It's just not easy to go through the motion day in and day out. Yes, teaching is physically, emotionally and cognitively demanding but isn't this the profession we have chosen? If there is anyone, it should be us who must respect our own profession first before others. Here are some ways we can 'polish' the teaching profession:

  • improve the competencies we are lacking in- if you're a non-optionist teacher, equip yourself with the necessary competencies needed to teach English
  • don't stop learning- build a community of learning teachers
  • plan a continuous professional development programme that is relevant and focused (not cooking classes, facial demonstrations etc.)
  • keep ourselves professionally busy (one of the flagships from Tn Hj Sufaat Tumin- former Johor State Education Director) - planning and preparation of instruction, managing the classroom  environment, and professional responsibilities
  • be a part of the decision-making process in school -although this may be somewhat problematic given the top-down structure of schools...

At the root of of all this I believe is to have I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y. Not just a buzzword but a prerequisite to bring back the shine in teaching.

 ~the thinking teacher~

Teacher Talk (21): Make teaching more desirable

An interesting letter to the editor that concerns all of us teachers. What do you make of it?

WE live in a capitalistic world. Everything is measured for its monetary value. Take the case of some undergraduates, there aren’t many who are happy with the courses they are pursuing, but they continue only because such courses assure them of a job and a better future.

In today’s society, a good life is measured by the high salary one gets.I am studying to become a teacher, just like both my parents. It doesn’t pay as well as jobs in other industries, but I have decided to take up teaching as a career because I have a passion for it. However, that does not mean I will be content with the current salary and promotion structure. In fact, there are not many high-achieving students who would consider a career in teaching but they are turned off because it does not value, appreciate and reward young teachers with potential, passion and creativity.

Those who are in the profession with a few years of service, are also thinking of opting out because they are not given recognition for their skills and commitment. To make it a “dream job” that appeals to intelligent and competent people, the Government has to reward them with higher salaries. While I am aware of the many incentives being currently given to school heads and teachers for their hard work, the prospects for young outstanding teachers are still bleak.

The teaching profession has always favoured seniority, and over time more senior teachers are going to be promoted. The younger cikgus will still have to wait their turn to move up the “long” ladder. This is totally unfair and it is one reason why many young teachers with potential are being driven away from the profession.
What I am suggesting is to reward bright, young teachers who not only have a passion for their job, but who are willing to go the extra mile and have results to show.

How do we determine good teachers? The authorities measure a good teacher by the performance of their students in the class finals. However, are the authorities aware that many teachers resort to offering a glimpse of the exam questions to their students to ensure they obtain good grades for their respective subjects in class or school exams?
Perhaps we need to adopt a different method of measuring the standards of a good teacher. Our students will lose out if they are made to believe they are high achievers when in fact, the method of grading them is questionable .

Teachers should be gauged not just by their students’ academic achievements but by the latter’s development of soft-skills and their understanding of culture, local and world affairs.

Our cikgus should also be measured for their individual skills and strengths which should be of state, national and even international education standards.
I must add that the future of this country depends on a sound education system, and it starts with a dynamic and competent teaching force.

Via e-mail