Monday, 22 December 2014

Things teachers don't want to hear...

Food for thought teachers! Click on the picture.
Credit: The Washington Post

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Happy Holidays!

It's the end of term peeps :) Have a good break!




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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Hasbunallah hu wanikmal Wakil (2)

Friends come in all kinds of shapes and sizes: big, small, fat, lanky...skinny, you name it. As we grow, we realise it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. Someone said that life is a kind of a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess.  And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends in life.  They are the ones who matter most. 

Two weeks ago I was back in my old school for a meeting. Meeting old friends was great and somehow people are friendlier after you left...strange but true. Owh...but the sweetness of friendship is tasted when you are no longer part of the system. The hugs, the smiles :) 

Then the other day, an old friend watsapped me out of the has been a while. Although this friend of mine is kinda busy all the time, she made time to chat and even did me a small favour. We were schoolmates back in the 80's but work commitments can sometimes test a friendship. We barely keep in touch nowadays but we know the strength of our friendship surpasses all that. Work can sometimes get in the way of friendship but all we need is a message or two. This is friendship built on trust and respect. Alhamdulillah for such friends.

Then there are friends who treat you really well when she/he needs something from you but dumps you the minute you are of no use to him/her. These are fleeting friends who think it's o.k. to behave that way. They are but mere opportunists who will use you to their advantage. And some silly people still haven't learned their lesson. Many a times have I fallen into their trap. Gullible? Nope. I believe in helping another person. Didn't the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)say , “If anyone fulfills his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfill his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection.

Wait. I'm not finished. There are also friends (much younger) who have become too friendly they take the liberty to say anything to you. In the process, they hurl hurtful words:

"You are on your own from now on!" ( as if you depend on them)
"I came here because of you!"(blamingly, for things that didn't quite work)

"I need peace of mind."
"Nobody is perfect" (the most misused cliche)

You stopped in your tracks thinking what drove them to hurl such words. One cannot be 100% right but neither can one be 100% wrong. It makes you want to reassess your friendship. Once someone said to me "You don't know a person really well until you've worked with them". How true.  Give it six months and you will know their true colours. Can they be real friends? I think not. Real friends choose their words carefully. They forget that when they were feeling down, someone called them with comforting words. Long distance calls were not a problem.

Then there are good friends you've known for many years like real sistas but they listen too much to others. They judge you based on how others judge you. Years of friendship does not make any difference anymore, it's lost in a matter of days. They don't ask for your point-of-view, clarification, explanation...they are just not interested to listen to your side of the story. Everything is decided based on  judgement passed by others. If this ever happens to you, don't waste your time with such friends - they are not your real friends! Leave them be.

Then you also have friends who have a seemingly religious background whose words are always interlaced with hadith and quotes from the Quran but they judge you all the same.  They pass your sentence swiftly amidst the rosary dangling from their hands. You're not so religious in their eyes and so you're all wrong.

Sometimes Allah tests you to make you stronger. Tests are a way of making you reconsider your purpose in life and a way of purifying yourselves.

Always find peace in His words in Surah Al-Baqarah:

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286)

And the Prophet ﷺ said, “When Allah loves a servant, He tests him,” [Tirmidhi]. In a hadith qudsi (a hadith relating the words of Allah [swt]), Allah (swt) tells Jibreel to delay the response to the du`a’ of a servant because Allah (swt) loves hearing his voice [Tabarani].

credit: google images

Hasbunallah hu wanikmal Wakil... 

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Hasbunallah hu wa ni'mal Wakil...


“Hasbunallahu wa ni`mal Wakil’: حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).”
 آل عمران‎ : Surah Al ‘Imran (3:173)

Perhaps the most challenging time of my life. Keep me in your loving arms always Ya Rabb...

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Research and Methodology Booklets by Cambridge

Courtesy of Cambridge : a selection of booklets to help you become a better teacher and those doing research. You can also click on the sidebar under "Research and Methodology"


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Saturday, 4 October 2014

What do we need modules for?

Hundreds of modules have been produced by PPDs, JPNs and individuals to help students excel in public examinations. Sometimes one wonders the effectiveness of these modules. The truth is there is no one perfect module. It's all up to the teacher to adapt what they are given. Here's one built in 2008 by PPMP, Johor Education Department. Click on the image or you can also go to 'Modules' on top to download.

Happy teaching cikgu!

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Module on 'The Curse" by 5 Abu Hanifah and 5 Syafie


HI peeps! In case you're thinking, spot questions? Aha that's the word. To be honest, I never spotted questions for the novel...however, my students from 5 Abu Hanifah and 5 As Syafie decided that we would prepare a module anyway as preparation for the upcoming SPM. Thanks to these wonderful kids you can click here for module.

Happy teaching!

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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Flying business class...

In August, I flew business class to Kota Bharu for a meeting for the first time. It was a Malaysia Airlines flight and it was my first time after getting the Special Grade C. When I received the Special Grade C, many restrictions were in place as "langkah penjimatan" by the government. It had been "langkah penjimatan" for as long as I could remember. Too bad...It reminded of another incident in which luck was not on my side too. When I got my SSB in 1996 from the Scholarship Division, MOE, I only received the certificate after the ceremony was all over! So those who of you who got to go up the stage shouldn't be complaining. In Malay, we described this situation as "takde rezeki".

Then, out of the blue, there was an announcement in the papers that flying MAS is now allowed. Will I be lucky this time? I wondered how it would feel...flying business class :) Despite the two heartbreaking tragedies that swept the nation, I still had faith in our national carrier. And the opportunity came knocking at my door when there was a meeting in Kota Bharu. Naturally, I was very excited.I was barely seated when a lady spoke to me,

 "Pn Rahmah, nak pergi mana? Mesyuarat ___ ke?" (She looked familiar and my mind was racing to put a name on her face)

"Yes, Pn Normah. How are you? (thank God my memory was still good!)

"Owh, you still remember me. I'm fine. Got work to do in KB but I can't sit here now. Am in economy."

I smiled as she inched to the economy class cabin. That was Pn Normah, retired JUSA C principal from my district. Once, she took a lift from me to a PPMP meeting with JPN Johor. And once too, she invited me to give a talk on Action Research to her teachers. A very capable lady for whom I have a lot of respect. Amazing isn't it how roles are reversed and how our ranks determine our seats! It's all part of life's journey...

On board, a sweet, young stewardess clad in MAS batik outfit, quipped cheerfully,

"Hajah, what would you like for a drink? Orange juice, guava, mango..?" 

I had barely sat on seat 2A! I turned it down politely as I was fasting. Hubby told me to break my fast so I could taste the food but I refused. I still had the return flight. A Datok or Dato' sitting on my right was enjoying "roti jala" and "teh tarik". Not a word was exchanged until we landed in Kota Bharu. There were many empty seats in the business class and the passengers looked very important. The leg room was spacious but the seats were a bit shabby I thought. The political turmoil in Selangor caught my attention as I was reading the STAR voraciously, taking in every morsel of detail. Despite having to wake up at 3 a.m. on travel day, and driven by En Jamaludin, the local taxi driver in my neighbourhood (bless him), Tan Sri Khalid's political future or what's left of it, caught my eyes. It was news of the moment. It's politics at its best; one day you're my best friend and another day you're my enemy.

Alhamdullillah the flight was smooth and we landed safely at 10.30 a.m. in Kota Bharu. A smooth landing too thank God. I always have trouble landing time. My stomach will be in knots! Well, enough excitement for one day- a school girl's excitement :0

Thank you to En Hassan from the Examinations Unit in JPN Johor for arranging the tickets for me.

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Teaching Relfections...acceptable?

Is this an acceptable  reflection after a revision class? By the inspectorates' standards this would be way off the mark but I'm writing it all the same. This was after a revision of the trial papers with one of the classes I am teaching; one of the classes I've taken over from a teacher who left to be precise. I can tell you it's not fun taking over someone's class. You have to pick up the pieces and try to put the pieces together. Today I was at pains trying to explain some of the common pitfalls they made during the trial. Some were quite indifferent.  I'm trying my best to improve their level before they sit for the SPM examination. All the students wanted was to increase their marks rather than understand their mistakes. Well, not a very good day today. All I know is I was left fatigued and disappointed after the class :(



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Monday, 1 September 2014


Here are five powerful questions teachers can ask students I found from a website. This website shares important tips on teaching and learning.
Click image.

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Hari Raya Get-together for Teachers and Staff

Enjoyed this gathering..simple but joyful and the food was delicious, especially the rendang. We are so lucky to have the new canteen operator. Everything I tasted was to my liking :)

'Kambing golek' by popular request!

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Action Research 2014

Alhamdulillah..managed to  get this action research completed in three days! The deadline for submission to PPD Kluang is today, 24th August 2014. The research was conducted with 5 As Syafie last year but it's only now that I managed to write the report. Perhaps the pressure from the principal was good as it pushed me to complete this report albeit sleepless nights for three days! Been using journals for so long but have never done a research into its effectiveness. Well, let's hope the panel thinks this is worth selecting.

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Monday, 18 August 2014

One-off Incentive to English Teachers: Cambridge Placement Test Result

Hi folks! The one-off incentive is real after all :) You can check your Cambridge Placement Test Results here to see if you qualify for the incentive. Congratulations to those who got C2 (RM5000) or C1 (RM3000) . To those who didn't, well don't be too upset. You can also click on the image. All the best!

And to those who are interested to know what your level means, read on:

CEFR Level Listening/Speaking Reading Writing

CAN advise on or talk about complex or sensitive issues, understanding colloquial references and dealing confidently with hostile questions. CAN understand documents, correspondence and reports, including the finer points of complex texts. CAN write letters on any subject and full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression and accuracy.

CAN contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions. CAN read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence. CAN prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay which shows an ability to communicate.

CAN follow or give a talk on a familiar topic or keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics. CAN scan texts for relevant information, and understand detailed instructions or advice. CAN make notes while someone is talking or write a letter including non-standard requests.

CAN express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements. CAN understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area. CAN write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

CAN express simple opinions or requirements in a familiar context. CAN understand straightforward information within a known area, such as on products and signs and simple textbooks or reports on familiar matters. CAN complete forms and write short simple letters or postcards related to personal information.

CAN understand basic instructions or take part in a basic factual conversation on a predictable topic. CAN understand basic notices, instructions or information. CAN complete basic forms, and write notes including times, dates and places.

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Back to school...ouch!

Come on! Drag those heavy feet to school (teachers included) tomorrow. After a week of Adilfitri celebrations, it's time to pit those brains against the SPM Trial :) Whoever said Hari Raya is for a month is utterly confused and has got to get his brains fixed hehe... All the best guys! That goes to 5 Syafie and5 Abu Hanifah too :) May the best man win!


My lovable mentees in Dorm L01


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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Eid Mubarak!

 Wishing all friends and students Eid Mubarak. 
Maaf Zahir Batin.


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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Desciptive Writing with 5 Abu Hanifah and 5 Syafie :)

I was quite pleased with the students' work on descriptive writing today. They tried their level best to produce two paragraphs giving details and using the five senses. The part I hope they benefited most from was the editing stage in which we both, teacher and students highlighted and corrected the language errors. Although they made quite a number of mistakes, you have to allow them to go through that process of learning through mistakes. Although descriptive writing is one of the most challenging of genres, they can still apply the knowledge for other genres such as the narrative and reflective compositions.

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

OPS- ENGLISH for For Form One

Alhamdulillah, I finally received the writer's copy although it was only the students handbook :) Thanks to Sheila (ELTcs) for the kind thought. I was one of the module writers and would certainly be proud to keep a copy. This programme is a brave new idea by the Ministry of Education where for the first six months, Form 1 students will be immersed in only listening and speaking activities. More schools have been identified for the programme. It would be nice to know the feedback from schools and how well the programme is going for this is 'revolutionary' to me and to most of you out there too. I was made to understand that the theory underpinning this is dialogic teaching. Basically, it is about getting students immersed in 'talk'. You can read more about it here.

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Wordsmith #5 Winner

Congratulations to the winners of Wordsmith # 5:

  • Pesmindher Pall Singh a/l Mokhtar Singh (5 Al Bukhari)
  • Nor Ammry Shamsul Adnan (5 Abu Hanifah)

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Free Online pdf converter

A place to convert all those files you've always wanted to convert :)

smallpdf: free online converter

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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Ramadhan is here!

Forgive me for any of my mistakes and shortcomings. 
Wishing you a blessed Ramadhan!

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3): English Language

The much awaited sample from LP folks :) Click on the image to download.

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