Friday, 4 September 2015

Lesson Study in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2

Tomorrow I will be sharing lesson study with a group of teachers in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2. The principal is collaborating with a PHD student on the programme and I'm glad to be of assistance. We will have theory and practical for half a day and hope that everything will go well. 

PLC (Professional learning community) is the buzzword now and lesson study (LS) is undoubtedly an important programme/tool to produce quality teachers. How can you improve teaching without LS? This was one question popped at me during a course/meeting I attended some time back. It got me thinking....a lot...and thinking is what we teachers need to do more.......seriously :) How can we even dream of thinking classrooms if teachers are not doing enough thinking about what happens in the four walls of the classroom? How do we sharpen the saw as teachers? Are we faking it?

If a teacher doesn't sit down and plan quality lessons then we are going no where. You can shove down their throats all sorts of programmes and ideas but the teacher has got to do his or her basic responsibility which is to prepare lessons and teach well. Of course, it takes time to become skillful at your trade but it has to start from thinking about the lesson and planning to teach it well. It sounds like hardwork doesn't it but that is what teaching is! HARDWORK. Of course we get sidetracked by many things- co curricular activities, meetings, deadlines, courses  and what not but at the end of the day, we are paid to teach.

One way to instill professionalism in teachers is through LS i.e teachers talk about what they do best in the classroom- TEACHING. Not many take LS up because they say it's time-consuming, frightening etc. Yes I realise it takes time for a professional culture to be instilled in our teachers. Time and space (plus recognition) must be accorded to teachers. We have many programmes in place but some are just touch and go. My take is that we don't need so many programmes- the MOE does not have to jump at every single new idea and launch it. Instead take a few and develop and sustain them. LS could be such a programme. Many a lab to brainstorm ideas is good but does the idea reach the masses, the teachers?

Schools can be more creative in the running of its daily affairs and braver to change things. Do away with maintenance culture and switch to developmental culture. Instead of having endless meetings in the afternoons, conduct LS where teachers learn and collaborate. Why not? And if principals are brave enough, start the culture by using some of the morning classes for LS. Instructional time is not wasted but enhanced. The impact I believe, will be far-reaching. LS will ultimately shape the kind of professionalism we dream of in teachers. Let me leave you with this quote to ponder upon. It got me thinking a lot!

If they aren't learning 
you aren't teaching.


(credit: google images)

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Directed writing

It's been a while...hope everyone is fine. In this post I'm sharing a lesson which I just conducted last Wednesday in 5 Razi. The recently concluded SBP trial results were disappointing! Both my classes did not perform as expected. The formal letter was a stumbling block for them to score in directed writing. They got all their format wrong. After all my nagging (poor kids), I prepared a lesson and walked to class energetically last Wednesday with that spring in my steps! We went back to basics...real basics. Using a my word processor and a graphic organiser, we dealt with the following:

  • how to write the content points in a grammatically correct sentence (some were not able to do this)
  • how to elaborate the content points relevantly
I realised that you have to do the basics, even for SBP students. As they say better late than never. My students found the lesson helpful. They asked many questions in between even though some asked in BM. No more nagging Rahmah! Just pray for them a lot that within the next two months or so I can do a lot more. But what's more important is them never giving up on themselves!

It's been two months since I taught the class and each time I discover they have not learned this or that, I feel something inside. It did not help either when a student related how they had so much fun in Form 4 (games and videos) and now she is struggling with her essays. Sometimes it weighs down on me and it is pretty demotivating but I must not show it to them. my nagging may not help but I want them to know I always have them foremost in my prayers.

Here are the materials used:

***The yellow highlights are part of our revision which you can remove easily. Click here for the files.

Happy teaching peeps!


Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH