Monday, January 11, 2010

Suggestions for The Waiting

Here's 3 suggestions to those who are still waiting for your "next destination".

1. Keep your health in a tip-top condition.

In general, just do your very best to avoid major injuries, sickness. Be careful when you go out or even in the house (Ceilings do fall, y'know?). You never want to delay your 1st day just because you have a flu/sprained ankle that day. Well, exercising is a good suggestion too. It never harms to keep yourself in shape. Or, to some others, try to regain their ideal weight. (Yup, including yours truly.)

2. Give your mind some good workout.

Keep yourself updated with the latest happenings. Watch prime time news. Read newspapers. Yes, the headlines. Or, you can pick up books that you've been dying to finish since last years. Buy that highly recommended novel. Or, read academic journals to equip yourself with more knowledge. Anything that you find suitable to you.

3. Spend quality time with family, friends, etc...

You'll never know where your "next destination" is. Therefore, it is a good idea to use the abundant time you have with people you care. Besides, who's gonna lend you an umbrella for the next three months of drought, if not your own blood? Catching up with old friends is good too. The point is, make the spent time worth the while.

In conclusion, savour each moment! Sleeping in is a huge blessing. Having meals with your family and friends. Watching TV all the time until your parents told you off. Going out with friends on any day, because to you, everyday is still an off day. All these perks, you might enjoy them again after a very long time. Be patient. Believe that He has all planned out for you. When the time comes, a good soldier you know you are, you are all prepared to step on the New World!

Good luck, everyone!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Positive Reinforcement

It's normal for a student to get 3 stars, or 5 stars for his work.. But my cousin got 30 stars! I found it quite interesting the way the teacher try to motivate her students. But 30 stars? The teacher must have so much free time to draw all the stars.. or maybe, she just love stars.

Morning News Mist!

Guess what? It’s Saturday morning. And it’s only 7.36am when I started writing this. Instead of floating gleefully in the magical world of sweet dreams, I am very wide awake. Despite the fact I slept at about 3am last night, I am doing great writing this now.

Well peeps, this is the result of waking up early in the morning for the past one week for school. Be prepared to be a morning person, unless you get evening session school. Trust me on this, several of us are experiencing the same as I am too (you know who you are).

I believe the secondary colleagues are still waiting for the posting, right? Well, here’s an addition to those who haven’t had the chance to read our Cohort 2 senior, Jarod’s blog on the preparations a new teacher must give attention to.

  1. Have at least 6 passport photos. You will need them for Borang Penamaan Waris, and also Borang Tapisan Keselamatan.
  2. 3 copies of Surat Tawaran Pelantikan from MOE
  3. 3 copies of Surat Penempatan Sekolah from JPN
  4. 3 copies of your IC
  5. 3 copies of your Birth Certificate
  6. 3 copies of Akuan Sumpah – you can get this done now at the Commissioner of Oath
  7. 3 copies of Penyata KWSP – you can get this done now, don’t wait till later
  8. 3 copies of the first page of your Bank Account Passbook (for Maybank users, just photocopy the Passbook-less slip, or print out a page that shows your account details on your Maybank2u page)
  9. Academic Certificates – I don’t know how many copies you must have for your school record, but be prepared. JUST ACADEMIC. Sijil-sijil penglibatan tak payah.
  10. Surat AKU JANJI, Borang PENGISYTIHARAN HARTA, PENAMAAN WARIS & Borang TAPISAN KESELAMATAN – the school will provide you with these. Be prepared to get finger-ache for writing too much!

[N/B: No need to go for medical check-up yet. Don’t forget to hand in a copy of the Borang Penerimaan (blue colour) to SPP]

Fuh. That’s a long list. Now, it’s time to share a little bit about my school.

SK (1) Sultan Alam Shah, Petaling Jaya

No. of Students: 350++

No. of Teachers: 33++

No. of Class for each grade: 2 (Anggerik & Bakawali)

Average No. of Students in a class: 30

Overall English Proficiency: Very Low – Moderately High

I am very near to IPBA. Yes, I know. At one point, I felt like I lost an opportunity to experience the transition period teaching in the suburbs or rural areas. I never had that chance, yet. But most of the time, I am most grateful, I’m very near to my family and friends.

Back to my teacher stuff – I am teaching Year 4 Anggerik, 5 Anggerik, 5 Bakawali & 6 Anggerik. 28 periods a week. So can you imagine how much more we have to deal with when we are in school? So everyday, I have to face at least 90-120 students.

The real challenge is, teaching Year 6 students. Come on. Knowledge? I have. Experience? I don’t. I am moving quite slowly at the moment, still finding a streak of light to lit the dark. I am in the dark. Still crawling for help. I need experience. A person with teaching experience, who is familiar with UPSR.

Remember our lecturer always reminded us to find a mentor once we are in school? I found one. No. Actually, she found me. I was really blur and lost, she came by and asked if I needed any help. Before I could reply, she offered me to show the way, and even gave me the template for my LP! Alhamdulillah, some of us may need to work harder to find the ONE as their mentor. And some, had to be their own mentor. I wish you all all the best of luck.

Oh yes, get ready to face disappointment and frustration. You MUST USE the textbook, one way or another. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a way to un-chain the textbook-spellbinding! So it’s time for you to use your creativity to make the TEXTBOOK interesting.

Oh. One more. Literature. A big NO NO NO NO. How frustrating is that? Well, my advice, go with the flow, and gain some experience first. Get used to the system, get used to the students. When you have already gauged their abilities – LITERATURE, HERE WE COME!

Hey, it’s only Week 1. Till next time~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Beginning teachers we are.

Hello all, congratulations to those who have started your official 4-year service completing or to most of us, our official lifetime career. For those who are still goyanging kaki, hmmmmm….oh well~

There are a few points I would like to share with you regarding us being a new teacher. I haven’t got to know my posting yet, but I have been thinking about a few possible problems that I may/may not face in school. Actually, all of these ‘problems’ are very well known to all of us, and I am just going to point them out and try to give few suggestions, and I would like to invite you to give some other suggestions.

Insecurities and low self-esteem:

Have you ever feel like lacking in any way about yourself? “I am no better than him”, “I am ugly compared to her”, “They like him/her better because I am not good enough”. If you can find the pattern (…Dr. Lawrence *coughs*), these sentences are all about comparing yourself to someone you think is more ideal in that situation. Insecurities is all about emotions, not self-image, that’s why you found people who has got the ‘package’ – pretty/handsome, smart, rich, popular, etc – still finds themselves wanting more and feeling low at times. As a human being, it’s normal to be kiasu, except that now being a teacher, we must get ourselves to change this mindset, not because we are lying to ourselves saying that we are good, but because we ARE actually that good.


We are all well-prepared and there’s no such thing as “I am not good enough to be doing this profession”. What you can do is believe in your core ideas of self-image, look in the mirror: “I am well-prepared; I am not disable in ANY way (looks, personality etc)”. Because your students cling on to you, they think highly of you (some, very discreetly). Walk straight, chin up, and you will already feeling better. Don’t slouch. Portray a good image as a teacher and your secret I-hate-myself-thoughts (false self-image) will fade away as well. If it does not, it’s time to apply for a second intake on B.Ed courses this June.

Feeling unworthy and discriminated for being 'different':

You are new; you do all you can to impress the people around you, you gave 120% when you do a task given to you and all you get – Nothing. Sometimes you get this funny look when you turn your back, and you hear a crispy whisper along with a snicker. Well, in the bilik guru there’s always a sisterhood of cikgu, led by a harsh, very opinionated ‘guru darjah’ and no matter how nice you are to them, you can never join this sorority. I’ve met this sorority during my days as a trainee and by the fourth week, I have given up the erm, bootylicking. But be nice to EVERYONE, even though they disagree with you. I would like to quote a casual talk with The Star’s Teacher Talk author – Mallika Vasugi @ Shak’s ma, “You are young and new- these teachers feel that you don’t worth a respect from them. Respect comes with time (a long one)”. Sad, innit? But deal with it. Continue whatever you are doing (be nice), and expect nothing. Maintain your level of professionalism. It's not you, trust me, it's just a general hatred skeptical feel towards all new teachers. Try to have a good relationship with everyone and NEVER ever talk about other teachers behind their back. That’s why we have this blog. We talk about those teachers, here.

Difficult people at school and being a noob newbie.

We are fresh graduates. We are fresh with ideas. We look dashingly neat. We are newbies.

This is how other teachers view us.

There is a different between a noob and a newbie. A newbie is willing to learn, a noob is a stubborn newbie who is unwilling to change. We are no longer in IPBA, we have no timbalan pengarah to write letter to, we have no support system in school as we have in IPBA. We are on our own. It’s really great to bring a positive change to your school – but when it doesn’t turn out well, don’t grumble. As a newbie, we are expected to conform to the ‘tradition’ of the school. And please admit, we are new, no matter how stupid and long a process is done at school compared to what we have learned in EDUC papers. These people at school are more experienced and familiar with how things work in the school – financially, etc. Learn from them and DON’T be afraid to ask, it’s better to ask then risking on doing a redundant/wrong thing. Make the best use of this excuse “I’m new, I’m not aware how to do this and this” while you can. Be generous to share your ideas, they MIGHT listen to you (or not). Be humble. What if a crisis happens and you stuck in the middle? Take no apparent side and ignore the talk behind your back. Discuss with a former IPBA friends if you have doubts, don’t discuss this with people in your school – especially your students. Grow a thicker skin and pasrah with the fact that there are difficult people to handle at work in ANY profession pun. If they cannot accept the change we wanted to bring to the school, it’s time to change OURselves. No kidding. Change your mindset, change your beliefs: Conform to whatever cult they have in the school. Kidding.

In the end…
We are beginning teachers, so learn, learn and learn. Bring a positive change to the school if you can. Expect less, give more. Be humble. This is not a nag but as a friendly reminder to us and to myself. All the best, if you feel suicidal after a week in school, please do not hesitate to seek help from us IPBArians. We are here to help each other out.

P/S: Excuse the informal tone. That’s just me.

A few sites to share

Assalamualaikum and Hai.

I’m not sure whether it’s the vibe of school starting or it’s the 4 glasses of coffee that’s keeping me up. I’m not starting my teaching career tomorrow; no, not as my Primary-Teacher-friends are. Good luck, people. But I am vomiting butterflies too, I wonder why…

So, I decided to skip around the net and share things here.

First, as I have shared on the FB group; here’s a cool site about pretty pointless but FUN facts that can be manipulated somehow (I trust your {teachers’} creativity on this). The point of sharing is the site looks fun and it’s about learning.

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Next is maybe an already-familiar site to most of us: The Project Gutenberg.
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks."—Wikipedia.
It’s a nice site with 30000 ebooks (mostly English) that you can download for your students or for yourself.

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Lastly for this morning is a nice Lesson plan site. There are lots of lesson plans available here according to subjects. I tried it for Language Arts (since I am an English teacher; well not yet, technically. Enough of the placement problems, Waz).

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The lesson plans are divided according to students’ grades.

And I browsed through the lesson plans and they’re great. Even if they don’t meet your [students’] specific needs, you can (as always) adapt/adopt the lesson plans to suit your own students. The least it can do is to give you rough ideas. Overall the site’s pretty awesome. Try it out!

It also has a part where teachers share inspirational stories.

Okay. That's all for now. Will share more later.

Again, all the best to everyone starting school today! :D