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Hi, everyone! I have finally managed to write something. I hope 2017 will bring many great things for all of us!
-TM, 2nd February 2017

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ohhohoho...

   Let's face it. I'm bad at keeping my word. Well, at least when it comes to talks about posting. Lalala. I've yet to write about the promised 'Part 2' to this entry, hopefully I'll come around to that some day. Many of my friends have asked me to share what I've read, but really, they should ask for what should be read, since I didn't really read all that much.

   Anyhow, I'd like to share a few things.

   Number 1: I passed KISSM. Alhamdulillah. Yehhu! If you've gone for KISSM and haven't checked, this is where you check the results:


   Number 2: Dato' Wee Ka Siong tweeted some interesting stuff yesterday:



   And I have heard quite a lot of talk that there will be postings in January. I'm not sure how true it is, but let's have faith. 

   And I hope all goes well for all IPTA edu grads who are waiting to be called for their SPP interviews, I haven't heard much about it, but apparently there will be interviews in January. Pray that it'll happen, people! Feel free to share if you get a call for the interview :)

   And yes, I WILL Insya-Allah post about where I'm posted to. So many people have asked me to tell them when it happens, that I've forgotten who they are! Insya-Allah. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Prepare for an SPP Interview Part 1


   This is long due, but I've promised a few friends that I'd share some tips. Now, I don't profess to be a pro when it comes to interviews. In fact, I've only gone for two in 7 years- the first was when I went for the TESL interview, and the second was this SPP thing.

   Now, you should keep in mind that with everything that's been going on (including the lateness in posting this year), things may change. Interviews may be conducted differently in the future. However, I think these are all basic tips that can be applied for any sort of interview. I collected them from own experiences, as well from many people including my particular batch of Cohort 4 TESL grads (hello to you if any of you are reading this!). I hope this is helpful.

   1. Appearance & Attire
   - Wear formal clothing. This would usually mean traditional dresses (baju kurung) for  the ladies and collared shirts & black pants for the men. People may have different opinions about this, but I'd advice ladies to go for baju kurung. Easy. No skirts with splits at the back. Wear what you'd wear to school everyday. (Yang Muslims, tutup aurat ya. I needn't say more.)
   -Wear dark-coloured covered shoes. This would usually mean high-heeled, dark coloured 'court' shoes, as we call them, for the ladies.
   - Wear blazers. This isn't compulsory, but from my experience, it does help make you look smart and professional. I noticed  this because all the TESL candidates wore blazers and it makes a lot of difference (well we all shared tips with each other, hehe). We even had an interviewer comment that he gave extra marks for those who wear blazers. They should be dark in colour- black or dark blue would do nicely. Make sure you feel comfortable in yours.
   -Wear nametags. The sort you wore when you went for practicum.
   -Just make sure you look smart from top to toe. Iron your clothes, pin your tudung into place, etc.

   2. Attitude
   -Look smart and professional. How do you that? I don't know, figure it out, you're teachers are't you? Hehe
   -Put on a pleasant  face. I know some people like to look serious, and I guess it works too. Just don't joke around too much or be too playful. There are times and places for that. Just calm down and relax.    -    
   -Follow the Person-In-Charge's instructions. There will be a PIC for every centre, and before you go into the room, they will give a short briefing session and explain what you have to do. Some even give tips.
   -Be respectful. At my place, we were asked to give salam to the interviewer before entering the room. Enter in single file, and don't sit before you're told to. Don't cross your legs. Hehe.
   -Don't pretend to know if you don't know something. Uh-huh. Just respectfully say you''re not sure, but if you want to try and answer anyway, go ahead.  Each interviewer is different, but we'll get to that later.

   3. Required Documents
   -Make sure you have everything prepared ahead of time. I've heard a lot of cases were candidates were not allowed to sit for an interviewer due to missing documents. Some PICs may be more lenient, but don't hope for that. Make sure you have anything necessary compiled.
   -Print out the checklist from the SPP website You will also get letters delivered to your home, and sometimes  the checklist is included. But double check with your friends and the SPP website. Double and triple check everything.
   -Arrange all original documents in a clear holder.
   -Make extra extra copies of the original documents and make sure you get them all verified. Clip or staple the required copies together.
   -This is the list of documents we had to take. It may be different for different courses etc.:
   (i) I.C.
   (ii) Birth certificate
   (iii) SPM certificate
   (iv) Graduation scroll
   (v) Graduation transcript
   (vi) Programme offer letter (which you got when you were first offered your teaching programme)
   -Some had to bring their practicum record book. I brought mine, but it wasn't required. Teachers who are already working in schools have to bring other additional documents.

   This is all I can think of at the moment. If I think of anything else, I'll update this  post. If you have any comments or questions... well, just shoot me a comment below. Insya-Allah I'll try my best to respond.

   [Next up: Part 2: What to Read for the Interview. Stay tuned.]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

National Education Philosophy (Falsafah Pendidikan Negara)

   This is again, something all teachers (in Malaysia)  should have drilled into their minds. Memorise it if you haven't, and understand the essence of it.

   The National Education Philosophy

   "Education in Malaysia is an on-going efforts towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intelectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large."


   Falsafah Pendidikan Negara

   "Pendidikan di Malaysia adalah suatu usaha berterusan ke arah memperkembangkan lagi potensi individu secara menyeluruh dan bersepadu untuk mewujudkan insan yang seimbang dan  harmonis dari segi intelek, rohani, emosi dan jasmani berdasarkan kepercayaan dan kepatuhan kepada Tuhan. Usaha ini adalah bagi melahirkan rakyat Malaysia yang berilmu pengetahuan, berakhlak mulia, bertanggungjawab dan berkeupayaan mencapai kesejahteraan diri serta memberi sumbangan terhadap keharmonian dan kemakmuran masyarakat dan negara.”  

   Again a good topic for discussion.

   p.s. I'm preparing a post on tips for attending interviews, with the SPP interview in mind. Stay tuned.

The Principles of Nationhood (Rukun Negara)

   I've been reading some stuff in preparation for the SPP interview. Since I'm an English teacher, I hope they'll ask me questions in English, I'm  not used to formal conversation in Malay, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't prepare to use formal BM. Gosh I'm nervous.

   This is something all Malaysians, and definitely teachers, should know.

The Principles of Nationhood
1. Belief in God
2. Loyalty to the King and Country
3. The Supremacy of the Constitution
4. Sovereignty of the Law
5. Courtesy and Morality

Rukun Negara
1. Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan
2. Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara
3. Keluhuran Perlembagaan
4.  Kedaulatan Undang-Undang
5. Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan

   I think some discussion on each principle would be interesting. I'll try to work something out.

News: SPP Interview

   I received news that I have to go for the DG41 SPP interview on 23rd November. Apparently you have to go for interviews first now before you get posted, even if you're from the IPG line.

   Will post more on this soon.

   [THIS is where you check for the date and place for the interview.]

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it time to think of other options?

   Last night this got us hopeful.


   Then came this about half an hour ago:

 

   And this:

   One thing about WKS is he takes the effort of answering questions. Oh well. What can I say? Millions ( or 1 million?) of undergrads under the KPM scholarship are waiting for placement. Some have families to feed, some have themselves to feed... then I came across this:


   However little money you have, there's always some other person who has even less. Or worse, none. Instead of thinking of what you don't have, think of what you do have.

   If you really need to work, it's time to look at other options. Just write that resume, send them somewhere,go for interviews and whatnot. Do something. Don't just complain. 

   Do you hear this guy complaining?

I must say I'm impressed with how he managed to arrange the bricks so that hey don't fall down.
Thumbs up to him! What little money he earns, he truly deserves.
Can we say that much about ourselves?
   For my fellow friends who are patiently waiting to be placed in schools, keep that patience alive inside of you. We are going to be teachers. We're going to be role models for children. What are the chances that our complaints will be echoed by the children we teach when we give them homework in the future? They say history repeats itself. I say, be the sort of person you want your children and students/pupils to be. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some news on posting from Dato' Wee Ka Siong

   Okay I did say that I'd stop posting about posting until I've been posted... wait, I never said that. Okay, so here we go.

   Tadaa!!!


   Good news, huh? Apparently somebody said that TESL there meant KDC (Kursus Dalam Cuti) teachers, so somebody tweeted Dato WKS and got a reply:


   This is probably the first real confirmation that something might happen, but then again nothing is certain. Let's just pray and hope for the best ;)

*Credits to the people who tweeted and posted the print-screen version of the tweets. Tq!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Posting, posting, posting... hehe

   I'm afraid I'm going to bore you with more news on posting.

   Of course, if you're an IPGM-TESL graduate, you might be glad of some news, huh?

   These are pieces of information I collected from my TESL friends, through our FB group. These people have 'connections' with 'insiders', hehe, so hopefully the news will turn out true. I just hope I have time to complete my driving lessons and take the JPJ test before being posted!

   1. My friend Bet said that her father's friend, who's an important personage at the Bahagian Pertukaran Guru, said posting results will be announced on 26th September 2011. Less than four weeks from now.

   2. A TESL boy announced that he got information from JPN Kedah that a meeting at Putrajaya will be held on September 8th 2011. This is when representatives from all the JPNs will gather to collect names for their respective states.
      * It seems that Selangor & Johor need over 1000 teachers. (I think I'd prefer Selangor over Johor. At least I have some family there.)
      * It seems that there's an overload of teachers in Kelantan and Kedah... so doooshhh all hopes of going there are lost. But of course Allah knows best and you never know what can happen, huh?

   3. Another TESL boy said he had the chance to talk to the Head of JPN Sarawak, who said that posting for TESL grads (not sure if he just means IPGM TESL grads, or all, but I suppose just the former since the others haven't filled their forms,  or so I've heard) will be announced sometime in September. So.

   Well, I hope the news will turn out to be true. Let's hope for the best. If you're reading this, please pray that I'll be placed somewhere I'm needed. Insya-Allah.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Posting lagi...

   Kawan saya Ika cakap dia dapat berita dari JPN Johor mengkhabarkan bahawa perlantikan baru untuk bulan 8 dibekukan sebab kerajaan tiada duit untuk bayar gaji. Dengar cerita bukan sahaja perlantikan untuk guru-guru, tetapi juga untuk semua bahagian lain. Bak kata Wani, lepas raya, paling lambat bulan 10.

   Lagi2 tak ada duit. Itu saja komen saya tentang ini. Ataupun mungkin itu saja komen yang saya dapat tulis di sini. Yang lain? Simpan dalam hati saja...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Some news on posting

   Rasa nak tulis in BM.

   Dan rasa nak guna bahasa rojak.

   Dan rasa nak guna BM yg tak betul sangat.

   Sebab saya pun rasa tak betul.

   Kawan2 saya juga ramai yang tengah 'tak betul'.

   Sebab kami semua sedang menunggu keputusan 'posting' yang tak keluar2 lagi.

   "Bila posting ni?"

   "Posting lambat pun takpe... boleh rehat and enjoy lama2 kat rumah... tapi bila tau result eh?"

   "Nak cari kerja lain takut tiba2 kena panggil..."

   "Takut la kena hantar Sabah Sarawak."

   "Lambat posting, lambat la dapat gaji wei..."

   Dan macam2 lagi. Itulah yang menjadi isi perbincangan kami di FB saban hari. Kalau tukar topik pun, akan berbalik semula ke isu posting.

   Semalam kawan saya memberi sedikit informasi dari kawan ayahnya yang merupakan ketua sektor sekolah rendah di salah sebuah negeri di Malaysia (discreet habis... but you know who you are, Wani, hehe. Femes jap u kat sini). Kata kawan ayahnya ini, beliau dipanggil untuk bermesyuarat tentang posting, sepatutnya pada minggu ini tetapi mesyuarat tersebut dibatalkan pada saat akhir. Bak kata kawan saya, kalau macam ni, gamaknya selepas raya lah baru ada berita tentang posting.

   Ada pula yang mengkhabarkan bahawa JPN Sabah & Sarawak serta JPN negeri2 Pantai Timur (semua negeri atau salah satu, saya tak pasti) telah menghantar surat gesaan kepada Bahagian Penempatan supaya mempercepatkan posting kerana mereke memerlukan guru Bahasa Inggeris.

   Ada yang tertanya-tanya jika kami akan di'posting'kan selepas Raya ATAU selepas pilhanraya, hehe.

   Begitulah kisahnya.

   Itulah sebabnya saya malas untuk meng'update' blog.

   Ini sahaja berita yang saya dapat sampaikan buat kali ini.

   Sekian.

   p.s.: Apapun, saya pasti Allah lebih mengetahui BILA dan DI MANA kami akan ditempatkan. BILA dan KE MANA kami dihantar adalah yang terbaik buat kami. Time will tell. And Allah knows BEST :)

   p.s.2: To those who do not understand BM, this is just a random post about posting. No big deal and nothing very useful, so you didn't miss out on much.

   p.s.3:  I wonder... kepada yang mengambil kursus pendidikan di universiti seperti IIUM, UM, UPSI dll, sudahkah anda mengisi borang posting secara atas talian (online)? Dengar kata bulan 8 atau 9?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Posting Results: Waiting 'til We're Nuts!

   I haven't posted anything new because doing it reminds me that I'm still waiting for the posting results.

   And also because I left my practicum files and record books with my lecturer. I was planning to make some good entries out of them, but there you are.

   Over a week ago, the posting results for one of the KPLI programmes (pre-school or pendidikan khas, I don't remember) were announced on the Ministry's website. Duh.

   It's not like I am SUPER excited to start working. Yes, it's true that it'll be nice to start earning money and help my parents out (and get some things for myself!) but since I just got home for about two weeks, I'm still in the mood for relaxing and feeling useless (at times) and baking edible (yes edible, since I'm still pretty much a novice at it) things to eat.

   However, it is annoying to have this nagging feeling whenever the words 'posting results' pop into my head. Ugh. I WANT to know where I'll be sent. I WANT TO KNOW! It's not easy to be patient, huh? Life is all about waiting, I guess.

   Where will I be sent? Will I get a school so near to my house that I can't stay here and save on rent and a lot of other things besides? Will I get a school in some part of Peninsular Malaysia that's umfamiliar to me, like Pahang or Negeri Sembilan? Will I get sent back to the northern parts- maybe Kedah? Or Penang? Will I get sent back to Melaka? (No! No! No!!!!!!) Will I be sent of to the dreaded states: Sabah or Sarawak?

   Arrgghhh!!!! But I suppose this is what most, if not all, teacher trainees go through. I do know that we are a little bit luckier compared to our university friends, who have yet to complete their forms. They have to wait until the end of this year for their results. At least they'll get to stay at home, I guess. We should be grateful. Sigh.

   For lack of nothing to do (yeah, right) and in order to help my jumbled-up thoughts about posting, I've made a list of the possible places that I COULD be sent to and the pros and cons. 

[I should go to sleep, it's 1.37 a.m. and I've to get up early for sahur- it's Nisfu Syaaban! But oh well.]

   1. Kelantan: somewhere so near to my house that I can bike to school
       Bike? Well maybe not, but maybe Abuya could send me or I could drive there when I get my licence.

       Pros 
       No need for rent fees! Yippee!!!
       Save a lot of money! This means that I can give more (insya-Allah) to Ummi and Abuya, as well as save up to do thing that I want to do (like going for umrah and travelling!!!)
       A chance to polish on my meagre Kelantanese speaking skills.
       Get to complete my driving lessons easily!
       Be close to home, all the time!
       
       Cons:
       I might meet someone (a guy) who's a pure-bred Kelantanese. Oh no. (I'm not biased. Honest. I just don't fancy them)
       I'll have to really learn to speak Kelantanese! Yikes!
       I might end up being here forever. I'd like to have the chance to explore other places too.

       Conclusion:
       I still have mixed feelings about this. Though I really want to stay close to where my parents and family are, a part of me says that I want to explore. I dunno. I feel guilty. I haven't said anything to Ummi or Abuya about what I feel. :(


   2. Kelantan: somewhere not-so-near so that I'd have to stay away
       Examples? Gua Musang (I hope not!) Machang? Tanah Merah? Jeli?

Thanks for the welcoming words.
But I dunno.
credits
       Pros 
       I'd get to experience a new place (but still in Kelantan, duh)
       I can come back every weekend or every other weekend- as often as I can!
       Save on travelling fees when I do come home (?)
       Get to complete my driving lessons easily enough if I can come home more often.

       Cons:
       New place? Really?
       If I am posted to someplace in Kelantan, they might as well post me somewhere near so that I'll be able to stay at home!
       Same other cons for being posted near home

       Conclusion:
       I dunno. Kelantan? Only if I get to stay somewhere near home. If I can't, then just put me somewhere else.


   3. Back to good-old Kedah or Penang
       Not such a bad idea. I'd be able to teach in a place where I grew up or went to school. I kind of like this. In fact, 8 out of 10.

       Pros: 
       Familiar surroundings... familiar places
       MakNgah's family and Tok & Wan are there
       I spent all my life except for the last four years in both states- it's kinda close to the heart
       I like Kedah & Penang!!!
       
       Cons:
       Far away from home (Kelantan)

       Conclusion:
       I like the idea- but am not sure Mum and Dad do! (Well they want me to be in Kelantan, which explains everything, hehe)       


   4. Other parts of Peninsular Malaysia
       This won second place on my list of 'nerve-wrecking when I think that I'll be posted here'. And yet it sounds like fun if I could do a bit of exploring.

       Pros: 
       New places! New sights! New surroundings! New people!
       
       Cons:
       Well, it depends on which state it is. I don't really have a thing for Negeri Sembilan (makanan pedas oi!), Johor sounds like an expensive place to live in, Perak and Perlis sounds okay, Terengganu would be good... Pahang is a bit risky because it's so big.

       Conclusion:
       It'll pretty much depend on the state they send me to. 





   5. Back to Melaka where it all began
       The truth is, Melaka isn't such a bad place. In fact, it's quite an awesome state for its small size and I've grown to understand its people from my four years there. For some reason though... I dread being posted there. Too many people who know me...? 

       Pros: 
       Jusco! I love Jusco. And they have so many shopping complexes. 
       I've yet to explore some of the attractions like Zoo Melaka (yeah, duh), the Night Cruise, Duck Tours etc. A bit dumb, really since I had lots of time to go but didn't.
       The people are really nice... in their own way :)
       I've built some good relationships with some people there, which is good, I guess?
       
       Cons:
       It's such a long way from home by bus... 9 hours of travelling back and forth by bus for four years is enough. Quite enough.
       Like I say, I have this uncomfortable feeling of being sent there. Like a premonition. Which I don't understand and therefore do not like

       Conclusion:
       Hmmm.... if I do get sent to Melaka, I'm going to smile bravely and say to myself, "at least you're still in good old Peninsular Malaysia..."


   6. Sabah! Or Sarawak!!!!!!! Aggghhhh!!!!

       Pros: 
       New place. Could be exciting.
       More money! (I hope I don't sound too happy about that)
       I'll get to travel by airplane! Haven't done that for a while.

       Cons:
       Such a long way from home...
       I might get sent so deep into the wilderness that I won't have access to the internet!

       Conclusion:
       While I hope not to be sent here, I feel quite optimistic (for now) about being sent there. 



 7. Overseas?
       Okay that was random. What a silly, silly idea. As if! But it's fun to think that there might be a possibility of it happening. Okay, maybe not. Let's pretend there is, anyway.

       Pros: 
       Scotland would be really cool.... haha. Or they could send me to New Zealand. Or anyplace cool. Yeah.
       Hey, what's not fun about travelling? (Probably lots of things but I won't think of them now)
       I'll be a foreigner! Cool!

       Cons:
       Urm... I don't think I'd afford it, haha

       Conclusion:
       I'm being silly. It'll NEVER happen. Period.


   This is what happens when you think TOO much about where you'll be posted to. This is just me. My friends are cooking up even weirder and funnier things to do!

   Anyway, I put my complete trust in Allah. he knows best. Like Ustaz Kabuye said once, the place we are sent to will be where we are needed most. I hope to be a good teacher. Where? Allah knows best! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Arts & Crafts : Origami Yacht

   During practicum, I taught 2 subjects: English and Arts.

   I dreaded the thought of teaching Arts. But I dreaded the thought of teaching Local Studies even more, so when Eza and I had to switch minors from Local Studies to Arts, we were literally bouncing with joy. However, deep in my heart I felt quite nervous.

   When I actually began teaching the subject, I found that it was fun. The fact is, teaching primary school children is fun. It really is. They are always very eager about doing the activities- though I wouldn't say they're quite as good at bringing the materials necessary when you tell them to!

   Thankfully, I teach Art to Year 2 and Year 3, and there are only respectively 7 and 11 pupils in each class, so it's not difficult to bring extra items in case the children forget to do so. When I first started out, it was difficult when they kept forgetting to bring scissors and glue, but later I began purchasing extra tools and items so that nobody would be left out from the fun. You just have to sacrifice some money,  but believe me if you love kids it won't be difficult to do so!

   In this entry, I'd like to share one lesson in which we prepared origami yachts. There are any number of websites that provide suggestions, step-by-step instructions and even pictures to accompany the instructions, which are really helpful. I'm afraid my lesson plan is in Bahasa Melayu though, if I have time I'll make a rough LP later and upload it here.

   So, let's start!

   First, make the yacht. You'll need some coloured paper and scissors.

   You can visit this link to look at the step by step instructions on how to make the origami yacht. The instructions include photos so you'll be okay. Besides, it's super easy!

   *Remember, always remind your pupils to be careful when using scissors.
   My kids tend to point the sharp end of the scissors to their eyes and so on. Playfully, of course, but it should not be permitted whatsoever.

   Secondly, paste the completed yacht onto a piece of drawing paper.

   Thirdly, draw a picture of waves and the sun in the background. Show them some examples, but be sure to tell them that they can be as creative as they like. Like this:

Isn't she neat in doing her work? Those waves are lovely!

   As they do that, go around the class to assist and answer their questions. If they don't have any, just drop some praises here and there, and give words of encouragement. It's important!

My tall and model-like partner Eza. We did a partnered-teaching for this class.
   And there you go! Easy, huh?

   Oh, you haven't met my Year 2 pupils, have you? Well, let's meet 'em! Below are some pictures the children preparing the yacht (oh cripes, I have to keep checking how to spell 'yacht'. Isn't that awful?):

This is Izzat, the class monitor.
Always the last person out of the class.
He helps me sweep the floor and close the windows.
I never had to ask.
He's a real sweetheart.
Syafiq.
A bit 'manja' sometimes, but I suppose it's because he's the youngest in his family.
Has a crush on one of the Year 1 girls, which he shares with his best friend Izzat.
Yikes. Haha.

Izani.
He's a bit of a troublemaker, but he usually behaves well in my classes.
When he attends school, that is.
He's also in remedial class. He's very quiet.

Aina.
One of the brightest in the class.
Probably my favourite (oops...) out of the girls.
She's very well-mannered. She also got As for all her subjects during UPP1.
A sweet girl.

Hajar, the assistant class monitor.
Quite talkative. A good girl, although a bit too playful sometimes.
Her brother is Eza's favourite pupil in Year 4.
She's probably the neatest worker in the class.
Even neater than I am. Oh no.

Adila.
For some time she was the only girl in the class.
Probably the reason why Hakim (another boy whose photo I didn't take during this class)
has a crush on her.
A huge crush.
Kids these days.
   So there you go. Easy as a pie. Though pies aren't really easy (for me anyway... boohoo).

   Anyway, you can visit http://www.origami-fun.com as well as http://www.origami-instructions.com for more ideas on making origami. Have fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Short Update

   Assalamualaikum and hello. I feel rather bad for leaving this blog without any updates. The truth is I feel rather burnt out from reading. I have to read nearly a hundred articles for my part-time job, as well as two CDs and a bunch of handouts on KISSM. I would dearly love to explain what KISSM is, but apart from telling you that it is a course (which includes an exam!) that I have to prepare for, I think I'll postpone the intention until I feel less drained (and drowned!).

   KISSM will be conducted throughout Malaysia in all the IPGs (Institut Pendidikan Guru, formerly known as Maktab Perguruan) from 28/06/2011 to 30/06/2011. I have to complete two 750-words essays and submit them on the 28th. I also have so many notes to read!

   Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Skeleton Dance

   This is one of the videos that I used in class, and it's really good if you want to insert some fun into your lessons. I love it, and the children... well, they were hooked the moment the skeleton came out!

   I was actually looking for an interesting video that could help me teach my Year 3 pupils to remember their left and right hands. This was after a disastrous lesson that we went through (which is a very, very long story so I won;t talk about it here). Now, I wouldn't exactly say that this video helped them to remember their left and right hands (and feet, for that matter!) right away, but it certainly got them interested in the lesson.

   There are two versions of the video. In the first version, the skeleton shakes his own left and right hands in accordance with the lyrics:

VERSION 1:

   The second video is a mirrored version of the first one. This means that the skeleton puts up his LEFT hand while singing about the RIGHT hand, while putting up his RIGHT hand when he sings about the LEFT hand. If I'm not mistaken was made after one of the comments suggested  a mirrored version so that young children could follow the skeleton's hands without being confused about which hand to put up in order to follow the song. 

   This video makes a great set induction, and you can also wrap up the lesson with it. If your children's level of English is pretty good, they'll probably be able to sing along to the lyrics when hearing it for the second time. If it's not, you can just let them stand up and dance along with the skeleton. 

VERSION 2:

   I've also tried it with the Year 1 and Year 2 pupils, and they loved it! So try it out, and let me know what you think! Let's dance!

   [I collected my portfolios and record books from the practicum unit a few days ago. I hope to be able to share some useful things with you soon. Look forward to it!]

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Under The Sea Sing-a-long & The Silent Game 2

   When Blogger went down and took two of my posts with it, I gave up on writing and let my blog get a little dusty.

   Well here I am, forcing my brain to think and my fingers to type. I always take a long time in producing even the shortest post, so the fact that the 'lost' posts took some time to be completed is rather depressing. Yet I know that I cannot be hampered by such a small challenge. If I'm ever going to succeed in making my pupils write in the future, I must be able to do it willingly myself.

   So here goes. This time I'd like to share a video that I used with my Year 3 pupils. I liked this video because of its colourfulness, the rather comical voice that sings the song and the fact that it's related to the theme that I was teaching Year 3 at the time- the Sea World.

   Sea World is the third unit in the Year 3 textbook. I was itching to get to Unit 4, which was 'Pets and Animals', but Sea World was very interesting. It pretty much challenged my brain to think of interesting ideas to teach, but I still feel that I did not push myself to the limit. I stuck with old-fashioned ideas- but it was this unit that helped me to get nominated for... well, something.

   I used this video as a Set Induction for the day's lesson. I thought I'd turn it into a game, so I did. I did not want a complicated game, as a Set Induction is only meant to be between 3 to 5 minutes long.

   Remember my Silent Game with Year 1? I changed the rules a little to suit Year 3. If you've read some of my old entries (this, this and maybe this), you may have some idea about Year. They can be such angels, and at times they're little monsters.

   Anyway, back to the game. In a previous lesson, I had taught Year 3 the names of a number of sea creatures. So, just to make sure they would do some thinking and show some reaction to the video, I asked them to put up their hands whenever a sea creature that they liked appeared on the screen. The  only rule was they were absolutely forbidden to make any noise whatsoever.

   Here's the video:


   Now it may sound simple enough- just putting up your hands and making sure your mouth is shut, but for children who LOVE to speak, it's quite a challenge. Alif, for instance, has a lot of trouble keeping his mouth shut. Each time an animal that he liked appeared on the screen, he would jump up and say in his high pitched voice, "Aah!! Aah!" (which I suppose means he liked the creature. Putting up a hand was not enough).

   It was a simple game but they enjoyed it. Their English was not that good to be able to sing along to the song while they watched it for the first time, but they liked it. I discovered that most of the boys loved the stingray, and the girls, being girls, liked the gentle dolphin. I suppose the stingray, with its long deadly looking tail appealed to the boys. I have to admit it is one cool creature.

   As always, if anyone ever tries this, I welcome feedbacks and comments. If you have a blog or story about your pupils, drop a comment- I'm always interested.

   Warning: There are some grammatical errors in the song lyrics in the video. I wasn't focusing on grammar so I was too lazy to do anything about it.

   It's a bit late, but Happy Teacher's Day! I just got an sms from Kak Yana, who's the class teacher for Year 1 at SKP. She said they remembered me and wanted to give me a present! Awww... what sweeties. I'll dedicate a special post (and probably more!) on Year 1 soon, Insya-Allah. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Silent Game 1 - useful for keeping your class quiet! (or not)

   I was thinking of what useful things I could write, and I suddenly remembered this game that I invented in order to help me gain some quiet and peace in class. It worked... well enough, I guess.

   The idea popped into my head when I was taking a relief class with Year 1 at SKP. Now, I've had a little experience with Year 1 pupils when I went for SBE at SKP.

   (Wait a mo', I just remembered. Both schools that I went to, for SBE and teaching practice, have the same initials- SKP! Well, the one I went to for SBE is SK Palekbang in home sweet home Kelantan while the SKP I went to for teaching practice is SK Pegoh. What do you know... huh? I wonder if I'll go to another SKP when I start teaching... anyway...)

   From my SBE experience with Year 1, I realised that you have to be really active in class. I mean, really, really active. If you've read about the Year 1 pupils at my school, you'll understand why.

   Anyway, during a particular relief class with Year 1, I wanted to show them how to make animal masks. At first I had planned to give them some worksheets to work on, but as soon as I began to take them out, the children began to complain and turn on sour faces. They were tired of worksheets. They wanted to do something interesting.

   So I gave way and sent the class monitor to get some fresh sheets of drawing paper from the staff room. So we waited. Now, it's a dangerous thing to have nothing to do in class. You must always have some sort of activity so that the children don't start getting noisy and rowdy. In a sudden burst of inspiration, I invented the Silent Game.

   It's quite simple and can probably be implemented for 5 minutes or so before the children start getting noisy again. But trust me, with these particular group of children,  5 minutes of silence is a blessing... a great blessing.

   The game goes like this.

   (1) Explain to the children that they will play a simple game. In this game, no noise must be made. They are absolutely forbidden to talk or even whisper.

   (2) The teacher will asks some simple Yes/No questions.

   (3) If their answer is YES, they must put up their right hand and do a thumbs-up while smiling.
        (Don't ask me why, like I said the idea came out of nowhere)

thumbs up!!!!!!
source

   (4) If their answer is NO, they must use their arms to form an 'X'. (Again, don't ask me why).
 
-couldn't find a suitable picture-

    And that's it. Yeah. Haha. I hope you're not too disappointed.

   It actually worked quite well, because the children were so determined to stay quiet that some of them bit their lips. (You could actually add one rule, in that anyone who makes a single noise would be punised, or something). It also took all their will not to shout out or make a noise. When I played the game with Year 1, I could see that it took a lot of effort for them to hold themselves from jumping up in excitement.

   The trick is to ask interesting questions that relate to the children. When it's interesting, you can see them getting all excited.

   * You can probably invent questions depending on your creativity
   * It helps if you start the question with a short introduction or even story

   Question: I have a pet cat at home. (If you have a story then blablabla...) Do you like cats?

   If you want to make the game short and simple, then just ask a bundle of questions at one go.

   I also used this game with Year 3, but in a different way. But that, is another entry, haha.

   p.s. 1 - If you're able to exude that spirit and excitement when you're with children in class, even the simplest game can become interesting :)

   p.s. 2 - If anyone does try this game, I'd be really interested in knowing the outcome, so drop me a line through your comments!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I miss my kids...

   I'm supposed to upload useful things on this blog, such as lesson plans and tips on teaching (yeah... a yet-to-be-officially-announced-as-a-teacher giving tips..hah!) so that this blog  can more or less be useful to people who read it, but I don't feel up to it right now.

   Right now, I rather miss my kids non-stop chatter. I was always complaining about how they talked too much. The real truth is... I like it when they talk a lot! They tell me things, and I like it because it means they're not afraid of me. However, it became a problem whenever I had to prepare to be observed.

   Anyway, I thought I'd reveal my sweethearts to the world today! (Hopefully it helps to mask my laziness to post anything useful). Just pics today. Later when I feel more 'rajin' I'll write some things about some of them- just for the sake of sharing my experience in teaching rowdy 9 year olds who just want attention- and given it, work really well during lessons.

Left to right: Alif, Syukri
Alif's my personal favourite.
What can I do? I'm a bit biased, haha.

Left to right: Amirul, Syhami, Syahrizan
Naughty boys. Rasa nak jentik je all the time :P

Left to right: Aisyah, Noriza & Aisyah
The two Aisyahs are besties

Left to right: Adina, Suhana
Eza particularly likes Adina, whom she says is very cute
They're both in pemulihan, but sometimes they're spirits in working rivals that of the others

   Only one of them is missing- Imran, who's pretty much the star in the class when it comes to English (And from what I know, all the other subjects too). He was absent a lot, including on my last day at school. Nak kena dak Imran nih!

   I've been wanting to buy a camera ever since I started SBE... but that wish is yet to be fulfilled. So far I just make do with my camera phone which produces 'okay' photos, but how I long for that camera!

   Camera or no camera, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't take enough pictures when I was at SKP... huhu. Masa SBE bukan main lagi snap2. Masa practicum entah kenapa hilang semangat ambik gambo...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

KPLSPM

   I was in the campus last week. As I waited for my employer (my employer... yeah... but nope that story has no part in this blog) in the car park behind Anjung Hikmah I saw a number of young people standing around in groups looking nervous.

   Ah. I thought. These young people are waiting to be interviewed for the PPISMP programme. Later, my employer explained that it's now called the KPLSPM (what a mouthful!) which stands for Kursus Perguruan Lepas SPM. Oh. There were also candidates waiting to be interviewed for the PPC (Program Pelajar Cemerlang) as well.

   Wow. I shook my head and sat back in my seat. Six years ago, I also went through the same thing. Six years ago. That's a long, long time. Well, it is for someone who's only lived for 22+ years. Six years is about a third of the time that I've spent breathing.

   Memories. It's strange how they can be jerked into life. I remembered how nervous I was when I went for my interview. Siap pakai blazer! Tak tahan. Semua Dad's idea la tu. The problem I was too small (probably looked a bit under-nourished as well)  and looked too much of a kid and the smart black coat, instead of making me look skema and professional, only blanketed me and make me look out of place. Sigh. I don't exactly have good memories regarding my interview, but hey, I'm here now.

   I remember I met Awatif for the first time. Later when I got to know her, she said she noticed me and thought, "Sapalah budak skema ni." Haha. At least ada gak oghang kata aku skema. Menjadi gak bolezer tuh. Awatif is a great friend, and one of my favourites although she may not know it. She's one of the most hardworking in the cohort, which explains why she got nominated for 'Cemerlang' during practicum. Yeah. Cool, huh. She's also one of the people I really enjoyed working with- remember those productions we had, Watap? (But of course she doesn't read my blog. I doubt she even knows it exists).

   Anyway, back to the interview. When I said I saw young people, I mean young people. Seriously! Well, they didn't exactly look young (kids nowadays look really mature) and people still think I'm in Form 4... but the thought that I took the interview 6 years ago really kicked me into reality. I'm old! I've basically completed my studies. Just waiting to be posted. I'm old!

   Well, let's talk about something useful. I'm not sure who reads my blogs, and at the same time the interviews for KPLSPM are probably way over, but just in case some teacher-wannabe stumbles upon my blog, I've listed some tips on what to do in order to prepare for BPG (Bahagian Pendidikan Guru) interviews based on my own experience. This was 6 years ago, but I think it always more or less goes the same way.

   1. Dress smartly, in a way that shows that you're ready to become a teacher
   - There's no need to wear anything fancy. Girls usually wear baju kurung and covered shoes, while boys usually go for collared shirts and smart pants.

   2. Read up on the latest education news
   - Thankfully I read the news on the morning I went for the interview. They asked me if I read the newspaper, and I was able to answer. Well, sort of anyway.

   3. Read up on basic info concerning the Cabinet etc.
   - My dad got me a poster that listed all the important people in the Ministry. They didn't ask about it, but one might as well be prepared.

   4. Polish your knowledge on the subject you're going for
   - If you're aiming to be an English teacher, you might as well show them that you can actually use the language, right?

   5. Be confident and brave
   - Not an easy thing to do, but just try to show that you're confident. Meet the eyes of the interviewer(s) and answer their questions as confidently as you can.

   6. Smile
   - It won't hurt to smile a bit. Just don't go all giggly sudahla.

   And that's about it for the tips. All the best!

Friday, May 6, 2011

SBE/ROS - Portfolio/Logbook

   I mentioned in my previous entry that I produced a +-300 pages of portfolio or logbook. It does sound rather overwhelming when I think of it, but then again you should know that we were required to go for SBE/ROS for ONE MONTH.

  From what I hear, people usually only spend at the most two weeks in school for SBE/ROS. We  spent ONE MONTH. Yeah. I don't know why, I guess IIUM and maktab arranged for it to happen that way. My friends from other teacher training prorammes at the maktab said they only spent one or two weeks at school, and they do it several times, in stages. The same goes for their practicum. We, on the other hand, do both SBE and practicum at one go. One month for SBE and three for practicum. Gilo. Haha.

   Hence the +-300 pages for the SBE portfolio. I think that's pretty okay compared to some friends who had over 400 pages! Lagi hebat! It's no wonder so many of my friends got As for their SBE. And since SBE was the only course we signed up for for that particular semester, (and SBE was a 2-credit hour course) a lot of people got 4 flat for their gpa. Congrats guys! (it's a bit late for that, but anyway...)
So did I! So did I! I got an A for SBE, but trust me- it's no biggie and nothing to brag about.
I'll let you know why in my next post.
source
   Anywa, in this post I'd like to 'citer sikit' about the portfolio that we produced for SBE (sorry I'm tired of writing 'SBE/ROS', but they're the same thing really). The truth is we did not really get a lot of info on how to prepare them during the briefing. We were told to look at the samples produced by our seniors, but I was too lazy to do it, so I just did what I thought was necessary and I got an A (haha) so I guess what I submitted was okay.

  Basically what you have to put into the portfolio is any information that you can get about the school. Anything ranging from the school management to the panel documents. Since I was a B.Ed TESL student, and we were used to producing reports and assignments in English, I planned to prepare the portfolio in English. However, most of the information I retrieved was of course in Bahasa Melayu. So what I did was to prepare a bi-lingual table of contents, which you can download and take a look at here (see how generous I am? hehe):

SBE Portfolio Table of Contents (bi-lingual: English and Malay)

   This was what I did- your portfolio could be planned and arranged in a different way. As far as I know, students in my programme are given a free hand in doing it. If your are, then make sure that you arrange everything as neatly as possible. Prepare relevant dividers so that it's easy to flip through your portfolio and take a look-see at things according to their categories. You can divide the portfolio into several chapters like what I did for mine (refer to the table of contents).

   There are a number of things that you have to prepare to be put into the portfolios:

   1. School information
   - Just collect basically anything info that you can find on the school. One Tip that I can share is that as soon as you've settled down at school and got to know who your guiding teacher is, ask for the 'Buku Pengurusan Sekolah'. (There might be a different name for it, so ask). As far as I know all schools have it. Usually the Buku Pengurusan Sekolah will have all the info that you need on the school, but if it doesn't, you'll have to search manually. (This is the part where you have to 'pandai-pandai buat baik dengan cikgu2'.

   2. Reports on Observations
   - This is something that you are required to do. You have to choose to observe any teacher carrying out his/her TnL (teaching & learning) activities in the classroom. Make sure you ask for permission first. Some teachers don't like the idea of being 'observed', so make sure you ask them really nicely. As far as I know, you can ask to observe on any subjects, but it may help to focus on your major subject (which i my case is English) because it'll give you an insight on what you will have to deal with when you teach.

   3. Lesson Plans
    - Don't forget to ask for the lesson plans that the teacher used for the classes you observed. Put them in the portfolio/logbook. The LPs are usually very short and simple, not like the ones we have to prepare for assignments and during practicum. If you can, ask for the worksheets used as well.

   4. Pictures
   - Make sure you take lots and lots of pictures of the school. You can include:
     (i) School facilities
     (ii) School compound
     (iii) Teaching and  learning activities
     (iv) School programmes - meetings, Teacher's Day, PTA meetings etc.
     (v) photos of the pupils! and teachers too, if you like

   5. Other related stuff
   - This can be almost anything, ranging from your punch card, attendance list, relief class memos etc.

   If you have a chance to be on the committee for some programme then grab the chance! The purpose of SBE is really to get oriented with the school environment. Since you're going to be teachers, you might as well get used to it.

   I hope this helps if you're a bit stuck on what to do for SBE. Remember the requirements are probably different for different programmes, but this might help any of my juniors who've been asking me, hehe. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. TTFN.

SBE/ROS - Journal Writing

   Some of my juniors are currently doing their SBE/ROS at school, and a few inquired about what they were supposed to do during this course. Since most teacher trainees are, as far as I know, required to undergo SBE/ROS at school as part of their training, I thought I might as well share some information that I have based on my own experience. By saying that, I also mean that other programmes may carry out their SBEs differently, and if anyone would care to share, it'd be really good.

   Probably the main difference between SBE/ROS and teaching practice or practicum is that during SBE/ROS, you don't have to teach. Instead, you go to school to get yourself in touch with the school environment. Basically, you have to make observations and reports which have to compiled and submitted.

   For my SBE, I made a daily journal for the whole month I was at school (yes, that means 20 entries) and a +-300 pages of portfolio. There's no need to look stunned, let me explain. In this entry I'll explain about the journal writing. I hope it helps!

       Daily journal
Journals are useful- even if they're not the easiest things to write in!
source
       Basically, what you have to is write a daily account of your experience in school. Since a lot can happen in one day, what you should do is choose one particular incident that particularly made an impression on you. This can be anything- ranging from your first experience attending a meeting, filling in for an absent teacher and others. In fact, I remember the lecturer who briefed us for SBe giving a rather comical example of an experience that we could write about. He said that say a bull comes into the school compound and turns the school into an uproar, we could write about what the teachers or staff did to solve the problem.

   So, if you encounter a pupil who throws up in class or whatever, you can write about that too (but it probably won't be a very pleasant thing to describe, haha). Your written account should be formal, just like how you write your assignments. It's not exactly easy to be formal, I suppose, because journals are meant to be like diaries, and diaries are personal. You write what you feel and stuff. It's okay to do this, I guess- just don't get too personal. Remember, you lecturer's going to read them!

   Always start with a short introduction of what you're going to write. Then, describe the event that you're focusing on. Maybe write a bit about the strengths and weaknesses if it's relevant. Finally, write a conclusion to the entry, as in what you learnt from the experience and so on.

   I'd include an example if I could, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to since they were submitted as reports. Besides, they were not that good and were probably written without following the guidelines above. BUt I'll think about it. It might be useful for anyone who needs to see it, so we'll see. If you like though, you could take a peek at some of my earliest entries which were written based on my own SBE. They're pretty long, and not what I submitted as journals, but you may get the basic idea of what it's about. you can check them out here: Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Entry 4.

   You can either type or write your journal entries down- but of course it depends on what your lecturer wants. Be sure to ask.
Given the choice, I definitely chose typing- saves time plus my handwriting's not worth speaking about
source

   Oh, and I have a short piece of advice that I'd like to give. Yes! Follow this advice if you know what's good for you- I didn't, and had to suffer because of it! Haha! Make sure you start writing from the very first day. In fact, write them down everyday before you go home, if possible. Write when the experience is still fresh in your memories- it'll be easier to analyse and think over things. If you leave them until the last minute... well, like I said, I suffered. Like this:

You definitely don't want to end up like this! Haha
source

   That's it for today. I thought I'd write about the portfolio, but nah... i'm pretty much done for the day. Hope this little bit of info helps!

p.s - I do apologise for my rather meager efforts in putting up pictures! The truth is they are too much of a bother, and I don't really care because I feel that it's my writing that's important, not the pictures. However, I noticed that I like looking at pictures when I visit other people's blogs, though of course what they write appeals more to me. So I put some pictures up- so that you won't turn cross-eyed after you finish reading!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Results, results, results!

   This post doesn't really have anything to do with school or teaching, but it does have to do with the part of my life that's labelled 'teacher trainee' and 'student'. As it is, the results for practicum will be out after 5.00 p.m. today and I am super nervous!

   Even after we went back to maktab for our fourth year, we still had to check our results through the IIUM portal. Today will be the last time that we have to do so. I simply can'y believe that I have made it through 6 long years of training. People are always shocked when I tell them that my programme is a six year course. Six years. That's a long time. Imagine what you went through from Standard 1 to Standard 6.

   I hope all my friends will do well. I know for certain a number of people who will definitely get First class. I wish all the others the best as well. Yet again, after thinking about it, it is awesome to get a high CGPA and all, but it doesn't exactly determine that you're going to be a good teacher, does it? One can be good when it comes to theories and stuff, but practical training is a whole different matter altogether.

   Whatever my results, I am truly blessed for the six years of experience and learning that I went through. Those 6 years weren't just about learning how to become a teacher. They were also learning about life and how to become a person. I have learned so much, and if I were to list down the names of everyone who have contributed to the person I am today, I'd probably still be typing by the time the results come out.

   Thanks everyone. Thank you Allah.