Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 Johor Student Leaders Council Charity Dinner

The Johor Student Leaders Council will hold its debut Charity Dinner to commemorate its establishment.  It will be held on Monday, 29th November 2010 at Persada Johor (8 pm). HRH Tuanku Raja Zarith Sofiah, the Johor Ruler Consort will be gracing the event and later on, officiate  the establishment of the Johor Student Leaders Congress and the Student Leaders Board. Adibah Noor, the vocal powerhouse will also be belting some numbers to entertain the guests.
Below are the name of the performers during the JSLC Charity Dinner :
Primary School

1. Fatimah Zahra Zulkurnain- SK Sri Skudai
2. Nurul Nadira Mohamad- SK Taman Tun Aminah 2
3. Fatimah Nurulfatihah Dorahim- SK Taman Nusa Perintis
4. Alexandra Paige Nadja Fernandez- SK Seri Tebrau
5. Nurin Nadiah Rusman-SK Taman Universiti
6. An-Nur Farin Sabrina-SK Nong Chik
7. Ariz Akmal-SK Bandar Baru Uda 2
 8.Rabiatul Aynah Hazni-SIGS
 9. Shmita Rai Kannan-Jesus Convent
10.   Muhammad Farid Shamsuddin – SK Nong Chik
11.   Nasreen Qistina Mohd Nasir- SKBBU2
12.   Nureen Farhanah Mokhtar-SK Taman Universiti
13.   Iklil Hawaa Noordin-SIGS
14.   Muhammad Syamim Mohd Syahri – SK Taman Tun Aminah 2
15.   Nurul Iman Athirah Ahmad Fauzi- Jesus Convent
17.   Arvind Ravindran-SJKT Taman Tun Aminah
18.   Lee Bao Yi –SJKC Pu Sze

Secondary School
1.       Mohd Syafiq Mohd Azhar –SMK Tasek Utara
2.       Mohd Rizuan Zainal Abiden-SMK  Skudai
3.       Kamarul Baharin Kamal –SMK Bandar Baru Uda
4.       Hoo Jiong Sheng-SMK Seri Perling
5.       Ahmad Fadhil Abd Majid – SMK Md Khalid
6.       Nur Farahin Samsudin-SMK Taman Desa Skudai
7.       Kressan Gajendran – SMK Md Khalid
8.       Mohd Khairul Niyaz Mohd Azlan Sunil-SMK Dato Jaafar
9.       Khairiyah Khirrudin-SIGS
10.   Elicia Cheng-IJ Convent
11.   Yean Yan Tong-Sekolah Sultan Ismail
12.   Amira Fahira Mansor-SMK Tasek Utara
13.   Siti Aminah Shaiful Bahri-SMK Bandar Baru Uda
14.   Aine Atiqah Mohd Asri-SMK Taman Desa Skudai
15.   Azam Ariffin- Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar
16.   Tommy Gan Jia Shen –SMK Aminuddin Baki
17.   K Sharsindra Pratheen-Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar
18.   Syairazi Zharfan Zainul Hakim- SMK Seri Perling
19.   Norafiqah Asilah Rusli-SMK Aminuddin Baki
20.   Kalisswari Apparao-SIGS
21.   Aisyah Razali –IJ Convent
22.   Shima Rani Rengasamy-SMK Gelang Patah

 The students will be performing an interlude of songs and dances comprising of  Gemuruh Jiwa  (by all the JSLC members)  followed by  Traditional Dance (Zapin, Joget & Citrawarna). Up next is the choir from IJ Convent.  One highlight of the charity dinner would be the choral performance of  the 20 members of JSLC  where they shall be singing 'We are the World' together with children with special needs.  I am sure the Charity Dinner would be a raving success and hopefully, everything will turn out well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1119 English Literature: An Analysis

Poetry and Short Stories

The Lotus Eater
Sonnet 18
Looking For A Rain God
Si Tenggang’s Homecoming
The Drover’s Wife
The Road Not Taken
The Lotus Eater
Si Tenggang’s Homecoming
The Sound Machine
Si Tenggang’s Homecoming
The Necklace
Monsoon History

Tips:  The answers to the first three items on the short story and poem can be found in the extract given while the last item requires candidate to provide personal responses with close reference to the poem/short story. 

The Novel

Choose an event in the novel you have studied which you find to be most memorable. Give reasons for your choice and with close reference to the text, discuss the event.
‘Love is important in a family.’ How is this shown in the novel you have read? Support your answers with close reference to the text.
Character & Characterisation
The writer describes the main character as a very determined person. Using details from the novel you have studied, write about:
-some instances that show the character’s determination.
-how the determination affects his/her family.
Character & Characterisation
‘It is important to have a person you look up to in your life.’ From the novel you’ve read, write about one character that you looked up to. Give a reason why you choose him/her.
Describe what happens at the end of the novel and explains why you find the ending happy or sad.
Character & Plot
Using the details from the novel you have studied, write about a difficult decision made by one of the characters.  With close reference to the text, do you think this was the right decision?

Tips:  The length of a candidate's answer does not guarantee one will receive better marks. Giving a direct and apt response with appropriate justifications will garner extra points. A candidate must also provide close reference to the text as it shows the depth of one's understanding of the chosen text.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Alhamdulillah. It's official now. Another reason to keep on learning and teaching with utmost fervour. Hopefully the new post will fuel me to be a better educator. It's been a painstaking journey to get to where I am now. Struggling with work confirmation glitch for a couple of years, Being manipulated  (due to my own inadequacies of standing up for my right), burnout, you name it, I faced them all. I was unhappy with the teaching profession at that time. I felt situations were not accomodating me at all. In a nutshell, I was a sad, frustrated teacher.

Then one day, I picked up a book that totally changed the course of my life.

M Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled.

I realised blaming everyone and everything will not change the situations nor will it solve any issue that I face in life.  From the book I've read, I realised that the only way things will change is when I think positive and initiate action to overcome any obstacles or challenges along the way. I can not sit around, twiddle my thumbs and wait for a miracle to happen. To be a great teacher, one must be a good learner. I've learned from my colleagues and my own students on how to improve my teaching methodology and make learning more meaningful for my students.

I also learn that it is not easy to initiate a change, to do something totally out of your comfort zone. When I started doing the action research for the first time, I was at first sceptical on its effectiveness. When I realised how the project I did had maximised my students' enthusiasm in learning by leaps and bounds, I was motivated.  When I came across this blog, I was totally in awe of Kak Rahmah's dedication in teaching. Her positive attitude and optimism somewhat fueled me to emulate her fervour in teaching. She is my role model and I am glad that she is kind enough to share her knowledge with me. She triggered me to ride the unchartered waters and I dared myself to present paper at international conferences. I had inhibition of course (who would want to listen to me? / I'm not good enough) but  I told myself, you got nothing to lose. The biggest demon is insecurities , to convince yourself that you need to perservere regardless of whatever criticism you might receive from others. Life is not all about perfection, it's all about progress.

It is inevitable to deny that it is a big responsibility to be a Guru Cemerlang/Master Teacher. People have expectations upon you, watching your every moves and wanting mind-blowing results and outcomes. Personally, I hope to learn more and improve on my teaching skills. I hope to network with more teachers and nurture my students' love for learning. I would also like to thank all of the followers & visitors of this humble blog. I have an ongoing mission : learn to teach with love :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SPM Countdown: The Pearl Pop Quiz flashcards

I've discovered this awesome web-based application called Quizlet via Zaid Alsagoff. The site features flash cards, vocabulary memorisation and study games. Now, who says learning is a bore? To me, this is definitely a fun way to study. I find that it is an apt platform to assist English Language teachers in teaching vocabulary and terminology in the virtual classroom. Did I mention that it is also FREE OF CHARGE? :)

Another plus for Quizlet is it's a fuss-free application. Even for web-novice, it is quite easy to build your own set of  flashcards on any topic that one desires. For instance, I've decided to design The Pearl Pop Quiz flashcards to assist my Form 5 students in revising for their upcoming SPM examination. Even if I am not able to be in school to teach them, they still can retrieve the material 24-7 as long they are connected to the Internet. No reason for not studying even if the teacher is not around.

I love the fact that one can login via one's Facebook account. Since most of my students are perpetually online (especially checking out their Facebook accounts), I believe this would be a great way to coax them to study while oogling their friends' latest photos or updates. To me, the possibilities are endless with Quizlet. I intend to explore more with this freeware and hopefully, I can come up with more flashcard sets to perk up the students' interest in learning. Do check it out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

KBSM English Literature Component : Form 5 Novel 2011

It's been almost three months since I'm away from school, nursing my injury. Hence, it is no surprise that I only knew about the latest novels for Form Five English Literature Component about a few days ago. You might have heard about this from other blogs. Nonetheless, I'd like to share the information in this blog as well. Thanks Darsh for the info :) I'm looking forward to reading the three books and posting my reviews on them soon. Check it out!

-The Curse by Lee Su Ann

(will be read by Pahang,Terengganu, Johor,Sabah,Sarawak and Labuan)

-Step by Wicked Step by Ann Fine

(will be read by Selangor,Kuala Lumpur,Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca)

-Catch Us If You Can by Catherine McPhail
(will be read by Perlis,Kelantan,Kedah, Penang and Perak)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cool ELT Sites

Check out the British Council's Learning English website. There are many activities that can be adapted and used by teachers in their classrooms. For older learners, perhaps we can try stretching their imagination with these podcasts based on stories and poems. They come with activities you can download or do online.Do check it out!

If you are keen to incorporate interactive websites and games in your classroom, look no further. Teacher Tap is the hub for all the aforementioned activities that could help to stimulate our students' interests in learning. What I personally like about Teacher Tap is how it is segmented into various categories such as Interactive Games, Simulation, Quizzes, Drill and Practice. This would definitely help teachers in identifying appropriate activities that cater to the students' proficiency level and needs. 

p/s: I miss my students very much! I do hope I would recover soon. Thank you to those who jotted down heartfelt messages & words of encouragement. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010


"When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit."


Friday, July 16, 2010

Learning to walk again...

6 hours after I published my last blog post, something catastrophic happened. I fell down and I heard this sharp thudding sound and I couldn't move a single inch of my left leg. I was rushed to the ER and based on the xrays, the doctor relayed the devastating news that I broke my patela and I need to go for an operation. I totally whacked my left knee and the doctor had to bolt in an iron rod and screws to keep the bones intact.

Ironically, I didn't cry when the sharp pain was clinging to my knee when it happened. I guess I was too shocked to feel the pain, trying to comprehend what had happened to me. I was even awake when the doctor did the operation, I was composed when it happened. I could even guide my student, Shafiq with his PowerPoint presentation on my 2nd day at the hospital. (Btw, congrats for being one of the JSLC members!) However, I finally broke down in tears on the 4th night stay at the hospital - four hours after the operation. It was the most excruciating pain ever. I felt so helpless and I kept asking for painkillers, trying to numb the pain. My arms are now blue-black due to the massive injections. In a nutshell, I was a wreck.

Gradually, I started to reflect on my adversity and try to see how I was emotionally and physically affected by it. Then I started to open my eyes and my mind to my surroundings. I started to talk to other patients, the nurses, the doctors and from there, I was subconciously healed. I realised I was not alone, people were trying to help me and there were other patients who were experiencing ever graver situations that I was. I realised that I was too sucked into the vortex of my own melancholy that I forgot to see the flipside of this turbulous phase.

Trying to walk again would take at least 4 months, said the doctor. Even right now, I am struggling with my steps, even the simplest task of peeing is taking a toll on my life. I still need to go through series of physiotheraphy and trips to see the othopedict specialist from time to time. I still can't bend my left knee but I am still alive. Alhamdulillah.

It is such a humbling moment, I know it might take me longer than usual to walk or to get up to my feet but I am determined to do it, even if I have to fumble along the process. I know God will only test those who could endure such test, it might take me some time to realise the blessing behind this hardship but I am doing my best to pick my self together. I will go through this, stronger than before.

To all my parents, colleagues, friends and students, thank you for being there during this turbulous phase.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Johor Student Leaders Congress (JSL) Candidates

Congratulations to all the candidates for the Johor Student Leaders Congress (JSL). Out of 80 students from all over Johor, 31 students have been shortlisted to vy for the distinguished spot of JSL.

  1. Ahmad Fadhil B. Abd Majid -SMK Mohd Khalid JB
  2. Diyanah Husna Bt. Kamarudin-SMKA JB
  3. Hafiz Rahim b. Mohamed Ansari-Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar JB
  4. Nurul Atiqah Bt. Mohd Zan-Sekolah Tun Fatimah JB
  5. Tan Chien Yin-SMK IJ Convent JB
  6. Sebastian Goh Qing-Wei-SMK Sultan Ismail JB
  7. Kothai a/p Vejayan-SIGS JB
  8. Lavanya a/p Vejayan-SMK Dato Bentara Dalam Segamat
  9. Mohd Shafiq B. Mohamad Azhar-SMK Tasek Utara JB
  10. Ahmad Haziq B. Azmi-SMKA Segamat
  11. Peter Vinod Pereira-Sekolah Tinggi Batu Pahat
  12. Mohammad Ridzuan B. Zainal Abiden-SMK Skudai
  13. Mohanakrishna a/l Pathmanathan- Sekolah Tinggi Kluang
  14. Thanendren a/l Kanalingam-Sekolah Tinggi Segamat
  15. Nurul Aina Bt. Aman-SMKA Segamat
  16. Qistina Bt. Mohamad Helmi-SMK Sultan Ismail JB
  17. Kamarul Baharin B. Kamal-SMK Bandar Baru Uda JB
  18. Illiyin Bt. Md Kasim-SMK IJ Convent JB
  19. Zolfazreen B. Zolhasni-SMK Bandar Tenggara 2 Kulaijaya
  20. Shimarani a/p Rengasamy-SMK Gelang Patah
  21. Nurul Nabilah Bt. Azahari-SMK Gelang Patah
  22. R. Savind Kumar a/l Rathakrishna-SMK Dato Penggawa Timur Pasir Gudang
  23. Ahmad Wajih B. Mohamad Nasir-SMS Sultan Iskandar Mersing
  24. Sofiya Bt. Imran-SMK Temenggong Ibrahim Batu Pahat
  25. Nurul Ain Bt. Harolanuar-SMS Sultan Iskandar Mersing
  26. Norafiqah Asilah Bt. Rusli-SMK Aminuddin Baki JB
  27. Hariz Haikal B. Nasuha-Sekolah Tinggi Muar
  28. Lim Wei Der-Sekolah Tinggi Muar
  29. Muhammad Shafiq B. Nasaruddin-SMS Muar
  30. Eniza Fasiha Bt. Ellias-SMS Muar
  31. Nur Sara Adriana Bt. Rosman-SIGS JB
The interview would be carried out from 12th July - 13th July 2010 at IRDA Office, Danga Bay, Johor Bahru. The candidates will go through 3 stages of interview, impromptu speech, individual presentation and group discussion. The panel interviewers would expect the candidates to be able to deliver their thoughts immaculately. Kudos to all the candidates who made it this far and I wish you all the best!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming Off Hiatus

I'm back! I know that I've been neglecting this blog for quite a while. Although there are so many things happening lately, I guess I didn't have much time to blog since I tend to immortalise my thoughts on my trusty Facebook and Twitter for quick updates. By the way, these kept me busy for the past one month...
  • marking Form 4 midyear exam papers.
  • tutoring the YPJ classes at EC.
  • extra classes for my Form 5 class.
  • Johor Internationalisation Programme.
  • working with JPNJ on the establishment of the Johor Student Leaders Congress (need to jot down a different entry on that)
  • planning an official excursion to SMANSA Batam, Indonesia.
  • my two superactive sons!
By the way, I am taking part in the National Level Educational Blogging competition organised by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, in conjuction with their 2010 ICT Day. I've submitted My Lit Project and I'm vying for the scintillating Ipad, tee hee. Ah well, just trying my luck. Hope for the best!

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    19th MELTA International Conference 2010: A Photo Essay

    The opening ceremony was officiated by HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah, the Patron of MELTA. HRH gave a thought-provoking speech on the evolving learning paradigms of ELT. It was interesting to bump into some famous bloggers such as RockyBru and Nuraina Samad (I was too shy to say hello) who  graced the ceremony as well. Power to the bloggers :)

    The esteemed Dr. Hyacinth Gaudart conducted an engaging workshop 'Learning Is Fun!'. I bought her book 'Lively Language Learning' and it is worth every cent. A must have for every teacher!
    Dr. Sultan Al-Sharief  from UQU, Makkah, Saudia Arabia presented his paper on CALL Authoring Software. Definitely gained a few pointers on how to integrate CALL in ELT.
    Presenting my paper "Utilising Web 2.0. technologies in teaching the new KBSM English Literature Component".
    Alhamdulillah, the presentation turned out smoothly and I also received good feedbacks from the audience.
      Noor Azliza Zainal Abidin from Wawasan Open University gave an exciting demonstration on ways to integrate games in learning. It was indeed awe-inspiring and fueled my enthusiasm to explore the realm of interactive games in order to sustain my students' interest in learning.
    I presented MY LIT PROJECT, my school-based action research for the Creative Teacher Showcase. I integrated the use of Web 2.0 tools in enhancing the teaching of the new cycle of the English Literature Component.
    The displays. I've used Blogspot, Youtube, Flickr, Hot Potatoes, Zymic, Slideshare and Macromedia Dreamweaver & Firework to develop this e-learning project.

    Alhamdulillah, I won 1st prize in the Creative Teacher Showcase. The success was even sweeter when the Sultanah Johor herself, HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah was there to give away the prizes. She was indeed pleased when she knew I'm from Johor and her words of encouragement are definitely the cure to all the difficulties I had to face (it's a looooong story)  in order to attend this conference. It was definitely worth it!
    Attending this conference was the best investment I've ever made. I've gained new knowledge, sharpened my oratory skills, networked with optimistic language practitioners and rejuvenated my passion for learning & teaching.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    19th MELTA International Conference

    I'll be attending the 19th MELTA International Conference in KL from 7-8th June 2010. The two day conference would be held at The Royale Chulan and I'll be presenting my paper, Utilising Web 2.0. Technologies in Teaching the New KBSM English Literature Component. In my paper, I hope to share my findings and experience on the use of Web 2.0. technologies in teaching the English Lit Component so far. To me, attending this seminar would be a good platform to learn and exchange ideas on essential issues relating to ELT in Malaysia and in other countries as well.

    According to the schedule, I'll be presenting on the second day at 8.35 a.m. Oh my, talk about being the early bird! Oh well, hope everything will turn out well sans technical glitch.  Later on at 11.30 a.m. onwards, I'll be participating in the Teacher Showcase Event. It is a special conference event that provides English Language Education practitioners with an opportunity to showcase best practices and teaching materials that have been effectively used within one or more contexts/ classroom/ teaching-learning situations.In this context, I will be presenting and sharing MY LIT PROJECT with the conference participants. This is the 2nd time I'm taking part and to be honest, I am participating because I believe that as a teacher, we need to share our ideas with our colleagues and students and who knows, it might be resourceful to others as well. By the way, I've uploaded two video presentations on Latiff Mohidin's In The Midst Of Hardship and Bibsy Soenharjo's He Had Such Quiet Eyes. It's a Project Based Learning activity that I've conducted with my Form 4SN1 recently and they definitely enjoy the session very much. Do check it out!

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    District Level Teacher's Day Celebration 2010

    District Level Teacher's Day celebration at SMK Taman Sutera, Johor Bahru  
    Vibrant performance from the talented primary school students. 
    Waiting for my turn to receive my awards. I am the recipient of the Innovative Teacher Award as well as Active Teacher Award.
    I received my awards from YB Tn. Hj. Md. Jais B. Sarday, Chairman of the State Youth and Sports Committee
    Counting my blessings for having the opportunity to be where I am now.
    Don't stop learning, keep on teaching, love what you do :)

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Batam, Brunei and Beyond


    The principal a.k.a Kepala Sekolah SMANSA, Ibu Dra. Lely Suriani

    Two days ago, my school was visited by the Sekolah Menengah Atas Negeri 1 Batam delegate from Indonesia. Widely known as SMANSA, the school is one of top schools in Indonesia that boasts on its integration of IT in education. As the Coordinator of the Internationalisation Programme, I was given the task to set up the committee members and organise programmes for our visitors from the neighbouring country. Alhamdulillah, despite some technical glitches, everything seemed to turn out well, thanks to wonderful colleagues who helped out. The visitors were given a briefing on the HeadCount system by the principal, Hajah Zainab Bt. Ali. Then, they were shown some multimedia presentations by the ICT Unit and  the school 's Broadcasting Team. The team is headed by Form 2 students who represented Johor in the 2010 KWN Training Camp recently. I guess we left a lasting impression on our Indonesian guests as another batch of SMANSA teachers will be visiting our school next Monday! We plan to visit Batam hopefully by the end of this year and learn more about the school management and the Indonesian education system.

     Today, I attended the Brunei International Excursion meeting organised by PPDJB at Sekolah Angkatan Tentera, JB. Two of my students were selected to go to Brunei for one week and live as sojourners with their adopted families. The excursion is scheduled from 1st August to 7th August this year. Wow, imagine that! They are indeed lucky as they are given the opportunity to experience all that at such tender age. On that note, PPDJB will also organise a training camp (5-7 June) at SIGS for all the 56 students. Have fun and hope you will share your experience with all your teachers and friends!

    I've arrived in school just in time to conduct the KMK Workshop with my fellow colleagues. KMK stands for Kumpulan Meningkat Mutu Kerja where it aims to enhance the quality of services that translates to Total Customers Satisfaction. Hence, creativity and innovative ideas are inculculated to overcome any adversities faced either by teachers or students. We were fortunate that our former colleague, Mr.  Norazam Abdullah, now the newly appointed PPD Counsellor (Congrats Azam!) briefed us on KMK last Saturday. Guided by his explanations and examples, I've assisted the teachers in constructing their proposals and managing their teams. I was glad that the teachers were attentive and responsive (despite the ad-hoc announcement) and I could say they did a brilliant job. Well done everyone!
    Explaining the KMK framework
    The Language Department is planning to build a Vocabulary Enrichment Blog :)

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Murphy's Teaching Laws

    • A teacher is a multi-tasking superhero/heroine who gets the least pay.
    • Disaster will occur when visitors are in the room.
    •  The most ill-behaved student in all of a teacher's classes is always one of the bright ones he can't flunk.
    • A subject interesting to the teacher will bore students.
    • You will be given the most tasks when you least expected it.
    • The time a teacher takes in explaining is inversely proportional to the information retained by students.
    • A meeting's length will be directly proportional to the boredom the speaker produces.
    • Students who are doing better are credited with working harder. If children start to do poorly, the teacher will be blamed.
    • The problem child will be a PTA/PIBG member's daughter/son.
    • When the teacher is late, he will meet the principal on the way to the class.
    • New students come from schools that do not teach anything.
    • Good students move away.
    • You will receive a letter for a one week course when you have meticulously planned a family trip to (fill in the blank with exotic location).
    • Teachers who boast doing the most work in school usually work the least.
    • Students forgot to bring their books on the day you are being observed by the school inspectorate.
    • Clocks will run more quickly during free time.
    • On a test day, at least 15% of the class will be absent.

    Adapted from Murphy Laws Site

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Weekly Updates

    Event #1: Teacher's Day Celebration
    Date          : 17th May 2010.
    Venue       : Dewan Sri Tasek, SMK Tasek Utara, Johor Bahru, Johor.
    Organiser  : MPPU, Prefect Board and KEBIRU SMKTU.

    Of all the day, I had to be stuck in a massive traffic jam on Teacher's Day! Due to a minor accident and road construction near Rustica BBU,  I arrived just in time to belt out 'Kami Guru Malaysia', just my luck! By the way, I was nominated by my school to receive 'Active Teacher Award', an award that would be given during the Johor Bahru's Teacher's Day celebration. I think the main objective is to acknowledge those who prolifically contribute to the district level education programmes & activities. Ah well, I've handed in my form to my PK1 and I'll just hope for the best. When I checked my pigeon hole that morning, I was surprised when I read a fax from SK Tampoi Utama, asking me to fill in the profile for 'Innovative Teacher Award', in conjuction with the District Level Teacher's Day Celebration. And get this, I had to send it on the same day! Yikes! In between the manic frenzy of T-Day celebration, I had to slip out to the office to fax the form.  Frankly,  I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't stay until the end of the T-Day's celebration as I had to rush to Pontian at 1 p.m. for Event #2. 

    Event #2: Mesyuarat Peningkatan Akademik Bahasa Inggeris Negeri Johor.
    Date         : 17-19th May 2010.
    Venue      : Hotel Pontian, Pontian, Johor.
    Organiser : YPJ and JPNJ.

    I joined 71 other English Language teachers around Johor to build modules based on authentic materials. We were lucky as we were guided by experienced facilitators such as Mr. Ismail Juned, GC from SIGS, Pn. Sallina Hussain, Principal of SDARY & Chairperson of the JB English Language Panel, Pn. Vasanthi, GC from SMK Tun Habab and Mr. Zainal, GC from Segamat (sorry Zainal, I forgot the name of your school).
    Although we had to endure sessions from 8 a.m. to 10.30 p.m., I can vouch for the other participants that we gained  a lot of experience via the item building session and the intriguing pedagogical approaches that we could apply in our daily lessons. Meeting new friends and rekindling bonds with old friends were the highlight of the sessions as well. I'll share with all this blog readers the materials we've constructed when time permits. Do watch this space!

    Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

    Event #3: PMR Talk & Writing Workshop
    Date         : 20th May 2010.
    Venue      : Language Lab, SMK Tasek Utara 2, Johor Bahru, Johor.
    Organiser : English Language Panel, SMKTU 2.

    The next day, I went to the neighbouring school to share my knowledge and experience with the Form Three students on PMR Answering Techniques. Since there are 6 classes altogether, I've conducted two sessions that stretched up to 4 hours. I've also conducted Writing Workshop with the students and alhamdulillah, everything turns out well. Thank you Rasheeda for your warm hospitality and patience. I was pleasantly surprised to know that Rasheeda is one of my blog readers and she was the one who nominated my name to the English Panel for this talk. I am honestly flattered and I do hope we'll keep in touch  yeah :)

    Event #4: LDP- Talk on Blogging & My Lit Project

    Date         : 22th May 2010.
    Venue      : Computer Lab 2, SMK Tasek Utara , Johor Bahru, Johor.
    Organiser : SMKTU.

    Tomorrow, I'll be sharing my latest Action Research, My Lit Project with my fellow colleagues. Then, I'll conduct a workshop on Blogging and demonstrate how blogging can greatly maximise the learning experience. I know some might have qualms on blogging as they might think it's a bit time consuming but honestly, I perceive blogging as a powerful tool to ignite the creative sparks and illuminate the manifold possibilities of learning paradigms.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Giving and Receiving

    When I received this joyous news, I told my students that I would give them a treat. I felt it's only fair that my success is shared with all my students, those who made me who I am today. So as promised, I went to KFC and brought along a few students to carry the goodies back to school. It was amusing to watch the shock on the employee's face when I mentioned 6 barrels for takeaway. I think it's the first time they've ever received such large order at the drive-thru. Sure, it's a dent in my pocket but seeing how they appreciated my lessons all these while, well, to me that's priceless. I didn't realise that my initiative moved even the rowdy ones until they approached me that day and fumbled through their thank-yous. Miraculously, they became more cooperative the next day and even hand in their homework on time! Oh my god! Now I know how LouAnne Johnson must have felt. If I knew feeding these kids greasy fried chickens can change their attitude by leaps and bounds, I would have rushed to the KFC earlier, hehe.

    When I went to SMK Gelang Patah for the Immersion Programme the next day, I've discovered that all teachers face various adversities in teaching, some may vary depending on situation and circumstances. Dealing with troubled adolescents, especially ones with discipline problems can be tough. Without doubt, good class management is vital in ensuring the flow of the lesson. The teachers I've met are dedicated teachers who had to deal with a challenge, engaging weak students to enjoy English Language class.

    I had my fair share of teaching the last class, the one where not many teachers would be rubbing their hands in glee whenever they need to enter such class. You'll find a lot of sleepyheads, troublemakers and some of them are clueless, not sure why they need to be in school. If you're lucky, you'll get to coax all your students to hand in your work in time. Well, hopefully not because they'd copied the work from their friends. *shrugs*

    I'm no expert in teaching. I've only been teaching for 9 years but I believe that regardless of your years of teaching, your success in teaching depends on how you engage your students in your lessons and how well you control your class. Voice projection is essential too. Apart from that, we need to accept students' criticisms as well. Once, my students in a class I've taught confessed that they thought the lesson for that particular session was boring because it was just worksheet and textbook. I know it's easy to feel demotivated once we receive such comment but if we reflect it positively, it could actually turn us to be better teachers. After receiving such feedback, it's only fair that we try to improve ourselves as teachers. Turn lemons into lemonade, they say. Hence, any feedback from students, positive or negative, fueled me to find engaging teaching alternatives to cater to their needs. Songs, language games, pop quizzes, multimedia and Internet-based learning are some of the catalysts for engaging and meaningful lessons.

    In my honest opinion, all teachers face adversities and challenges in schools, regardless of whether they teach in a good school or not. It's unfair to label teachers just because of the demographic aspect or the attitude of the students per se. Nonetheless, I believe that teachers have strong impact on students' engagement in learning. In order to receive good results, we need to give good teaching as well. It's a reminder to myself that I need to be a constant learner and always try to give the best in everything I do.

    Next Monday is the Teacher's Day celebration. Ironically, right after the T-Day's lunch, I need to tear myself away from the celebration to attend a meeting. Yes, that's right, a meeting. I'll be in Pontian to attend the 'Mesyuarat Peningkatan Akademik Matapelajaran Bahasa Inggeris Negeri Johor' for 3 consecutive days. Happy Teacher's Day to all the teachers out there. Kudos for being the resilient multi-tasking experts. YOU ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES!

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    All In A Day's Work

    This week is a super hectic week for me. Rushing to classes, attending meetings, dealing with book distributors on daily basis, restocking books on E-Source, YPJ tuition classes, doing paperwork, the list goes on and on. On top of my manic schedule, Fahmi, my youngest son was down with high fever two days ago. My husband and I dashed to the nearby clinic and we were alarmed when his temperature reading was 39C! It took a doctor, two nurses and two frantic parents to hold on to a wailing infant. The doc gave him suppository medication and thank god, his temperature dropped after that. Still, he didn't sleep well at night. That means mommy didn't get her sleep too. Took CRK yesterday, just to keep an eye on his progress. Alhamdulillah, he's now back to his normal self which is climbing onto sofa and running around the house like a mini RoadRunner. Heh, a mom's jobs never end aye?

    As I was scanning through the PPDJB's website (my daily digest), I stumbled upon this. Oookay, to go or not to go, that's a big question. I discussed with my husband and I decided to attend the meeting since hubby was around to take care of the kids. On my way to the school, my principal called to inform me on this meeting and she sounded relief that I was aware of the rendezvous.

    The meeting was held at SMK Tasek Utara 2 and we were briefed on this programme by Pn. Raziah, En. Baba and En. Hafiz, the PPDJB's officers. Generally, the Immersion Programme is aimed towards helping under performing schools in improving their academic performance of critical subjects in public examinations (PMR,SPM). I am one of the selected facilitators who will be observing the subject teachers for this programme. Majority of the facilitators are Guru Cemerlang and Key Facilitators of the respective subjects. Well, the main tasks of the facilitators are to supervise the teachers, guide them in planning their lesson plans, demonstrating ways to conduct conducive lessons and share innovative methods in teaching.

    I've been assigned to monitor two English Language teachers at SMK Gelang Patah. I'll be meeting the teachers next Thursday and I hope I could discuss with them on their needs and perhaps, some challenges that they face in teaching English Language in their school. I do hope that the teachers would benefit under my personal tutelage. Hope for the best!

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Great Tips on Public Speaking

    The mere mention of Public Speaking would induce students to have the following symptoms : butterflies in the stomach, sweat rivuleting down their backs, frequent visits to the restroom and some even resort to messy gut puking scenes. Oh well, maybe I'm exaggerating a wee bit but from my observation, majority of Malaysian students have inhibition when it comes to public speaking. They might garner strings of As and various accolades but that does not automatically guarantee that one can speak nonchalantly in public.

    I would like to share some great tips on how to give a good speech, e-mailed to me by Jamilah Samian, a Certified Professional Trainer (CPT) who is also a sucessful author. If her name kinda rings a bell, perhaps you might have came across her books: COOL MUM SUPER DAD, IBU KOOL BAPA HEBAT, COOL BOYS SUPER SONS and ANAK LELAKI KOOL & HEBAT. Thank you Kak Milah for imparting your knowledge and expertise to me. I hope these tips would benefit the rest of the readers as it has greatly benefited me.

    1) The key to give a good presentation is preparation. Find out who your audience will be and what the purpose of the speech is. Suit the content to your audience.

    2) There are several different kinds of speeches e.g. motivational, informative, persuasive and inspirational. The best kind of speeches always motivate and inspire people to change. Begin with the end in mind ... You start by asking yourself: How can I achieve this? How can I inspire people to change? Good speakers always try to make an emotional connection with the audience. By this I mean, you evoke interest in the audience from the moment you take the stage. You can do this by sharing a story, some statistics etc to grab attention. 

    3) Remember: IT'S GOOD TO BE NERVOUS BECAUSE IT SHOWS YOU CARE FOR THE AUDIENCE. In fact, someone once said that, If you are not nervous, something is wrong! You might be so relaxed that the speech falls flat. Nervousness is actually a form of energy. Put it to good use in your speech. I often take a deep breath before I start to calm myself down. I also remind myself that, in any presentation, the spotlight is on the audience, not me. I'm there to ensure that transfer of knowledge takes place.   

    4) Nothing beats practice. Practice, practice, practice. As you practice, imagine yourself in front of the audience, giving a great speech. This is called 'visual imagery'. Even if you haven't delivered the speech, you can trick your mind to believe that you have done it before (this is supported by research).  

    5) The audience doesn't know if you have forgotten some lines. In case you did forget, just act normal and proceed as usual.

    6) On rushing - pauses are very important. A dramatic pause at the right moment helps the message to sink in. Remember this if you find yourself going too fast. 

    7) I guess the speech is probably less than an hour long. You can't squeeze too many things in an hour-long speech. Decide what your main points are and elaborate on them.

    8) A note on jargons. Unless your audience consist of only university professors, stay away from technical terms that can confuse people. A good speech is direct and easy to understand. The best way to engage people is by using simple terms that they can relate to.

    9) If you can, try to inject some kind of humor. It helps to spice things up. 

    10) Last but not least, the more speeches you give, the better a speaker you become. So don't worry too much :) Enjoy the learning process!

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    How to Write Better Essays

    Slideshare is a great Web 2.0. learning tool where you can share PowerPoint presentations with practically everyone around the world. Based from the positive feedback, I believe knowledge sharing and collaborative learning would immensely benefit our Malaysian teachers and students as the knowledge that one possesses is not limited within the small community of educators in the same school.

    Here's a good PowerPoint presentation that highlighted the essential essence of good writing. Sharing is caring :) Do check it out!

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Teacher's Pets

    Need creative ways to jazz up your lesson but no time to dabble with complicated application?

    Fret not!

    I would like to introduce two wonderful educational sites that coincidentally share the same name, Teacher's Pet.

    Teacher's Pet
    It offers freeware and teaching resources for all teachers. I love the fact this website provides user-friendly teaching tools to create crosswords, bingo cards, jumbles, word search puzzles, flashcards, cloze tests, pair-matching puzzles and much more. Rather than heavily relying on workbooks alone, trying to create our own worksheets might be a better alternative to cater to our own students' needs. Everything is easier, thanks to Teacher's Pet.

    Teachers Pet 

    Teachers Pet is a resource site that provides free printable PDFs that are very useful in our English Language classroom. It also provides interactive resources created using Flash application, which definitely appeal to the young learners. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is also very appealing. If you are interested, you can follow the blog for latest updates on the teaching resources.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Teaching with Love

    I'd like to share an excerpt from one of my favourite books, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. The book itself is divided into various chapters that covered the fundamental aspects of our lives. It's deep and profound, reminding us the power of words in reaching the abyss of emotion.


    Then said a teacher, "Speak to us of Teaching."

    And he said:

    No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of our knowledge.

    The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

    If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

    The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

    The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

    And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

    For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

    And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Johor Youth Leadership Camp 2010

    Date: 19-21st April 2010
    Venue: PKG Tasek Utara, Johor Bahru, Johor.
    Participants: Top students from Johor premier schools
    Organiser: International Relations Unit, Johor State Education Department

    I had the chance to be one of the facilitators during the 1st Johor Youth Leadership Camp and the experience is priceless. 110 top students from all around Johor are selected to unleash their potentials as exemplary leaders. The participants had to endure physical trainings such as wall climbing, kayaking, survival skills and many more. Apart from that, they are also exposed to team building activities that test their cooperative skills and abilities to follow instructions and lead their team mates.

    I personally felt that the Global Leadership tutorial given by Pn. Rosliza Rosli, Head of the International Relations Unit was very resourceful as it opened up the young leaders' minds in understanding the importance of great leadership. I had the chance to conduct the Public Speaking session with some of the participants and I'm glad to discover that there are many potential orators that could be trained to express their ideas effectively. Oh yeah, they were also exposed to image consultation and proper etiquette by Mr. Azizurahman, the JPNJ Counselor. Not only one has to be mentally agile, one has to look sharp and presentable as well.

    I bet majority of the participants were dead beat by the end of the session inclusive of the facilitators as well! We stayed up late for the past two nights and did the night watch (mine was 2-4 a.m.) but we would definitely treasure the moments and experience that we gained from this camp. I had the pleasure to guide 11 bright students and I can foresee these students becoming aspiring leaders. These participants would form Student Leaders Board in their own respective schools and we will later on pick 25 selected students to join the Johor Student Leaders Congress, the pinnacle of awesomeness when it comes to Internationalisation of School Programme. These students will represent Johor and Malaysia to various leadership conferences in Washington D.C. and Geneva. They would go through rigorous training and series of interviews as only the creme de la creme would be chosen. Good luck to all the participants and do keep in touch!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    The Making of a Leader

    This afternoon, I sat together with 7 other teachers to draft the constitutions  of the Student Leaders Board (SLB) and Johor Student Leaders Congress (JSLC), which are part of the Johor Internationalisation Programme.  It is an ambitious project where the Sultan of Johor himself is the patron. This project is spearheaded by Tn. Hj. Supaat Tumin, the Director of the Johor State Education Department and he believes that the time has come to groom a generation of outstanding leaders in Johor who would provide human capital needs for the future of the Iskandar Development Region. Personally, I could foresee how students who be thrilled to be part of this program as it provides the chance for them to show off their leadership qualities. Getting to travel abroad is one of its many perks as well! I was gasping with astonishment when I heard how much was allocated for each student who would be chosen to join the JSLC.  Oh, how I wish there is such program back in my time!
    A snapshot with my juniors, Azean & Azrina. Lovely ladies who possess the gift of the gab.We assisted JPNJ in providing the English version of the SLB & JSLC's constitutions.

    My group. 
    Mr. Ramesh (SMK TUTA) & Pn. Pua (SMK Mutiara Rini)

     The Team with the vivacious Pn. Rosliza Rosli, JPNJ International Relations Officer.

    Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
    Peter F. Drucker

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Innovative Teacher Award 2010

     "Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by 
    which they exploit change as an opportunity."
    ~Peter F. Drucker

    Alhamdulillah, I  received a fantastic news that I have qualified to the State Level of the Innovative Teacher Award 2010. The action research that I carried out this year, My Lit Project was chosen to represent Johor Bahru in the Secondary School Level category.  The need to assist my students in revising for their literary texts gave impetus to my innovation. The learning blog maximises the Web 2.0. technologies and contains digital notes, audio-visual stimuli and interactive activities that could foster and strengthen the students' understanding on the current literary texts. So far, I've managed to cover Latif Mohidin's In The Midst of Hardship, Vivien Alcock's QWERTYUIOP and Bibsy Soedharjo's He Had Such Quiet Eyes. Hope I could add more contents as time progresses.

    I took the initiative to develop this blog because I used to have more than 40 students in one class (yes, it's true!) and it is a painstaking process to gauge their understanding. Besides, majority of my students have Internet access at home and they are IT-savvy as well. Since it  is geared towards autonomous learning, students take control of the learning process. Based from my students' feeback, they really enjoy watching the YouTube videos as they trigger their interests in engaging themselves with the literary texts. They can set their own learning pace and retake the interactive exercises as often as they like. Nonetheless, I still believe there's always room for improvement and I'm trying to oversee and tweak some of the finer details of the aforementioned innovation. The winner of the Innovative Teacher Award is yet to be announced but I'll just hope for the best.

    For those who are finding information on how to conduct an action research, I would suggest you check out the Johor State Education Department's Action Research Portal. It is very resourceful as it provides guidelines  in conducting your action research. You can download the user-friendly template as well. You can also download some samples of award-winning action researches such as the WordWise Techniques by Pn. Rahmah Sayuti. Yes, I know action research may sound a bit tedious especially when we are hampered with a lot of clerical works.  Honestly speaking, I used to have such perception as well but when I saw how the students immensely benefited from the action researches I've conducted, it propelled my optimism in finding ways to make learning more enjoyable yet fulfilling for my students. It's all part of the process of learning, teaching and loving what you do.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Intel Teach: A gratifying learning experience

     Last week, I attended the Intel® Teach Course that was organised by the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC), Kuala Lumpur. Basically, its main objective is to mould effective educators that integrate IT in their lessons efficiently, elevating the gratification of the learning and teaching process. We were introduced to the concept of 21st century learning which I personally think should be embraced positively by all educators. Although I'm familiar with blogging and PowerPoint applications, I believe that one can always learn and refine oneself by learning constantly. Just like the well-renowned story of the Empty Cup, I believe there's always room for improvement and I am glad that The Intel® Teach Program broadened my perspectives on ways to integrate Web 2.0. technologies in promoting collaborative efforts and project-based learning.

      Group 4 : The 'certified' counsellors
    [ l-r: Pn Ng (SMK TUTA), me, Pn. Jamiah (SMK TUTA) & Pn. Salbiah (STF)

    The jovial Pn. Ng & I. For someone her age, she is quite IT-savvy. I salute you madam!

    The course participants goofing away after 5 days of memory overload.
    [l-r: Kak Sal, Ben, Kak Jem, me, Sui Liang & Pn.Ng)

    Kak Sal & I presented our group's project in front of the course participants. Despite the gory 'mat rempit' images, I think the presentation went quite smoothly. We became students once more, burning the midnight oil, preparing  the unit plan, brochure, ppt and blog. What an experience!

    The blog that we developed for our project-based learning. As our topic was concerning teen issues, we set up a counselling centre to help troubled teens. I'm in charge of developing the blog. I'm thinking of putting up all the group presentations & teaching materials online so everyone can benefit and use it in their lessons. What do you think?

    A group photo with Madam Jayanti, our awesome course facilitator. I love her optimism in using IT to teach weaker students. I couldn't agree more, Madam. Based from my experience, weaker students learn better via audio-visual stimuli.

    Apart from frantically preparing Unit Plan for our group presentation, I managed to meet my sis and my best friends, Zee & Pakcik. We've been best friends for a very long time and they have even become family friends. I got the chance to meet up with my former student, Suhaimi who is currently doing his final year at IPBA. He just got back from Plymouth and will be an English Language teacher, just like me! We had a  great discussion on the teaching profession and also his preparation for his upcoming teaching practical. Good luck Suhaimi ! For your information, I keep in touch with most of my ex students because I genuinely care about them even after they leave school. Thank god, I can rely on Facebook to keep in touch with all of them. They are the main reason why I signed up in the first place. I  was supposed to meet Afiqah, my ex-student as well but my schedule clashed with hers. No worries Afiqah, hope we can see each other in June yeah :)