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Showing posts from November, 2013

Burying Love Like My Heart Is A Grave

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Somebody asked me whether I was hurt before because it seems like I am avoiding or trying not to remember.

Sigh... That made me recall memories long buried & left me feeling exposed, reflective & dejected.
I'm 28 & I don't have much to show, do I? I don't have a house. I don't have a car. I don't have a family. I don't have a wife. Heck, I don't even have a toy girl. Symbols of a successful man.
I have some achievements at work & great friends I can depend on, but when it comes to things that people typically look for, I have nothing to show. Nothing I can be proud of.

It's true that I have been hurt before. Who hasn't?
I guess it's true too that I am avoiding love. Since my last relationship 3 years ago, I have decided to stop dating. Instead, I poured all my energy, love & creativity into the only thing I know will never hurt me: My work. I have done so much these 3 years, I can hardly believe it.

I was numb emotionally so…

The 1st School Orientation Programme (For Teachers) @ SMK Katibas

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Remember back in September when 2 English Language Officers from the US Department of State visited my school? Well, at the same time, I had the privilege of supervising to a pair of future teachers during their 1 week ROS (school orientation programme) at my school.
Nope, they were not trainees from KPM. They're actually fellows with Teach For Malaysia!

I think that there is not much difference between KPM & TFM’s ROS programmes. Both had information seeking, school observing & reflection writing at the end. The only difference was the mindset of these TFM fellows. Very different from a majority of KPM trainees.
They had enthusiasm &, most importantly, PURPOSE. Instead of treating teaching as a mere job, these two had a mission: to bring about education equality at the level where it makes the most difference... teaching.

This kind of thinking actually sets them up for either great success or great disappointment.
The bad news is: the latter will almost always come be…

The Romance of Exam Talks

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As much as we, teachers, want our students to fall in love with the subjects we teach by getting them to relate to it via performance arts, experiments & projects. In reality, our students have to match up to only one criteria at the end of Form 5: paper excellence (aka Writing).
I feel that the mere pursuit of this turns them into soulless regurgitators &, at the end of their exams, they will have no desire to hang on to what they have learned because it is meaningless to them.

When teachers plan their lessons, they have to strike a balance between the robotic reality described above & the romance which makes us human & gives these robotic functions purpose.
At the end of the day, no matter what teachers believe, if they really care for their students, they will be compelled to put their students in the best position to perform in the exams.

A key part of this preparation is an Exam Talk.
It should never be the one & only programme to prepare students for the exa…

Remedial Instructions Workshop for Secondary School Teachers @ PPD Song

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I believe that if I have something good, it is not meant for me to hoard for myself alone; but meant to be shared &, in the end, cause a bigger ripple in the world. That is what courses are meant to do: share best practices which teachers can apply & invigorate their weary souls.

This year, I benefited greatly from 2 Remedial Instructions Workshops I attended in June & September. I was really excited about what I learned during the 2 courses because they were simple yet significant & did not require insane amounts of preparation. The approach/pedagogy/activities we learned were also at the level of our weakest remedial students. A perfect match with my teaching situation.

When I got this new knowledge, I was really excited. I knew that I had to share it because the need was too great. I estimate that 90% of students in Song are remedial students of the English language. ALL of the teachers in Song & also all of Malaysia need what I have learned.

Therefore, I have d…