Tuesday, January 27

My #1 Personal Development Tool: The Art of Charm Podcast

Yes, I spend a lot of time on boats just waiting for time to go by. Why not use it to improve myself?
How many of us have had teachers who tell us to "do as they say, not as they do"?
I've had plenty of those. I've also had teachers who walked the talk. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which ones I respected more & desired to learn more from.
Actually, as I was growing up, I've known plenty of adults who were more than willing to dish out advice they do not follow themselves. Everybody does it. Not just teachers.

Now that I'm a teacher myself, I do my best to live up to all the expectations & standards I set up for my students. I ensure that I practice my reading, writing, listening & speaking regularly. More importantly, I'm also building my character & my soft skills. Stuff that's not easily measured but is easily discerned by others & especially the more-than-perceptive children in our classrooms.
Literacy skills are very important but it's not enough to give us the moral authority to lead or resilience to overcome the challenges of the world.

Friday, January 16

How It Feels Like To Yearn For A Transfer

To be honest, I do feel like this sometimes.
When I started teaching, I was excited to go into the jungle & serve my country. I didn't care where I was posted. I wrote on my posting form "dimana saya diperlukan dan kebolehan saya dimanfaatkan". I was willing to go to the highest mountains, the deepest jungles, the furthest islands, or the worst urban schools. I understood very early on that WHERE I was didn't matter. WHO I was mattered more. I wanted to make a difference & I think I have achieved all that in my 6 full years at my jungle school.

During my first 2 years at school, I really enjoyed myself at the jungle school, I never really understood the feelings of someone who really wanted a transfer. Mainly because I had a good leader who made the teaching experience purposeful. Also, I felt a deep sense of accomplishment & satisfaction with my work. I had decided to root myself at the school & commit myself to 5 years there.

Then came the darkest 2 years in my career. Despite being my most productive years, those were also my hardest years of being abandoned & persecuted because I wanted to do more. As Chief Warden, I did a lot of programmes despite working without support from above. I had a spineless leader who let land crocodiles take bites at me. I learned to be independent, to be resourceful & to be relentless. I wrestled crocodiles & galvanised support from the ground up. Now, I fear nothing & I have a self-confidence forged from the fires of hell. To me, nothing is impossible because of what I've been through.

After those 2 years, something changed in me. I started to see everything that I built disappear & everything I love about my school slowly disintegrate one by one. I was getting deeply discouraged & unsettled. That was when I first applied for transfer. But, God was not done with me yet. The next two years were years of recognition & collaboration. Just when I was about to collapse in exhaustion, God sent angels to volunteer at my school. I spoke at conferences & delivered workshops for teachers. I was featured in newspapers & magazines.

Friday, January 9

Beware When Using Foodpanda Malaysia!!

It started in Singapore in 2012 & it is now worldwide. Should be good right?
Foodpanda is a food delivery service partnering with local restaurants.
Before I used the service, I looked on Google for authentic reviews but I only found blogs which looked very much like advertorials (advertisement-tutorials teaching you how to use a service). All of them ordered from major restaurant chains in the Klang Valley/Singapore & said good things about Foodpanda.
Since they're operating worldwide, they should be world-class, right? Read my experience & decide for yourself.

Thursday, January 8

2000 Likes On Facebook

Gotta love Jim Carey
In July 2012, my Facebook page was created as a platform for sharing pictures of activities/programmes & sharing ideas with friends & colleagues. In August 2013, I got my first thousand likes. In January 2015, there were 2000. It's nothing compared to other teachers who have achieved more than 5 digits but I want to be thankful for the 2000 people who decided to publicly endorse me & my work. To them, what I am doing matters & it is such a booster!

My Facebook page hasn't changed much since from its inception. I'm still sharing pictures of stuff I did, useful/interesting articles & the good work of other teachers. Nowadays, I'm including more personal development articles because I believe that one person's level of success is parallel to their level of personal growth. If you want to lead a classroom, a superior ethos has to shine through. As I grow, I want others to grow with me.

Honestly, having 2000 & counting supporters is a big encouragement to me. I just hope that I'm returning the favour by sharing with you quality content that helps you to learn something new or think deeper about overlooked issues.
Also, I'm always looking to improve. If you have any feedback about how I can make things better for you on my blog or on my Facebook, contact me or write a comment below.

Truth be told, I refuse to think that I am anything more than a common English teacher. There's nothing special about what I'm doing or who I am.
I hope that when you look at what I have done & achieved, you'll see yourself doing the same things. I'm not anyone special. I'm just like you. I do simple but significant things which anyone can adapt & do in their own way. I don't mind people copying what I'm doing as long as it makes a difference to their students.

Wednesday, January 7

Super Speedy Service Renewing My Passport In Kuching

This is what my new passport looks like.
Sorry, can't show you what's inside because you might puke blood after viewing my photo.
Today, I went to the Immigration Office in Kuching to get my passport done & I was really surprised to walk in at 9am & walk out at 10am with my new passport in hand. The immigration staff were friendly & they answered all my questions politely. No more grumpy officers of past.

I had plenty of questions before coming here as I didn't want to get caught in a crowd & I didn't want to have to come back another day because I forgot something. I wrote this to help you get a better idea of what to expect when you need to renew your passport at an immigration office.

Sunday, January 4

Amazing Pictures of SMK Katibas (The Jungle School)

I took these photos many years ago for the 2010 school magazine & shared them on the school's official Facebook Page in 2013 but I only just realised that I never did share them on my own blog. Which is a shame.

You'll know by the end of this post why so many people were willing to pay their own way to do short-term volunteer work at my school even though it is in the middle of nowhere (here, here, here, here, here & here).

Ladies & gentlemen, prepare to have your eyes soothed by the best of nature...

Friday, January 2

How To Use Your Custom Domain Name On Blogger

Registering a domain name for my blog was easy enough. I only spent 15 minutes doing it. I wrote about why I wanted my own domain, how I got it & tips on what to look out for.
The problem is I wanted Blogger to continue to host my blog because it is not making any money. It would be unsustainable to pay for private hosting for my blog.

Thankfully, Blogger is generous & has provided instructions to set up a custom domain.
It was basically Greek to me because there were plenty of technical terms I was not familiar with. Also, there were no pictures at all to guide me. It took me 1 hour of trial & error to figure it out & get things running.
I wrote this guide so that you will be able to do it on your own with the aid of visuals.

How Do I Use My Custom Domain Name On Blogger?

Thursday, January 1

How To Register Your Own Custom Domain & What To Look Out For

My domain name was a birthday gift to myself & a cheap one too!
The whole process of registering a domain (website name) took me less than 15 minutes. Linking it with Blogger, however, took me around 1 hour as I had no idea what I was doing. Lol.
I wrote this guide because there were none out there for the average Malaysian with butterflies in their wallets.

Why should I have my own domain?
For me, I have invested a lot of effort into my blog & I'm planning to use it as the main point of reference for my personal brand as an educator. This is where people can find out everything & anything about me.
Having my own domain lends me a lot of credibility, shows people that I'm serious about what I do & I'm important enough to have my name followed by a ".com".

Don't pay OVER RM35 & Don't Take FREE domains
There are so many domain providers in Malaysia but there are no blogs reviewing them. Most blog posts were about international brands. The currency exchange makes them extremely expensive compared to the local options.
Furthermore, I'm hoping to upgrade my blog into a more modern layout than the ones provided on Blogger so I might decide to purchase hosting in the future. When that happens, I want a Malaysian provider just in case I needed to call with questions.

So I searched Malaysian providers on Google & looked at a LOT of options. Then, I looked in the Lowyat.net forums for reviews.
Basically, I was looking for a low-budget option that would not turn around & bite me in the back.
That's when I decided on Cynet.com.my.
The price is among the cheapest (RM35) &, according to a few posts in Lowyat, they are highly reliable too. The websites they host seem to be up 100% of the time. Also, most importantly for me, the domain is registered under my name.
WARNING: Don't take free domains because the company will own your domain.
DISCLAIMER: You may want to do your own research because my info might be outdated by the time you read this.

How Do I Register My Own Domain?

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