Monday, July 30

Buat Apa Di USA? Bercuti Dibayar Ka?

Bermesyuarat dengan bekas presiden-presiden USA di Mount Rushmore.

Hari ini adalah hari terakhir saya di USA & saya teringat waktu Fulbright interview dulu. Director MACEE bertanya, "kamu ni pergi bercuti dibayar (paid vacation) ka?" Soalan itu teramatnya bercili & tajam. Waktu itu saya terkejut & kekangan untuk menjawab soalan itu sebab saya sendiri pun ragu-ragu: Adakah saya ini mampu untuk mengharumkan nama negara & menyumbang kepada keberhasilan sistem pendidikan negaraku? Perlu ke saya pergi jauh-jauh sampai USA & belanja duit yang begitu banyak?

Wednesday, July 25

DUMBO | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Batu Lintang, Sarawak


Take a walk with me in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), New York City!
Dedicated to the students of SMK Batu Lintang in Sarawak, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour & show you various landmarks in DUMBO: the Most Instagramed Spot, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pebble Beach, Empire Stores, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Bargemusic, Statue of Liberty, Free Kayaking, Roller Rink, & Harbor View Lawn. You will also see Manhattan Bridge, East River, Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge, Jane's Carousel, & New York Water Taxi.

This video was produced in collaboration with  Cikgu Ho Jia Yiing of SMK Batu Lintang, Kuching.

Sunday, July 22

The Best Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Their Homework


Photo Credit: Unsplash

Any parent will tell you that they want the world for their child. In a highly competitive world, education is among the most important tools for anyone to succeed. How you approach your child’s homework and how you teach them to approach it can make all the difference. While you want to help them when necessary, it’s critical to allow them to work through challenges. Here are some painless ways to help your child with their homework without overstepping any boundaries.


Set up a routine

The first step to supporting your child’s educational success is helping them establish a homework routine. Your child may work better as soon as they get home from school or after an hour of down time. They may get more done before dinner or after playtime at the park. If your child has ADHD or other problems focusing, you may need to be even more diligent in creating structure. Everyone is different, so figure out a time of day with your child and stick to it. The important thing is not when they do their work but that they do their work. Designating a time and place shows them that schoolwork is a priority, and it instills discipline and structure that will help them later in life.


Create an environment to thrive

Along with a set time, it’s important to have a place for them to work. Depending on your child’s age and personality, this location will vary. Some kids work best with a parent nearby to help with any problems. This could mean working in the living room or at the kitchen counter while dinner is being prepared. Some will need to retreat to their room for solitude. Again, it doesn’t matter as much where they work, it just needs to be an environment where they can focus and thrive. Generally speaking, it’s good for the place to be well-lit, comfortable, stocked with school supplies, and free from distractions including TV, video games or phone calls.


Support them when they struggle

One of the most challenging parts of supporting your child’s educational success is helping them navigate through issues without doing the work for them. Providing all the answers or completing assignments will not help the child in the long run; it will only hinder the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Instead, help them by interpreting assignment instructions and guiding them to find their own answers. You can also review their completed work and advise them on other ways to approach similar assignments in the future. Moreover, always stay in contact with your child’s teachers and know what questions to ask if there are recurring problems with your child’s performance.


Reward them when homework is complete

It’s also important to reward your child when they have completed their assignments. This step shouldn’t be overlooked because it reminds them that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The primary goal of rewarding is to encourage your child to form positive behavioral traits that will last a lifetime. For instance, giving them ice cream after they clean their room will not always be necessary. Hopefully, ice cream won’t be needed when they get older; they’ll just have become someone who likes to have a clean room. Likewise, rewarding your child for completing their homework is a way to instill the value of hard work and seeing challenging tasks through.

There are a number of rewarding outdoor activities that can be done with the entire family. Bird watching, camping, treasure hunts, rock identification and fossil-finding are all activities that combine an opportunity for learning with fresh air and sunshine. Find a variety of things to do in your backyard or at the local park and mix it up to keep your rewards fun and educational for your child.


Every child is unique, and parents will need to help with homework in their own way. The goal is for the child to learn as much as possible and to form the discipline and structure needed to succeed in the world.
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Emily Graham
Emily Graham is the creator of mightymoms.net. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms -- from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.

Wednesday, July 18

Brooklyn Bridge | Walk With Me In NYC | SK Convent (M) Kajang, Selangor


Take a walk with me on Brooklyn Bridge, New York City!

Dedicated to the students of SK Convent (M) Kajang in Selangor, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour of Brooklyn Bridge & share with you the story of the most recognized landmarks in the world. You will also see City Hall Park, Manhattan, Brooklyn, DUMBO, East River, & Manhattan Bridge.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Nurhazirah Azhar of SK Convent (M) Kajang, Selangor.

Friday, July 13

Liberty Island | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Beaufort 3, Sabah


Take a walk with me on Liberty Island, New York City!

Dedicated to the students of SMK Beaufort 3 in Sabah, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour of Liberty Island & share with you the most recognized landmark in the world, the Statue of Liberty. You will also see Manhattan & New York Harbor.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Marinette Baltazar-Shamsudin of SMK Beaufort 3, Sabah.

Wednesday, July 4

Mid Central Park | Walk With Me In NYC | SMK Bandar Baru Uda, Johor


Take a walk with me in Mid Central Park, New York City!
Dedicated to the students of SMK Bandar Baru Uda in Johor, who voted for the landmark, here's another video in the Walk With Me In NYC series!

In this video, I take you on a walking tour & show you various landmarks in Mid Central Park: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park Reservoir, Great Lawn, Turtle Pond, & Belvedere Castle.

This video was produced in collaboration with Cikgu Nor Fadzleen of SMK Bandar Baru UDA, Johor.

Monday, July 2

The Stole: Leaving A Legacy At Columbia University


This is a story of a stole. More specifically, the stole (in the colors of Malaysia) which I wore for my graduation ceremony at Columbia University in 2017. Out of the 12k+ graduating in 2017, I know of only 4 Malaysians. That's around only 0.003%! We are very few & far between! I am very proud of my national heritage, as my educational attainment at this ivy league institution has a lot to do with the preparation provided to me by the public school & higher education systems in Malaysia. Also, my multicultural & multilingual country has had a lot to do with my ability to assimilate & thrive in this foreign culture.

Therefore, at my graduation, I wanted my country to be represented, seen, & recognized at one of the top universities of the world. I wore my love for Malaysia on my shoulders that day & walked with my head held high, a person from a developing nation standing shoulder to shoulder with those from developed nations, as equals.

After graduation, I was going to bring my graduation robe home, so I could use it as a prop to motivate my future students. However, the Malaysian stole deserved so much more. It was made with quality materials & crafted with skill. The colors were deep, beautiful, & worthy of representing Malaysia at the highest international level! Also, I paid a good sum for it after expending so much effort in an extensive search. It should not be kept in a dark closet for the rest of its life. It should be allowed to shine again & again & again.

Sunday, July 1

Farewell Celebration With High Beginner | AMPHS


Celebrated the end of the academic year with my High Beginner ESOL class from AMPHS with lots of cultural food & reflecting on what they've learned during the semester. I also made sure that they planned what they would do during the summer to retain & build on all that they've learned. Otherwise, they'd forget everything during the 3 month break! 😠

We had plenty of sweet memories together. 😍 We trained for a Choral Speaking performance (here's the video), & had field trips to the Statue of Liberty 🗽, the Museum of the City of New York, & Sunset Park Brooklyn Library 📚. The class also had weekly Duolingo assignments, read 2 books/month, & made vocabulary cards every week 📇.

Thank you, students, for staying with this strict teacher throughout the semester! I really enjoyed our time together! Keep practicing your English! Do visit me in Malaysia!

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