Plenary At SELES 2018 (Sarawak English Language Educators Symposium)

Giving attendees "the eye".

After 2 sleepless nights doing 3 overhauls of my slides & loads of prickly constructive feedback from my better half, I was able to deliver a decent plenary at the Sarawak English Language Educators Symposium, or #SELES2018. This symposium was funded & run by the Ministry of Education, Science, & Technology Research (MESTR) Sarawak in collaboration with JPN Sarawak.

I have to salute the team at MESTR & especially Hazelynn Rimbar for their tireless efforts. From what I've observed at the symposium, they've really made a difference in the lives of the teachers in attendance. Honestly, you can't expect teachers to make a difference in the lives of their students if those above them do not do the same & invest significantly in their professional development (PD) & well-being.

Realizing that there's a lot of creativity already taking place in Sarawak, but no platform for sharing/discovering it, I started an FB Group called Sarawak English Educators. Sorry folks in Semenanjung & Sabah, it's only for national school English language teachers in Sarawak. God willing, it'll be a place where talents are discovered, ideas are shared, teachers find mentors, & collaboration takes place!
Sarawak English Educators
Facebook Group · 330 members
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===Welcome to Sarawak English Educators=== Created for teachers of national primary & secondary schools in Sarawak to #ASK questions, #SHARE expertise...

Here's what SELES 2018 got right:
  1. Participants came from every district in Sarawak. Almost every school had 1 representative, even the extremely rural ones! This surprised me as, usually, teachers in the Kuching/Samarahan divisions monopolize the best PD opportunities. Teachers in more rural parts of Sarawak are receptive, hungry, & desperate for PD but all they get are excuses (the typical no peruntukan) & *krik* *krik* *krik* *krik*. This is what I appreciate most in SELES.
  2. Both professors & practitioners delivered plenaries. Participants were provided a definition, framework or theory by the professors, while the practitioners complemented with practical examples that could be applied immediately.
  3. Parallel sessions were more practical than theoretical. I've attended conferences where PhD candidates or professors presented a study that they did which had little to no relevance to the teaching & learning that takes place in classrooms. All of the parallel sessions I attended were highly practical & delivered by energetic presenters who really engaged & involved the participants.
  4. Both young & senior teachers attended. Young teachers are quick to catch the fire & innovate, while senior teachers have moral & legal authority. Both need to work together to achieve their shared goals.

Plenary & Session Slides

  • Cikgu Faith Wong, Lundu SISC+, compiled slides from plenaries & sessions here.
  • Here are the slides from my plenary. I'll share the video when it becomes available to me from MESTR. I was very emotional during my plenary, so I'm not sure if you'd want to see that.

#SELES2018 Moments

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