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!
Here's what SELES 2018 got right:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.