Friday, January 23, 2009

Karangan yang comel

I asked my students to write about a person they admire the most (in 100 words or more). Here's one composition yang sangat comel:

"A girl name called as --- who is a PRS (Perosak Rakan Sebaya). She is a very-very cute and pretty girl. She lives in ---. She alway smile when she saw me. She is the best of all in my life. Every day I meet her after school at the ... (privet). She alway eat a lot and her hobby is watching television. Her favorite food is chocolate. Well I guess this is all I need to say. Even though over here got not enough 100 words: But I am sorry for it."

The earlier part made me go *Aaw* and the ending made me laugh out loud.

This prompted the teacher who's sitting next to me in the staff room to ask, "Hah Syada, buat apa gelak sorang2 tu?"

There's never a dull moment in teaching I tell you :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1st week of work

I am really enjoying my working life thus far.

My school, SMK ---, is only 10-15 minute drive away from my house. So, I'm still staying with my parents. I usually leave home by 6.55am to arrive at the school a few minutes earlier than the 7.20am clock-in time. My driving routine also involves tuning in to to listen to Doa Pagi. I like hearing my name in the song :-)

The school has plenty of parking spaces. This may seem somewhat irrelevant but coming from my practicum school where parking spaces are scarce, this is a huge blessing. No longer are lessons interrupted by "Kepada pemilik kenderaan WXY 1234, sila alihkan kenderaan anda sekarang juga" announcements. They were my pet peeves - I can still recall the announcement wording verbatim!

I am given 3 classes to teach: 3B, 3E and 3H. That means I'm only teaching 15 periods a week (excluding reliefs). It's a temporary arrangement. Teachers usually get around 25 periods per week. The school administrators are in the midst of reshuffling the timetable. So after Chinese New Year, I will probably be transfered to the afternoon session and be given a more gruelling schedule.

Further, I still haven't been assigned to any extra-curricular activities. So, I'm pretty much coasting right now :-)

Oh, and the school is short of English teachers. Therefore, I get to teach English and only English. I wouldn't know what to do if I were asked to teach BM/History/Civic/Math instead.

My current students are a mixed bunch. I have trouble controlling class 3H; the boys are extremely boisterous that my classroom management skills are tested to the limits. Class 3B is a handful too. But my biggest challenge is not keeping the class in order - it's getting the students motivated to the learn the language. They seem to have very low motivation levels. Yesterday, they were supposed to present their group work, but not one group bring their mahjung paper. I tried to implement Plan B, but none bring their textbook as well! Habis tu, double period nak buat apa?? haish...

Fortunately, my 3-month practicum had somewhat prepared me for situations such as these. When the students said, "Kelas kitaorang memang macam ni Cikgu". I just replied, "It's okay. I've handled worse" [For the record 2 Cekal, I said this in the most affectionate manner :-)]

But hati terubat with Class 3E. It's not fair to play favourites - I know. But Class 3E is just a joy to teach - the epitome of model pupils. Give them any task: groupwork, role-play, discussion... and they are up for it. Today, we role-played Chapter 1 of the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It was one of those great teaching moments.

Work ends at 1.30pm (if there's no meeting to attend to) and I am always very tired when I reach home. My brother teased, "Apa ni Adik? Kerja baru seminggu dah pengsan".

My sisters chipped in, "Ntah. Dah la pukul 2 dah balik".

I just replied, "Ada tak kerja korang kena layan 40 lebih orang SEKALIGUS??"

Hah! I rest my case.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

They (are going to) call me Cikgu

In one week's time, I am going to melapor diri to my designated Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan. I have yet to know which SMK I'll be going to... but it'll be somewhere in the state of Selangor.

Since mid-December, I've been trying the online Semakan Penempatan. But each attempt was met with:


Nombor Kad Pengenalan yang anda masukkan tiada dalam senarai penempatan ini.

Finally, on Jan 2, it stated:

Penempatan Anda di SELANGOR

So, it looks like I'm going to stay put at Selangor. Not heading to Sabah after all. heh.

I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I am glad that my parents are glad (ecstatic is more like it) that I got Selangor. Undoubtedly, it is a CONVENIENT location. And for someone who is not yet ready to become a full-fledged adult, knowing that my support system is nearby, is hugely comforting. Besides, one does not have to deal with the many problems/challenges affiliated with teaching in the remote areas. These problems/challenges are described so "graphically" in an email by our lecturer - stuff certainly not for the faint-hearted.

YET. oh yes, there's a yet. Yet, I couldn't help but envy those going to these remote areas. They are capable of initiating so much positive change! Sounds heroic + romantic eh? Beginning teachers are supposed to exudes that sort of enthusiasm and spirit.

I had dinner with Fa and Nada last night. Fa, is flying to Sabah in 3 days' time. And she's handling the situation VERY well. She has finished packing her 20kg luggage - complete with hand puppets and flash cards in tow (for teaching aids). She has looked at websites of the schools she might be posted to (in the district of Kota Marudu); And she's bursting with ideas that could be implemented there.

Well Fa, all the best to you. Nada and I will definitely Cuti-Cuti Malaysia at Sabah this school holiday.

As for those who are posted to their respective hometowns, to quote a saying in Sang Murabbi the movie:

"Ladang dakwah terhampar luas
Kewajiban kita untuk menyirami tanah-tanah tandus
Menyemai benih-benih unggul
Agar tumbuh pohon-pohon kejayaan Islam
Dakwah ini akan terus mengalir menuju Ridho Allah
Jangan bersedih
Di mana kita berada di situlah dakwah kita sebarkan"

Friday, January 02, 2009


"Barangsiapa yang tidak mengambil berat urusan umat Islam, maka dia bukanlah dari kalangan mereka"

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The World Uncovered: Daylight Robbery

'Daylight Robbery' is one of the six documentaries voted as the best documentaries of 2008 by BBC viewers.

Synopsis from BBC:

Jane Corbin investigates the whistleblower cases which threaten to reveal the scandals behind billions of dollars worth of waste and corruption during the past five years of war in the Middle East.

When the US and its allies went to war, they gave corporate America contracts for caterers, security guards and interrogators. Now, as the alleged corruption involved in these contracts comes to the surface, Jane Corbin speaks to those involved and asks what happened to the missing $23 billion?

*Click here to read more.

Broadcast Times:

BBC (Channel 512)

Jan 3, 09


Jan 4, 09



The other 5 documentaries are:

  1. Around The World In 80 Treasures — Jordan To Ethiopia (January 3; January 4; January 5)
  2. Child Slavery (January 3; January 4)
  3. Chinese School (December 27; December 28)
  4. The World Uncovered: Korea: Out Of The North (December 27; December 28)
  5. China Reporting China — School on the Cliff (December 27; December 28)