Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reflective Journal - 11th week

I can’t believe that my practicum is almost ended. Seems like 12 weeks is such a long time yet it short and sweet! My last day in smksnt is no fairy tale. No teary goodbyes or thank you cards, no gifts or lovely flowers from the students. Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed but I understand that most of them are from poor family. They even cannot afford to buy gifts for themselves. Thus, that is not what I expect from them. For me the thoughts and memories with them that counts.

As my favourite quote says,
“At the end of the day, students will forget what you have thought them but they surely will remember what you have made them feel”
And it is my aspiration for them to remember how I made them feel.

At first, I didn’t really think that this would be one of the emotional goodbyes but actually it did. I remember how my voice stuck in my throat at the moment I say goodbye and apologize for things I done throughout my days with them. I also remember how my eyes got blurry with tears at the moment I wish them luck in their lives. And I remember how suddenly my heart filled with love as they ask for forgiveness and also my phone number! He he.

As for the staffs and teachers they did say good bye and wish us with many lovely things in life. They even invited us to their annual dinner in November. We flattered!  We surely will come with style. Hukhuk.
Taken as a whole, I learnt so many things from all the staffs, teachers and students of smksnt. They made me wiser and more mature to face the future. From my deepest heart I express my gratefulness to all.

Reflective Journal - 10th week

I am very lucky to have Mr. Bala as my supervisor. he is very supportive and very positive in every word that he says whenever he give advices or even during the consultations after every observations he did in my classroom.
One thing that I love about him is that he will start his comments with my strengths first then my weaknesses later. He also explains how to fix the flaws with brilliant ideas of his. his style of criticizing made me felt less inferior with myself and also made me felt that I am improving from time to time and I should work harder to be better next time.

After three observations with him I learnt that:
a.    teaching aids or regalia are very important in ensuring that the lesson is efficient to the students
b.    learning outcomes should be realistic and meet students’ level of proficiency
c.    teacher should be more creative in attracting the students’ interest in learning
d.    an excellent teacher is the teacher who is attentive and aware of the students’ behaviour and discipline during his or her teaching
e.    time management is essential in order to maintain the flaws of the lesson and make it more effective
f.    the act of giving rewards to students is good to boost the students’ interest and confidence in learning; either it is simple things like pencils or candies or even just a simple praise.

As a matter of fact there are so many other things that I learnt from him that I cannot list it all. Thus, I sincerely want to express my gratitude to Mr. Baal for his thoughtful insights and kindness towards me throughout my practicum days as my supervisor. And I surely has grow and become more mature in the process of becoming a good teacher. Thank you Mr. Bala. May God bless you always with lots of love and prosperity in life! =)

Reflective Journal - 9th week

I did my six observations with my mentor. Five observations with my form 2A3 and one observation with my form 1A3. I was very satisfied with my students during all the observations. They were very cooperative, understand and respect my expectations in my every observation.

I worked hard for every observation as I want to score as high as I can for my practicum. I did my teachings aids, I completed each and every lesson plan, and I constructed handouts and a few slideshows for some of my lesson in ‘Alit Pandang Danger’ (APD) room. However, I never satisfied with every mark that I got from every lesson that I conducted. this made me realized that I have so many weaknesses and flaws that sometime I felt like I want to give it up and just take it easy but then I tried to mend my broken heart and kept on reminding myself that it’s all part of my learning process.

After six observations I learnt that:
a.    an interesting and good set induction is crucial to ensure that the whole lesson is effective
b.    graphics such as pictures and fancy illustrations are the some of the best teaching aids for the students
c.    equal attention to all students is very important to ensure the topic learnt is well-understood by the students
d.    teacher should know how to choose the most appropriate exercise for the students in order to maximize its function as a tool to enhance their understanding on topic learnt
e.    a good lesson plan is essential as it is a guide to a good lesson in the classroom
f.    teacher should be able to determine the most suitable learning activity that is parallel with the students’ level of proficiency.

Honestly, I learnt a lot of things from my mentor. She showed me a whole new meaning of being a good teacher. And I definitely will always remember all the knowledge and experiences that I had during my practicum days here in SMKSNT.

Reflective Journal - 8th week

Besides English I also teach Physical Education (P.E) for form 5 Economics (5EKO). At first I felt very awkward and nervous. I don’t know what and how to teach a P.E class. The irony here is P.E was never my favourite subject during high school! And now I have to teach P.E, serves me right! Ha-ha. But gradually I am loving it and looking forward to it. I can wear sports attire for the whole day. More comfortable than bijou curing of course.

However, I made one of the biggest mistakes in classroom management. When I enter the class for the first time I forgot to tell my rules to them. Maybe because I set in mind those they already mature enough to behave and obey my orders and instructions during my lesson later. Thus, they started to misbehave. They refuse to bring their sports attire, they stay in the class during the lesson in the field and they even ‘vanished’ during class!

So, after I realized all the flaws I planned to do something to put a stop to all these problems. Firstly, I should remind them that everyone must bring their sports attire and the one who refuse will face the consequences. Secondly, they must wait for the teacher to come to the class first then they can go to the field and move in group. Thirdly, everyone must be at the field with or without sports attire; no one can stay in the class during P.E. lastly, all the sports equipment must be returned to the P.E room after used.

Actually, I planned to present to them all the rules by this week but unfortunately they have started their SPM trial starting this week until the end of my practicum. Thus, I will never get the chance to apply my P.E class rules to them. sigh.

Reflective Journal - 7th week

This week I focused more on the listening activity for the students. I did a listening activity using a song by Pink entitled ‘Family Portrait’. I chose the song because I think that the song filled with moral values that I can inculcate to the students.

I was very excited to conduct the lesson as I expect them to enjoy the song and also the cute video clip that I downloaded from YouTube. However, after one minute the video clip played they seem bored already. Some of them started to do other things. They don’t even impress with the dramatic scene from the video clip.
I felt very frustrated but I tried my very best to attract their attention by asking them some questions about the songs. I realized that they don’t really like the song. Nevertheless, after sometime they started to follow the lesson well when it comes to cut and paste activity. Obviously they love playing with paper and glue!

Thus, before I end the lesson I asked them who are their favourite English artist and what their favourite English songs are. They seem to be so confused and don’t know what to answer. Then I realize that they don’t really listen to English songs. They are not exposed to that kind of song. They prefer songs in their mother tongue or in Bahasa Melayu. Most of their favourite artist is from Indonesia.
Therefore, next time if I want to do songs activities maybe I should just use simple songs like nursery  rhymes? I wonder if that going to work. Sigh.

Reflective Journal - 6th week

After more than a month I’ve been teaching my students I realize that we don’t really have a good rapport with each other. I don’t know where exactly they live, how many siblings they have, who are their parents even their hobbies (I did asked during our ice breaking session yet I forgot). This is because I seldom talk to them personally. We only communicate during the lesson and of course it was only about the topic discussed at that moment. One of the factors of this problem is the language barrier. I seldom talk to them using Bahasa Melayu. It’s just that it is my aim to speak only English with them. Yet this is the consequences.

However, from my observation, we cannot be too personal or too close to them because they tend to misinterpret it. My point is they are the hyperactive kind of students therefore I cannot be too ‘nice’ with them if I want them to act upon all my instructions and orders in the classroom. That is why I chose to be firm and always keep a straight face with them.

Although I knew about this fact I still feel that I need to be a little bit easy-going and relaxed with them. So I decided to have a game called ‘hang man’ with my form 2A3 students. I can see that they enjoyed the game and they love it when I play with them as well. I laugh and joke with them throughout the session. But at the same time I still keep an eye to those who tend to lose their good attitude when they feel that I was not aware of their misbehaviour. Then, we play another game ‘win, lose or draw’. Some of the students were very excited to draw and asked me to guess the answer. They seem very pleased to see me enjoying the activity with them.

I entered the class the next day with my supervisor and I expect my students to be in their best behaviour after our fun and excitement the day before. However, SHOCKINGLY, they were acting like kindergarten students! They were very noisy; they kept on fighting with each other, refused to do the work and chasing each other in the class! Of all the hard work and straight face I maintained for the whole one month, all vanished with just a simple game and a sprinkle of kindness right from the bottom of my heart! I became furious!

After the shocking scenario I decided to get back to my firm-and-straight-face-teacher-mode for the rest of my practicum. Period!

My Reflective Journal Entries

from now on i will publish the entries from my reflective journal.
yet i only have the soft copies for 6-11 entries.
i hope i can share something with the world with my so-called-reflections.