Observation Days

Throughout this week, all of us have at least one observation by lecturers from our kuliyyah. I woke up yesterday morning and suddenly heard my phone rang.

So I said to myself; “Who would’ve sent a message as early as 6 in the morning? My friends would rather use whatsapp instead…”.

Then I quickly grabbed my phone and sat on my bed. “It’s Dr. B!”

I remembered that I texted him the day before, informing about my form 4 class having an exam. It was quite shocking to read his message saying; “Can you create one? Inform me when I can come to observe you today.”

I was speechless. I couldn’t think of anything other than saying yes or no. I whined loudly until my other room mates from other compartments heard my voice. I told Alya my biggest surprise of the day, and she told me to inform Dr.B that I will check for any relief from form 1 class. It was a really shocking day, and I couldn’t speak a lot that morning.

Once we reached the school compound, I headed straight to the curriculum room (the place that we stay after we leave the teachers’ room due to the unavailability of tables). Then, I checked the examination timetable, and asked my form 4 students to stay at school from 1 pm until 1.30 pm, and do some revision on the Tanjong Rhu short story together with me. I felt a little relief as the classroom monitor, Kamal, agreed. He’s a good boy anyway, and will never says no. LOL. But still, I felt a bit guilty for not informing earlier. Well, I cannot blame myself for that! :p It’s an uncontrollable situation…

So I spent the whole morning preparing for the lesson plan by hand and used the available materials prepared by the students a few weeks before. In the previous class, I asked the form 4 students to seat in groups and prepared scripts as well as some drawings about the Tanjong Rhu short story. It is quite surprising to see their ability in creating those things in a detailed and creative way!

tanjong rhu by dhiauddin

Drawing by: Dhiyauddin MUSA

It’s kind of interesting to see how much your students can perform. 🙂

Alhamdulillah, the observation went well. The comments were okay, but there are still certain things that I need to improve. Plus, it was a really last minute preparation, so I did not think I could perform really well yesterday. Even some of the students ran away from the class. They ran as fast as lighting, and I could see them from the third level of the building. Luckily, nobody was injured that afternoon… Thank God! I don’t really mind about those ‘missing’ students as it was a last minute ‘notice’, but as students, I really think that they need to have some sense of respect to the teacher. Learning at school is not all about scoring high marks in every single test, but how much you learn from each class, and the blessings by the teacher herself. I am reminding myself as well to not complain so much after this 😦

By afternoon, Fatin and Unni came to school with their lunch packs. Fatin seemed to look so worried. I already knew it, another last minute notice for observation by Dr.F. From here, I learned that we need to be 100% prepared on every single day before we step into the school compound. Expect for the unexpected peeps! So dear juniors, make sure you prepare for your own goodness! 😉


As for today, Alya had an observation by a British guy, Dr.S. Yes, I do love the way he taught us literature course during our second year of degree. He guided us on how to think and love reading, and of course loving the language itself! I am quite surprise to see how much I’ve improved after his class. I even wrote poems in my blog while expressing my feelings. I also do not read the same way again. Every single line that I read in novels is meaningful and I believe that each word means something else, more than just the literal meaning.

I wrote this poem on 2 years back 😀

Mother knows best!

It was the examination week,

As usual,

I was sitting in this hot-windy room,

Fan was rotating at the highest speed,

Staring over white papers,

Reading texts,

Highlighting keywords,

Writing short notes,

Until one moment,

I got bored.

I took out my laptop,

Pushed over the power button,

I continued reading few bundles of white papers again,

And when everything was ready,

I clicked on the My Document’s file,

Looking for a folder entitled Love,

I dragged the cursor to the first picture,

The screen displayed an image,

Full with happiness,

Sitting on a blue couch,

Everyone was wearing traditional Malay outfits,

It was Eid celebration!

Oh, how I miss my family.

I felt my grey-coloured steel table vibrating,

The airplanes song started to play,

The piano music is very fascinating,

I like it,

It was my phone that was vibrating,

I took a glance at it,

The contact name Abah displayed on the screen,

Hurray! Mama called me,

There was a feeling of excitement,

I knew that it was the sixths sense of a mother,

“Mother knows best!”,

As what the Rapunzel’s mother said…

Alya taught literature just now. I love Dr. S’s comments. Very constructive, and at the same time, we managed to get some ideas on how teaching English should be. He asked Alya a very simple, important, yet deep philosophical question;

“How do you learn Malay language?”

I was sitting at a desk, listening to their conversation attentively (I’m sorry Alya! I did wrote down what he said! Haha. It felt like attending a lecture again, at school.)

He said, learning English is just the same as you learn the Malay language; you don’t really learn it in class, but you use it in your daily life. So, if you want your students to be good enough in using the language, let them practice it. As Alya taught her students about literature component during the observation day, Dr. S advised her to think of making the students to love reading. Hence, we need to think of new ways on how to make our students become independent readers, even when they are out of the class. Motivating students to read is not something easy, even we ourselves as teachers have some issues in becoming independent readers. Haha. I do read, sometimes, when I have free time… But to be consistent in reading is a big challenge for us. *Duh! That’s just an excuse!* :p

Another common mistakes that practicum teachers do at school is to dominate the lesson. Most lecturers will advise us to make the lesson more student-centered rather than teacher-centered. Yes, we do understand what those two approaches mean, but the problem is when it comes to the application of the theory. Sometimes you think that what you do in class is already student-centered, but it is actually not. Experiences teach us a lot, so bear with it. We might make some mistakes. Learn from those mistakes, and try to improve more.

*Fighting!!!*

I think I reflect myself so much during this practicum. As for the second observation by Dr. B, I received the same comments from him. I have a monotonous voice and lack of hands-on activities by the students (Of course I will get that sort of comments. He did not even stayed until the end of the lesson! He missed the hands-on activity part. *Sigh*). It’s kind of funny to see your students’ reactions during the presence of an outsider in your class. All of sudden, everyone behaved nicely and paid attention to the lesson. Yeah, of course some of them ‘managed’ to fall asleep in my class due to extreme tiredness at 1 o’clock. You can just imagine listening to a lecture in a warm room and getting sweat all over your body. I also cannot concentrate in a lesson with that kind of condition. Well I guess I need activities that involve movements for my students. So student centered y’ols!

2 more weeks to go, and I am not ready to graduate from IIUM. I kind of like this school, and the students. Though sometimes I feel a bit stressed out due to unpredictable behaviours of certain students, but I think I still need to move on. Sorry dear students, I do not think that I can stay until the end of this year. I need to go back to my hometown, and do what I really want to do. As for the upcoming teachers’ day (which is 2 days in time), I would like to wish “Happt Teachers’ Day” to all teachers from any parts of the world, especially those who used to teach me until I become who I am today. I am really grateful to have each one of you as my teachers. And my students, who taught me on how to be a good teacher. You are my teachers as well. Not to forget, my parents who taught me on how to speak for the first time- both of you are my teachers forever. Love ya! ❤

Till then… 🙂

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