ROS/SOP: My first practicum experience in TESL

Definitely not this ROSE!

I am reading my previous post in my blog about ROS, and reflect on my readiness to be a teacher. The last part of the post make me realize, how important it is to be honest in everything we do. 🙂

2014-06-23 07.38.20


I actually just finished my first practicum, which is known as SOP (School Orientation Program). SOP (or ROS in Malay, that’s what we call it, Rancangan Orientasi Sekolah) is one of the requirements for education students, and in my case, a third year TESL student of IIUM.

The SOP was not so bad. At first, I need to call any school that I want to go for the SOP. Just to inform & get their permission to go to their school for a period of time. Then, just inform it to the department & write down the contact number, as well as the address of the school. After a few weeks, you need to reconfirm with the department whether it is settled, or not.

The second semester of my third year ended!
That  means I had to pack my stuffs- all of them! Since Mahallah Safiyyah is having a huge renovation during the short semester, I could not leave my things in the store, since there’s no store provided for local students.

Enough with my problems in campus!
Let’s talk about SOP!
It is vital for each education student to understand that SOP (or ROS) is not a practicum whereby you have to teach in the class. No teaching is allowed. You only need to prepare some reports about the school that you went to, write about the school, and do some interviewing, so that you understand how the school works. Other than that, you have to do some classroom observation, which you have to enter several English teachers’ classes and analyse their methods, materials, and approaches of teaching. Basically, through this program you should be able to understand the climate of the school, see how the teachers handle their teaching sessions and apply them when you become a teacher soon. In  this case, I did some observations for three different English teachers, interviewed the principal and the head of English panels, as well as 2 students.

We should  finish the program within 4 weeks time, which was actually longer than the previous batch. Yes, it was. But some of my friends asked our lecturers if it was possible for us to shortened the program. And they said YES! But the reports need to be posted earlier than the previous date-which I think was not a big deal. I think so. Perhaps.

Sunday, 22nd June, 2014.

I did my SOP at my ex-secondary school, SMK Seri Dungun. It’s quite interesting to go back to your old school & see if there’s any changes there. This time, I’m no longer a student, not wearing  school uniform, but as a practicum student! Yes, I was quite excited & nervous at the same time. I dressed like a teacher that morning, excluding a name tag (since I don’t have one). I went straight to the office that morning for registration. I met the school clerk and a few teachers. Some did recognize me, but some didn’t. I remembered one teacher, named Che Su, asked me to come along to the assembly hall first before meeting the senior assistant. This time I was sitting on a chair, on stage! It did feel awkward at first. I had no one to talk to.

The first week was a bit boring for me. There were also a lot of awkward moments and feelings. I didn’t know what to do, I did not know whom should I spoke to. Most of the teachers are 40+ in age! And I can say that all of them are married, because when I sat among the teachers, their main topics would be mostly about family matters!

“Sahur tadi masak lah nasi goreng tomyam… Tapi anak tak berapa nak tambah makan… Tak tahulah nak masak apa untuk sahur nanti.”

I tried to understand what they’ve been through, but I am a single lady. I do not talk about those things, and it takes time for me to respond to such conversation. hahah. Sorry dear teachers if I did not respond a lot to questions or conversations about cooking, or kids, because I’m not in that ‘world’ yet.

The first week was a busy week for teachers- they’re busy organizing the sports day throughout the week. They need to prepare for the tents, decorated them, prepared the mascots, handled every single tournaments, and so on. It was quite fun to watch them handling those things, I did join them. One teacher (which I didn’t ask her name until now- ya aku menyesal tak bertanya) talked a lot about herself with me, while we were preparing for the bunga hantaran for the marching on the next day. For the blue team, they had a theme of bride. Yes, without the groom! LOL.

The week ended by joining the Sports day’s celebration. I know, it was a little awkward when I bought my lunch at the students’ section, a teacher did asked me about that, but the foods looked more delicious anyway! 😀
The second week

I was demotivated to go to school on that morning. Plus, it was Ramadhan. It’s not that I wasn’t happy because it is Ramadhan, but the fear of having awkward moments was there.

Alhamdulillah, on the first day of the second week, I was able to observe a classroom, a form 5 class. The teacher-Puan Marniza asked me to introduce myself in front of the class (just to see her students’ reaction :p ) , & then I sat at the back of the class. The same goes to other 2 english teachers’ classes, I sat at the back, writing, observing, recording, & taking pictures.

I decided to end my SOP within 2 weeks of time. I did tell the principal and he allowed me to finish up my reports at home, once I finished collecting all the data. I gave something for all English teachers that helped me a lot throughout the program, as a sign of gratitude…

Sometimes, I do regretted that I finish the practicum earlier. I should have followed what the principal said, “Duduklah seminggu lagi ke…”. But I insisted.I started to enjoy the practicum actually within the second week. I knew more students and teachers as well. I had fun talking with the teachers, especially the English teachers which were close with me. I enjoyed seeing the school environment.

I told my mom once when I went back from school during the 1st week of my practicum;

“Ma, what if I continue my study in other fields? Like… agriculture?”
“Why? You don’t have any interest in education anymore..?”
“I don’t know ma. It’s pretty hard actually. You need to handle the students, a lot of works and stuffs…”

My mom tried to convince me that getting involved in the education field is not just because of the profession, but it has to be more than that. You are EDUCATING people! The future generation. And this is how you can try to do more kindness, to give what you have, contribute as much as you can to the people, to your people.

The second week of my practicum, I did a lot of interviewing, getting to know teachers’ experiences and students’ life (which I’ve been through before this). I did put a question in each interviews, for teachers & the principal. It sounds like this:

“Is there any advice for future teachers, like us?”

Most of them would reply, have passion, know what you are doing, do it sincerely, and give your full commitment! It is not all about money or popularity, but it is how far you are willing to teach your students in every aspects of life. Education at school is more than academical stuffs, it is more than that. The principal did say, “Though there are some of the students are not well-achieved in academic or co-curricular activities, the least that we can do is to educate them to be well-mannered people, with good morals, and not causing any problems to the society. That’s how we do in the daily school, since we have two groups of students here.”

While writing the report, I am actually re-evaluating and reflect on my readiness to become a teacher one day.I guess I have achieved both objectives stated by the kuliyyah. Inshaallah.

May Allah ease everything.

#PrayForGaza #Pray4Muslimsallaroundtheworld