Final year reflection (Part 2)

My first semester of the final year did not work well at first. I admit, I did less planning and decided to just go with the flow. I did not expect for tonnes of homework that I was about to receive that semester. There was no planning at all, I did not list down all my homework, and most of the time I got myself confused and less organized. I could not focus when I started to do my assignments. I think of things hardly- which actually can be done just in an hour. Instead, it took me hours in front of my laptop, without any progress. Well, I call it as the most unproductive semester ever. Haha.

However, I am still thankful for feeling that way. I learned that I need to put things in order, see things in a different perspective. And most importantly- JUST DO IT! Procrastination always happen when you tend to delay your work which are due to several internal and external factors. As for me, I did have both.

List down things that you need to settle, and a time frame.

“Working hard is important. But there’s something that matters even more…believing in yourself.” – Harry Potter

Preparation for my first class in school ever!

first-day-of-class

My friend whatsapped me, asking on how to start our first class at school. To be honest, I also have no idea. So, I did some research and had some general idea on what we are supposed to do. I expect my first class not to be too strict, nor too lenient. Alya shared based on her readings that we need to do the ice-breaking part at first, and then know your students’ needs and proficiency level. Syikin also planned for an interesting ice-breaking session with her form 5 students. As for me, I remained clueless. Though I’ve made some notes before the semester break, I am still trying to put those list into actions!

My idea is that I’m going to introduce myself, telling my name, my hobbies and interests. I love writing hardcopy and digitally, watching videos (creative and has good information), reading books, articles, magazines, and some news, playing tennis, squash, or walk around the campus, as well as do some crafts if I have the chance to do so. I hope these inspire my students later on. Haha. You need to tell positive things instead of the negatives! (Motivate them, yeah!)

A friend of mine wrote down some of the rules that she had prepared beforehand;

  1. Do not talk when the teacher is teaching at the front.
  2. Do not eat in the class.
  3. Be punctual.
  4. Submit homework on time.
  5. Be honest, just raise up your hand if you do not understand.
  6. Cooperate as the teacher ask students to complete a task.

So far, that’s what I’ve got from her. Thank you unni for sharing your ideas. 🙂 At least I’m not clueless. Sharing is caring. Discuss with your friends what you have to do. Sharing ideas with the senior teachers will help, since they know kids more than you do (“Makan banyak garamlah bak kata orang Melayu kita“). Or maybe ask your seniors. I was clueless just now whether I need to do a lesson plan or not on my first day, so I whatsapped kak Jannah. She told me that we need to prepare one, telling the flow of our activity-so that you have a proper planning. And then, I whatsapped my mentor teacher during my SOP. She said we can do games, like hangman or puzzles. That sounds pretty interesting!

Talking about interacting with students, I’ve created my own Facebook account, just for the purpose of keeping in touch with students, and let them express their opinions via social network. I know, some people might think that sounds silly, but I stalked an ETA (English Teacher Assistant), Miss Julia’s Facebook. Most students from SMK Seri Dungun (which mostly are hardly to speak in English), wrote comments in English as much as they want! They asked, and gave opinions without thinking about somebody might laughed at them. It’s like you’re wearing a mask, and ‘speak’ confidently. Or if you prefer to stay with an old account, you may create a specific page for your class! 😉 No problem!

*Take a deep breath, and release*

Okay. I’ll be having a period of class with form 4 Shatir by tomorrow morning. I’ll have the ice-breaking session, and will be touching on literature a bit, just to trigger my students to start READING on their own. So here’s my own plan (or flow);

  1. Teacher enters the class. Teacher introduces herself to the students (telling about her name, what students should call her, and what she likes to do- to inspire students).
  2. Teacher informs students her rules. That could be anything, based on the objectives that you want to achieve by the end of the year. As for me, I want to reinforce reading culture among my students. So, every day, we will be having a sharing moment by students before the lesson starts. I want them to speak up, and let’s see how this works. Hmmm…
  3. Students introduces themselves to the teacher, telling their names, where they live, and their hobby. (In addition, do they like learning English language, and why?)-A quick introduction!
  4. Teacher asks students what they have learned before, and books that they have for learning purpose with the previous teacher.
  5. Introducing the short drama: Teacher writes down ‘The Robbery’ at the whiteboard, asking students questions on:
  • What the play is all about?
  • Where do you think the robbery would take place?
  • Do you think it would be successful?

The teacher ends the lesson by asking the students to complete the reading of the short play on their own.

My own rules

  • Interact in English (since school is the only place for students to maximize the usage of English).
  • Each lesson, a person has to share something based on his/ her own reading (or anything that they like) briefly.
  • Cooperate.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (since mistakes are made to be learned).
  • Ask if you do not understand. (Honesty is the best policy!)
  • Think BIG! (You can do more!)

I hope everything goes well & smoothly until the end of my practicum.

To my dear colleagues, if you’re in the same boat as I am, you may refer to these blogs as our references:

  1. http://www.teflteachthai.com/First_Day_of_Class.html
  2. http://teaching.colostate.edu/tips/tip.cfm?tipid=93

#prayformama’swellness

My final year of study in TEASL at IIUM (A reflection)

Basically a complete TEASL program in IIUM would take you about 4 years to be completed. As one of the students in the Kuliyyah of Education (Majoring in TEASL), I do feel so lucky and grateful to be here 🙂 Yes. In IIUM, we call different faculties as kuliyyahs, which is an arabic term (well, that sounds like a good way of Islamization from the usage of terms in our campus, isn’t it?). As one of the products of a daily school, I feel blessed for being in this campus. I just love the environment of the campus, the people, and the system itself (just some of them. Sometimes there are still some leakage in terms of the management system- which received lots of complains from the students themselves). So, enough mentioning about the campus, let’s focus on TEASL itself! Shall we?

Okay! So… If you are a direct intake student, you need to seat for several exams during your first week in the campus (right after the orientation week-or known as the ‘Taaruf Week). Here are the lists of exams that you need to pass:

1. The EPT (English Language Placement Test)

2. The APT (Arabic Language Placement Test)

3. The Tilawah examination (It tests your skill in reciting the Quranic verses with appropriate ways.)

 

How to pass those exams? Well, that depends on the type of program you are taking. But having a band 6 is a MUST for all students in order to continue with your kuliyyah subjects. If not, you have to stay in CELPAD, learning English language until you pass the exam, with at least band 6. Meanwhile, the Arabic language Placement Test (APT) has a different demand, depending on the type of program that you are about to take. For instance, students from the Kuliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge (IRK) need to pass band 6 before entering the kuliyyah as most of their courses demand for the mastering of Arabic language. As for the Tilawah test, I think this one acts as an added value for the students. You are lucky enough as you will be able to graduate with good Quranic recitation (hopefully. Insyaallah, if you struggle to learn & understand what you learn. The most important thing is to practice it in your daily life! Never stop reading Qur’an. Once you’ve stopped reading for a long time, it’s hard to start it all over again, and you might stutter while reading. Yes, it sounds quite embarrassing and grievous for a degree level student. But… it’s never too late to change, isn’t it? 😉 ).

As for TEASL students, these are aour requirements:

  • Pass the EPT with at least Band 6
  • It’s okay to not pass the APT, but you need to pass band 2 and you may take the Arabic language course while you are studying in your kuliyyah. Complete level 2 before you graduate okay… It’s a requirement!
  • For the Tilawah, you may register for the course while you are in your kuliyyah as well. But remember to complete this before you graduate!

So! Some of you might think- WHY DO WE NEED TO TAKE ANOTHER TEST?? WE ALREADY HAVE MUET!

Believe me, I also used to think of the same question before. Unfortunately, I’ve never get the answer, since I have never asked the authority. But, instead of complaining, let’s strive for excellence yeah? We need to pass so that we are competent enough while studying & to survive in this campus. You have to write lots of reports in English language, and some kuliyyahs in Arabic. Grammar does play an important role in determining your grades. Readings, writings, listening & speaking- all of these need to be done mostly in these two languages.

 

Let’s go to the next level …

 TEASL in IIUM

lotuss

So this is the view of Kuliyyah of Education next to the river!

 

It was a fun and challenging journey. TEASL wasn’t my first choice as I graduated secondary school. I wanted to be a botanist. But then TEASL it is! Parents’ choice. So, I am a type  of person who just ‘go with the flow’. But I’ve started to like education, I love teaching profession. Though I haven’t started my teaching practicum yet, but I am so anxious to know how teaching feels like. I know, there would be tough moments, in which you have to deal with some problematic students, and deal with the teachers (which some of my senior said unfriendly teachers do exist at school). So, I think it depends on how you deal with the situation. Teaching profession trains you to be creative, and be confident of every single decisions that you do, to find solutions for learning problems, and understanding others’ needs. Here, we learned on how to deal with the students. You’ll start the semester by learning basic methodologies and psychological theories of learning. You understand how learning works, so that you will get a general idea on how learning takes place in human’s life.

Final semester would be full of assignments in which you have to prepare lesson plans (a complete guide for an English language lesson)-lots of them! And, of course, presentations… TEACHING-lah! haha. This is the most interesting part. You will know how to control your nervousness, classroom control, voice projection, as well as transitions from one part to another part.

So who says teaching is easy??!

*Will continue my experience-sharing next time. It’s already late. Will be having a kenduri tomorrow. 🙂

P/s: Am not getting married yet. It’s a kenduri kesyukuran for my big sister. May Allah bless 🙂