Date: 25th May 2015
Venue: SM Sains Sembrong, Kluang
Today, we welcomed a team of fourteen teachers to a meeting to discuss the Literature Component module based on the current texts for Forms 1 and 4. Before we started I gave some input on what modules area and what features good modules should have.
It felt good to be active again in the district although I know one has to have a lot of patience with module-building. I've had countless experience in module-building and it is not easy. It can be a lonely affair when you sit down and edit those modules yourself. So this time around, I'm overseeing the project. It was good to have a team of young teachers and some senior ones- a nice mix. It is good exposure for them in their career path.
The teachers involved are Radhika (SASEM), Norini (SMK Dato Hj Hassan Yunos), Sharon (SMK Jalan Kota, Team Leader for Form 4), Mogana (SMK Jalan Mengkibol), Maisaarah (SMK Tengku Aris Bendahara), Nur Azliena Azis (SMK Dato Ibrahim Majid), Mohd Najib (SMK DAto Abdul Rahman Andak), Fikri (SMK Seri Kota), Nursyuhada, (SMK Sultan Abdul Jalil), Nurashikin (SMK Seri Intan Team Leader for Form 1), Shiknesvary (SMK Canossian Convent), Aizat (SMK Layang-Layang) and Nur Ezza (SMK Tinggi Kluang).
We will meet again in July to piece things together. Meanwhile, enjoy the hols and the marking :)
TEFLIN INDONESIA 2015 is coming soon (14-16th September) and it will be held in Bali. If all goes well with my leave, this will be my second trip to Bali. After a three-year break from sharing teaching ideas in conferences, I'm making a comeback! Kind of miss going to conferences and learning. My last participation was MELTA 2012 in Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur where I won the Dr Basil Wijasuriya Award (Silver). Somehow, 28 years into teaching, awards are not so important now than sharing ideas and recharging via conferences. On that note...was asked to fill in a lengthy form for Anugerah Guru Terbilang (Excellent Teacher Award) for residential schools recently but I rejected. Awards can wait for now.
credit: google images
What's really on my mind right now is the sorry state of affairs for teachers to enhance CPD (Continuing Professional Development). There is a lot of talk about CPD within the education sector itself but the real situation is far from encouraging. Imagine the hassle I had to go through to get permission to present a paper overseas: 4 sets of forms to fill up for the BPSBPSK (with one set returned because officer A gave me the old form and Officer B wanted the new form), letter with all the attachments and the research to EPRD (yes, them too for permission and whether or not your paper is "good enough" to be presented overseas) and then you wait................might be the classic case of getting the reply a week before the conference :)
The best part is after all that it is still your boss (principal) who decides whether you go or not, not BPSBPSK or EPRD. Am now waiting for the type of leave that will be given; CTR, CG or CRK. Why can't the ministry make it a little simpler for a teacher like me to participate/present a paper overseas especially when I'm bearing all the cost? And there is certainly no need for unkind comments such as "On whose directive are you going?" It's a bit hard to swallow the red tape and the unprofessionalism if you catch my drift. Granted, I'm not a professor from a university where my expenses are born by the university. All I know is I care about my job and my professional development. Although sometimes my heart cry out for the lack of support for teachers in schools to attend conferences , I can't just wait and see. I must grab those apples!
Don't forget the benefits of CPD:
ensures your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field
ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills
you need to deliver a professional service
ensures that you and your knowledge stay relevant and up to
date. The pace of change is probably faster than it’s ever been. If you
stand still you will get left behind, as the currency of your knowledge
and skills becomes out-dated
helps you to stay interested and interesting ( how true!)
Perhaps it's time for the ministry to have a special allowance for teachers who have reached a certain standard to be able to participate in conferences without much hassle. Why not? And how many per cent of them do? Perhaps the state of Johor can also encourage teachers to participate in conferences by paying the fees and expenses in part or fully? For that matter the PTA, MPSM, MGB too can step forward and help teachers enhance themselves. The role of such education-affiliated entities should be reviewed. Yes, by all means do print exam papers and collect money for your activities (fishing, overseas trips) as an association but how can they contribute to teachers' professional development? This is a more meaningful investment surely. Many of my colleagues moan at the idea of having to pay for conferences. This idea of self-sponsorship hasn't quite caught on with Malaysian teachers and it's easy to understand why. It can be an expensive affair if say you're heading from a northern state in Malaysia to attend MELTA in Kuala Lumpur for example. Yes, more education departments are sponsoring but it is not enough. For now though, the sorry state of affairs continue.
This suddenly gives me an idea on what to write for my next article :) Meanwhile, I wait for the auspicious consent letter.
Hope to meet some familiar names and faces in TEFLIN!