Archive for the ‘Teacher's Professionalism’ Category

Teachers must embrace lifelong learning

Sunday, June 11th, 2017
Teachers are required to develop their skills and abilities throughout their careers in order to make up a quality English teaching force

THE national-level Teacher’s Day celebration 2017 was held in Johor Bahru on May 16. The theme for this year’s Teacher’s Day is “Guru Pembina Negara Bangsa” or “Teachers Foster Nation Building”. This theme emphasises the impact of teachers upon a nation.

Teachers’ contributions and commitments have always been appreciated and therefore, it is not surprising that Malaysian National Laureate Usman Awang also held teachers in high esteem in his poem, “Guru Oh Guru”. In it, Usman describes the teacher’s role in shaping a child’s journey up until he enters the working world.

Teaching is a noble profession whereby teachers play a critical role in building, developing and moulding the future generation. With the advent and advancement in education over the past decade, teaching is becoming more challenging and demanding. Teachers need to keep pace with the fast-changing world of education and meet the demands of the ever-evolving education system.

Teachers who are in the education system, be it those who are beginning their career or currently serving, need to be constantly equipped with new knowledge and skills related to curriculum change, assessment, integration of technologies and resources to meet the educational needs of the 21st century.

The teaching and learning approaches and strategies must empower our children with the Four Cs — Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity. Teachers are at the forefront in delivering 21st century education in the language classroom.

The English Roadmap 2015-2025 addresses several important components which directly impact the quality of English language teachers in its aim to raise the standards and quality of English language teaching and learning in schools and higher education institutions to international levels.

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) has been adopted for selection into the teacher education programmes, pre-service ELTE curriculum, in-service training programmes and the accreditation of English language teachers.

All English language teachers should achieve CEFR C1 as a minimum requirement. Teachers are required to develop their skills and abilities throughout their careers in order to make up a high quality English teaching force.

The Professional Upskilling of English Language Teachers or known as Pro-ELT is one of the initiatives carried out to uplift the standards of proficiency.

Change is inevitable. If teachers are to remain relevant, they need to move with the times. They need to embrace change and be the agents of change. To uphold this profession and its demands, teachers should make continuing professional development a top priority in their agenda.

Annually teachers who serve in government schools are required to fulfill seven days of professional development by attending courses, seminars or conferences to upskill and upgrade their professional self.

The programmes are well-developed and designed so that teachers are able to transfer their knowledge and competencies into classroom practices which will benefit their students.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) provides a menu of courses that teachers can choose from throughout the year. Most of these professional development and in-service courses are organised and managed by the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC), Ministry of Education.

Teachers can select the courses based on their needs and related to their field of work. More importantly, teachers are given the autonomy to chart, reflect and assess their own professional development and success.

It is the aspiration of the MoE to raise the percentage of school-based professional development activities or on-site training grounded in the classroom.

Schools are empowered to deliver professional development courses.

The Ministry of Education introduced professional learning communities (PLCs) to schools in 2012 as a professional platform for teachers to work together to improve upon the teaching practices in the language classroom.

The mentoring and coaching system is encouraged among teachers to provide continuous support. This system also enables teachers to learn from one another by sharing best practices.

The support systems to enable schools and teachers to manage changes in the education system are via School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC+) and FasiLINUS.

These officers facilitate, coach and mentor teachers by working hand-in-hand with them to address the challenges and issues in the classroom. This collaboration and communication among teachers to improve the quality of education delivered to students epitomises 21st century education.

Such initiatives have shown remarkable improvements in teachers’ professional development through the spirit of collegiality and inculcate a positive and conducive environment.

Becoming a teacher is a lifelong journey with true commitments. This journey includes equipping oneself continually with the knowledge and skills to be an effective and quality teacher.

Having high values and being passionate in teaching and learning is central for sustaining interest in the job.

by RAJA NOR SAFINAS RAJA HARON and LIM BEE YOKE.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2017/06/246592/teachers-must-embrace-lifelong-learning

Proud to be a daughter of educators

Saturday, May 27th, 2017
Teachers are not defined by the clothes they wear, but by the knowledge and the values they impart to students. FILE PIC

I AM blessed to be born into a family of teachers. My uncle would proudly regale us with the story of how our late grandmother taught one of my brothers to read.

Each time I listened to that story, it is as if I’m being taken through a magical experience.

I imagined atok mak (as we fondly called our grandmother) persevering in making sure that my brother, Azad, was able to catch up in his lessons.

Apart from my parents and grandparents, many of my uncles and aunties have also become teachers.

For them, educating others does not stop after school.

It is their way of life and it is not limited to books and exams, but also involves other aspects, such as household chores, playing, singing and even a thing or two about relationships.

My elders, as well as my school teachers, played a huge role in my life and I am forever grateful to them. I would not be where I am today if not for their guidance.

Some of my sweetest childhood memories came from schools. I learned how to play hockey from a teacher in primary school (I can’t remember his name, though).

Despite being beaten to a pulp by Kluang High School (STK) in our first outing, I held on to the memory of that game. This was despite me unashamedly admitting that I can’t play hockey to save my life.

Of course, some of us would have encountered that “teacher” whom we do not want to remember. Despite this, I have always had high regard for my teachers.

Even after years of leaving school, when I bump into my former teachers, I still have a lively and friendly banter with them.

For this reason, I naturally get upset each time I come across derogatory comments and remarks about teachers.

One recent example is when someone posted a Facebook comment describing educators from a certain school, who wore school uniforms on Teachers Day on May 16, as clowns.

The last time I checked, there is nothing wrong with wearing school uniform to celebrate that special day, nor is it illegal to do so.

Teachers Day is the one day they can have things their way (within the law, of course) after a year of sweat and toil, and there is no harm in having fun on the day that is dedicated to them.

And, if all you can see is a group of people making a fool of themselves, then shame on you.

Teachers are not defined by the clothes they wear, but by the knowledge they impart and the values they inculcate in students.

Being raised by teachers, I have witnessed the late nights my parents put in to mark exam papers, the efforts my mother made in preparing teaching materials and how my grandparents were beaming with pride when talking about their former students.

There were also hilarious moments that some of my uncles had encountered in their classrooms.

The invaluable contributions of teachers were aptly described by Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah during a tribute luncheon recently.

He said teachers played a crucial role in shaping the minds of the youth and that the development of a country would come to a standstill if the education system was a failure.

Sultan Nazrin wanted the voices of teachers to be heard, as they are the ones who were in constant contact with students, and could give input that might help the government to draw up solid educational policies.

He also urged parents not to depend solely on teachers in raising their children.

In the past, albeit rarely, there were parents who would show concern during parent-teacher meetings, and make it a point to visit their children in school.

But today, we hear of busy folks sending text messages to teachers, asking them to stay back after school to look after their children because they will be late in fetching them.

by  Nuradzimmah Daim.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2017/05/243042/proud-be-daughter-educators

Guru through the decades

Saturday, May 20th, 2017
Mr Bala (seated, left) at an event.

Mr Bala (seated, left) at an event.

WE’VE crossed paths many times. The first was in 1973 at the Methodist Secondary School in Sungai Siput (U), Perak when Mr BalaSupramaniam or Mr Bala became our class teacher.

I was in Form Four then and apart from having him as our “home” teacher, it was such a pleasure to have Mr Bala as our English master.

I enjoyed listening to his many anecdotes even if they digressed from the core topic of his lessons. However, those unforgettable moments enriched his lessons and enlightened our perceptions of life.

Sitting for the Malaysia Certificate of Education (MCE) exam the following year meant the end of my secondary schooling and bidding farewell to our alma mater.

I presumed then with a heavy heart that the academic outing I had over the last two years with this nurturing teacher was to come to an end.

However, it was a wonderful surprise that our paths crossed again when I entered the Teacher Training College. Mr Bala was a lecturer there.

Over the years, we bumped into each other at the mall or the wet market, often exchanging happy and sad news or just reminiscing about our past.

In 2014, during the school reunion we met yet again. Mr Bala was about to retire from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman as a senior lecturer. Upon retirement, he said that he would like to travel around the world. Mr Bala will always be remembered as a counsellor, friend, lecturer, mentor, orator and a source of inspiration, but most of all he is the quintessential teacher. Somehow, he was instrumental in influencing my vocation as a teacher and lecturer.

by Faridah Hanum Ghazali
Read more @
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/05/14/guru-through-the-decades/#MH4XrkGv68TEMPFc.99

Retired teacher shares secret of her success.

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
Proud moment: (From left) Sufa’at, Khuzaimah and Zainuddin showing their awards during the Teachers Day celebration in Johor Baru. — Bernama

Proud moment: (From left) Sufa’at, Khuzaimah and Zainuddin showing their awards during the Teachers Day celebration in Johor Baru. — Bernama

JOHOR BARU: Unconditional love and care has been the secret to retired teacher Khuzaimah Sulaiman’s success as an educator for 46 years.

The 66-year-old received this year’s Tokoh Guru Kebangsaan award from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for her hard work, dedication and passion in teaching.

“I’ve always worked from my heart, so I am truly honoured to be awarded the title,” she said after the national-level Teachers Day celebration here yesterday.

Khuzaimah shared that sho­w­ing love and care and making students feel important was the best way to engage with them.

Khuzaimah started her career as a Pendidikan Islam teacher from 1976 to 1988 before serving as a senior assistant between 1988 and 1995 in several schools here and in Negri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur.

She went on to become principal before retiring at SM Agama Persekutuan Labu in Negri Sembilan on March 15, 2007.

“Nowadays, I give integrity talks to officers in various ministries with the cooperation of Institut Integriti Malaysia as well as during teachers’ training and courses,” she said.

During the event, former Education deputy director-general Datuk Sufa’at Tumin and Information and Communi­cations Technology (ICT) teacher Zainuddin Zakaria were also conferred the Tokoh Pemimpin Pendidikan and Ikon Guru Inovatif Kebangsaan awards respectively.

Zainuddin, who has won multiple international awards for his contributions to ICT classroom learning, said the introduction of 21st century learning was important for Malaysian students to be on par with their peers globally.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/17/retired-teacher-shares-secret-of-her-success/#ACSKM3w7H54Cfka9.99

Teaching, a noble and challenging job

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Today, our educators not only are expected to complete the school syllabus and ensure students score well in examinations but to also help solve problems faced by the nation.

THE Holy Prophet Muhammad said, “Seek knowledge and train to be dignified and calm while seeking knowledge, and humble yourselves with those whom you learn from”.

This is among the sayings or ha­dith of the Prophet on the relationship between students and teachers.

This hadith also indicates the elevated position of teachers in Islamic tradition. The role of teachers and education is crucial in preparing a better and developed nation in the future.

The fate of our young people, the future of society and the nation’s prospects depend, in large measure, upon teachers and the education system.

It is teachers and the education system that produce responsible citi­zens who are able to think critically, behave respectfully, act independently, respect diversities, build social cohesion and consequently construct a united nation.

The duties and responsibilities of teachers to impart and cultivate know­­­ledge have never changed, since the beginning of human civilisation. But the situations have changed. Changes in the socio-environment have made teaching among the most challenging professions.

Being an educator for more than 20 years at the tertiary level myself, I find two great challenges teachers are facing: eliminating social ills and building unity of the nation.

In the current decade, and also in the future, teachers are not only expected to complete the school syllabus and ensure students score the highest marks in whatever examinations are specified within the education system and policies, they are also expected to solve problems faced by the nation.

In the same vein, teachers are ex­pected to develop the young to achieve the highest level of huma­nity.

The nation now has moved very rapidly and rigorously towards the digital era. Meanwhile, development in technologies has made the globe become a village.

As a result, the nation is facing challenges due to uncontrolled inform­ation and communication.

This situation has developed new dimensions within society and to some extent, affects social stability which has caused social ills.

Thus, teachers and education are expected to cure the illness by educa­­ting the young to cope and be resi­lient towards changes in technologies, and at the same time, retain their indigenous identity.

In a melting pot society like Malaysia, we inherit diversity. Thus, apart from fulfilling the expectation to cure social ills, teachers are expected to build unity in diversity; to unite the nation by teaching the young to live together.

Teachers are expected to build a nation with a national identity, who respect one another, work in teams, resolve differences in a peaceful and respectful manner and participate in living together peacefully.

Be that as it may, teaching and learning to live together is not easy. In fact, living together is the greatest challenge in the 21st century.

In order to live together, history, geography, languages and civic education are vital. In addition, the na­tion must also be capable of sharing a common language and aspirations.

Living in the world today, we find that traditional institutions such as family, religious institutions and communities, in general, are under threat. This situation has made teachers’ responsibilities more challenging.

Thus, in assisting teachers to fulfil the expectations of society, education policies must be able to attract, recruit, train and support competent, caring, knowledgeable and committed teachers.

by ASSOC PROF DR SHAMRAHAYU A. AZIZ
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/ikim-views/2017/05/16/teaching-a-noble-and-challenging-job-today-our-educators-not-only-are-expected-to-complete-the-schoo/#Srjw8AfIO2m1t0YU.99

Teacher goes the extra mile for student

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

A SECONDARY school teacher in Johor Baru was praised for her concern after she went out of her way to look for a student when he did not turn up for his SPM paper, Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported.

The teacher was seen calling the name of the student in front of his house at about 2pm on Thursday during a downpour.

The student’s neighbour, known only as Wang, said the teacher was worried that the student had overslept and would miss the exam.

Wang’s brother climbed into the compound of the house to knock on the door but got no answer.

Wang said the teacher then drove around the area to look for the student before stopping at the house again. She left after failing to find him.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/12/05/teacher-goes-the-extra-mile-for-student/

NUTP president: Teachers want code of ethics for irate parents

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) plans to draw up guidelines for a code of ethics for parents acting on complaints from their school-going children.

Newly-elected NUTP president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said with the guidelines, parents would have to follow a standard operating procedure when handling their children’s complaints.

“They should set up a meeting with the principal instead of going directly to the teacher to voice their complaints,” he said, adding that the move was not to persecute parents but to protect teachers.

“It will also ensure that parents take a more disciplined approach to solve an issue they are unhappy about. That, in turn, will set a good example for their children and other students,” he said during an NUTP exco meeting here yesterday.

Kamarozaman said there were various codes of ethics for teachers, but there were none for parents.

“These codes exist in other countries. So, we can use them as guidelines to deter parents from taking things into their own hands,” he said.

The idea for a set of guidelines for parents was proposed by NUTP to the Government during a meeting two weeks ago.

Ellen Kiong, a mother of three, said she understood why NUTP would want to do this as parents nowadays could be quite a handful.

“Some parents complain about everything these days. It’s really absurd,” she said, adding that she had seen parents getting upset with teachers when their children scraped their knees during playtime.

by OOI MAY SIM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/11/nutp-president-teachers-want-code-of-ethics-for-irate-parents/

IPG Teachers Must Spearhead Educational Change – Mahdzir Khalid

Friday, September 9th, 2016

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 9 (Bernama) — Lecturers at all Institutes of Teachers Education (IPG) must spearhead educational change by becoming role models to pre-service teachers so that they could be equipped with pedagogical content knowledge, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said the pedagogical content knowledge was necessary for them to teach higher-order thinking skill (HOTS) to students and help shape their attitudes and characters.

“This change is necessary to ensure our education system will become one of the best in the world after 2025,” he said in his latest posting titled “Menerajui Perubahan: Kita tidak boleh tidak berubah demi sekolah!” (Spearheading Change: We Cannot Remain Unchanged for School!) in his blog, portal.tokdet.my.

According to Mahdzir, within the Education Ministry itself, changes had begun to happen at every level, from the policy makers to the implementers in schools, in line with the educational transformation planned and carried out under the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

He said during his visits and discussions held at education departments nationwide, he had seen for himself that the changes made among top education officers at the state level were in line with the changes made by the ministry’s top management.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1281457

Education Dept To Study Proposed Teachers Protection Act

Monday, August 8th, 2016

TANAH MERAH, Aug 8 (Bernama) — The Education Department will study the proposal for the introduction of a teachers protection act to protect educators, said its director-general, Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.

He said the department would have to scrutinise details into the formulation of the proposed law.

“We have to look at the scope of protection required by educators,” he added.

He told this to reporters when met at the presentation of contributions to parent-teacher associations of schools in the Tanah Merah parliamentary constituency by its member of parliament and UMNO division leader Datuk Ikmal Hisyam Abd Aziz here last night.

Prior to this, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that he would ask the Education Ministry to scrutinise details into the formulation of the act to protect educators in today’s ever-challenging world.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1270599

Mahdzir marks first year on the job

Sunday, August 7th, 2016
On track: Mahdzir is pleased with developments in the ministry over the last year.

On track: Mahdzir is pleased with developments in the ministry over the last year.

IN the blink of an eye, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has already marked his first anniversary as head of the ministry.

“I take this trust and responsibility seriously as it is vital to ensure quality education to produce the next generation of leaders,” he wrote in a recent blog post on http://portal.tokdet.my, a year and three days after he was appointed to the position.

Reminiscing his initial days at the ministry, Mahdzir said he was thrilled upon being briefed on the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

“I was excited because we have a comprehensive plan to bring our system into the top third league of countries that have the best education in the world.”

He however, acknowledged that the transformation of education through the blueprint is a complex process.

Another subject that is close to his heart is the welfare of teachers.

“The blueprint itself stresses that the quality of teachers is important in ensuring the success of students.

“Thus in the first wave, the focus of the initiative is to change the system by supporting teachers and focusing on key skills.

“If they are not cared for, how will they provide the best education for their charges?”

Mahdzir said that he sees positive changes in the country’s education system.

“Primary school pupils have the confidence to interact with me and try to explain about what they have learnt.”

He said teachers also gave their students more space and opportunities to be responsible for their learning, while school administrators have been providing support to teachers “although there are various constraints in terms of infrastructure”.

Mahdzir revealed that some of the earliest initiatives he took was to unite husbands and wives posted in separate districts or states, or what is known as theduka lara (extreme suffering) issue among those in the profession.

by SANDHYA MENON.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/08/07/mahdzir-marks-first-year-on-the-job/