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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Teacher's Rewards

Some days will also be filled with rewards. While you should not expect these little treats, you can feel confident that they will happen. A chronically disruptive student might experience a turnaround, a slower student might grasp a difficult concept, or a simple discussion might serve as an excellent educational experience. These are the moments that will continue to motivate you through your career.
One of the most wonderful rewards of teaching is having former students come back to tell you how much you influenced them. Students will sometimes write you letters or notes expressing how important you were or are to them. If you remember back to your school days, you can probably think of a couple of teachers who were truly influential. Strive to be that teacher for your students, and you will be well rewarded.

Unexpected Events

Part of the challenge of teaching is dealing with the many unexpected events that will arise each day. Here are just some examples of these events:

·  Office announcements: While schools try to limit these during class time, it may still happen a few times each week.

·  Fire drills: Most fire drills are announced beforehand, but there may be times that a student pulls the alarm as a prank.

·  Minor student disruptions: Minor disruptions, such as inappropriate talking, happen on a daily basis.

·  Major student disruptions: Everybody hopes to avoid major disruptions, but they still happen — to all teachers.

·  Unexpected visitors: Students on official or unofficial business, other teachers or administrators, and even parents have been known to unexpectedly interrupt class time.

·  Unannounced assemblies: While most assemblies are announced beforehand, sometimes you will be given only a day's or even a few hours' notice.

·  Guidance interruptions: In high schools at certain times of the year, it is common for guidance counselors to call students to meetings and appointments.

·  Other disruptions: Many other disruptions will arise when least expected, including unlikely events like very noisy construction work or power outages.

As this list shows, it is in your best interest to be flex1ible and expect the unexpected. Be ready to change your lesson plans at a moment's notice. And always remember to keep your sense of humor.

The Basic Schedule

As a teacher, you usually get to school early and leave late. Your day probably begins with some planning time that allows you to make last-minute preparations for the students. Once the students arrive in the classroom, you will probably not get another moment of quiet until your next planning period or the end of the day. In fact, some elementary teachers do not get a planning period each day of the week. In such cases, they might only get planning time when their students leave for their enrichment activities such as art and physical education.
Each class is a new challenge. You will find some students who love learning and some who despise it. You will present your lesson and may not have any unexpected disruptions. When the day ends, you will probably have meetings to attend before you can settle down to grading and planning for the next day.

My calling to teach

Some of my fondest childhood memories was with me playing with other children. Nothing pleased me more. We never had televisions or video games, but nothing was more thrilling than just being in each others company. We were very good at entertaining each other. We played, laughed, cried and generally had so much fun together. We even cheated each other so that we would not lose competitions.

I remember being at home without my siblings many times, because I was the youngest for a long period of time. All my older siblings were already in school. I used to hate school time, because they would all go to school and I would be left at home with the nanny. In the afternoons, the nanny and I would walk to get my older sister at school.

One day, I got impatient because I thought my nanny was taking a very long time to get my sister. I was concerned that she was waiting there all alone. I did not want her to wait too long, so I decided to go get her myself. I guess my major concern was that I really missed her company, and I longed to see her so much. While I was on my way there, I was anticipating her being as glad to see me as I would be to see her. Eventually I reached the school and I told my sister's teacher that I was there to get her. She asked me where was my nanny. I told her she was still at home. She asked me if I came by myself I told her yes. I realized school was still in session, but my sister had to leave to accompany me back home. I was probably around three years old so she must have been five.  Of course I had no concept of time then. I however knew the route to my sister's school quite well. I could hardly wait for her to return home, so that we could play together.
I did not realize the dangers of walking on a major highway by myself at such a tender age. Now that I am an adult I shudder to think of all the things that could have happened to me. I am thankful that fate did not allow me to experience any harm.

From this very tender age I had the instinct to nurture and care for children (even if they were older than me). I had a tendency to want to be in control and to take matters in my hands, even matters I was not responsible for. This attitude had gotten me into trouble time and time again, but it was just a part of my make-up. I soon discovered that my love for children and being with children at all times would lead me into my teaching career. I just knew I had to teach.
When children were not around, my imaginary world would take over. I spanked the trees and the grass when they would not pay attention, or listen to my instructions. I would start teaching anything. I reprimanded anyone, or anything for no reason at all. I remember when my little brother did something wrong. I lectured him for hours, explaining why he should not have done that. He merely ignored me. He was convinced I had no authority to reprimand him.
I think we all were convinced that I was going to be a teacher. I could hardly wait to go to college to start my preparation to become a teacher. I can honestly say that it has been, and continues to be, one of the most rewarding experiences in my entire life.

A Day in the Life of a Teacher

It is important to remember that no one is born with the skills, understanding, and experience to be an effective teacher. However, with perseverance, a positive attitude, and the tools found in this book, you can be successful. Teaching may be challenging, surprising, and even exciting. Days are often filled with unexpected events and are also occasionally blessed by amazing rewards. These, of course, are what make teaching worthwhile. One thing is certain: Rarely is any day in the life of a teacher “typical.”

The Characteristics of a Teacher

I was told in my earlier years that a teacher is one who imparts knowledge. If that definition is accurate, then all of us as human beings qualify as teachers. In fact, we all impart knowledge at one point or another in our lives. However, a professional teacher is one who is trained and assigned the job to impart knowledge in exchange for an income (my definition). I believe anyone who has chosen the profession to teach has an outstanding responsibility, regardless of the age group chosen to teach. There are indeed certain characteristics of a teacher which make them stand out from any other profession.
A teacher has to have good character. It does not matter what subject or what age group is being taught. The teacher has to be exemplary in every way. I remember when I had orientation for my last teaching assignment. One of the instructors informed us that we are teachers 24/7. Meaning that our character never takes a vacation. We are always required to be a good example, because we never know who is watching and noticing everything we say and do outside the classroom. Those words are so true. I have had various people greet me from time to time. They said I used to teach them, but I do not recall. I just have to be careful that I do not say or do anything that is out of character at any time to lead any child astray.
In connection with good character, a teacher has to have good manners. The attitude do as I say and not as I do does not work well for teachers. The words have to match the actions or teaching is in vain. The students will not hear a word, or learn a thing if there is conflict with actions and words. In any case, students respond favorably to kindness and courtesy. They are likely to pattern that behavior if they see it in operation. It is therefore wise to always show good manners.
One of the most important qualities of a teacher is to ensure accuracy. One of the worst things a teacher could ever do is to pass on information that is erroneous. We really cannot unteach (yes, I know it is not a word) what we have taught. It is therefore important for teachers to indulge in extensive and intensive research prior to writing a plan and choosing the content. This part of the preparation for the lesson can become the most tedious part of teaching. However, if the teacher attempts to get the information for personal reasons as well it can be enjoyable.
A teacher is a leader in many ways. He or she has to set the example in preparing for the lesson thoroughly before attempting to impart knowledge. Students can know how much preparation is done prior to the lesson. They are not easily fooled. If the lesson is thoroughly prepared it is easier to get their participation.
Patience is a virtue it has been said repeatedly. Patience is also one of the requirements to teach. Every student does not have the same capability. It is very easy to get frustrated with the students who are not focused and those who constantly distract the lesson. In addition, it is important to take the time to help those who are struggling to understand a particular aspect of the lesson. A good teacher will not neglect the slower students in the classroom, but would rather find creative ways to help them understand the content. If anyone who is seeking to teach does not have patience they are being advised to choose another profession.
A teacher has to be one who is trustworthy. The students, parents and the institution have entrusted teachers to impart knowledge. It is the teacher's responsibility to teach with sincerity and integrity. Every effort should be made by the teacher to ensure that the trust is not compromised in any way. This is extremely important especially in these days where students need to be protected from people whose intention is to rob them of their innocence.

Associated Careers

While part-time substitute teaching can offer a path of entry to a full-time teaching career, it is also a common way to remain involved in the community without experiencing the time pressures placed on full-time teachers. Teachers’ aides assist teachers and administrators in all aspects of their job. Students meet with guidance counselors to discuss family or school dilemmas or their plans for the future. Teachers who have obtained postgraduate degrees may advance to the position of school principal or become a member of the Board of Education. A school principal organizes and manages the school’s faculty and ensures that the school’s goals are met; board members are elected or appointed officials who decide which courses schools will offer and which textbooks the school system will use.

Paying Your Dues

A college degree is required in this profession. You can receive your bachelor’s degree in elementary or secondary education in five years. Prospective teachers take 24 to 36 credits in an area of specialization and 18 to 24 credits in teaching courses. They spend the fifth year student teaching. Postgraduates can become teachers by returning to school for a master’s degree in teaching. In addition, many states offer alternative teaching licenses (designed to help schools acquire a more diverse pool of applicants for teaching positions); the usual requirements are a bachelor’s degree in the subject the candidate plans to teach, a passing score on state-required examinations, and completion of a teaching internship. Prospective teachers are also advised to gain skills in communications, organization, and time management. Teachers can apply for teaching positions through their college’s placement office or directly to their chosen school district.

Career: Teacher

A Day in the life of a Teacher
The majority of teachers are employed by primary or secondary schools. Their focus is a specific subject or grade level. Before arriving at the classroom, teachers create lesson plans tailored to their students’ levels of ability. At school, usually beginning at 8 a.m., teachers must begin the difficult task of generating interest in their often sleepy students. A good sense of humor and the ability to think like their students help teachers captivate their students’ attention. Teachers have to generate interest in subjects that students often find tedious. Rousing them from their apathy and watching their curiosity grow is a giant reward of teaching. One teacher said her favorite aspects of teaching are the creative challenges and the “iconoclastic opportunities.” Teachers must have high expectations of their students and also be able to empathize with their concerns. They must be comfortable dealing with a spectrum of personality types and ability levels, and must be capable of treating their students fairly. About a fifth of the teacher’s work week is devoted to their least favorite aspect of the profession, paperwork. Teachers have a block of time each day, called a professional period, to accomplish paper grading; however, all teachers report that this is not enough time. Teachers also perform administrative duties, such as spending one period assisting in the school library or monitoring students in the cafeteria. Teachers also need to be accessible to parents. Some teachers meet with parents once per term, others send progress reports home each month. Most schools require teachers to participate in extra-curricular activities with students. A teacher may be an adviser to the school yearbook, direct the school play, or coach the chess team. Often they receive a stipend for leading the more time-consuming extracurricular activities. Teachers may also be required to act as chaperones at a certain number of after-school functions, such as dances and chorus concerts. All good teachers agree that the main reason for entering this profession should be a desire to impart knowledge. Teachers must want to make a difference in the lives and futures of their students.

Monday, 26 September 2011



褪下了落色的小学蓝裤,穿上了深绿色的长裤,开始了我的中学生涯。我不喜欢穿长裤,双腿很闷热,还是小学短裤好。果然,不习惯中学生活的我,在一片几乎听 不到华文的学习海洋里,我差点儿溺毙。幸好,我在茫茫大海中找到了她——华文学会,让我重新对中学有了“归宿感”。
中学生涯足足六年,我庆幸能够顺利地完成人生的第二个学习阶段,也为自己的理想作了充分准备。我没有遗憾,因为我为了将来要当华文老师而报考PMR和 SPM华文(当年算我在内,近两百名华裔生当中,只有我们三个人报考华文而已。真正原因,恕不便在此告知)。

原本读着中六课程,不到三个月的时间,我毅然做出了抉择——放弃中六及将来大学深造的机会,应邱校长之邀回到母校当临教。我从小学就立志当老师,而且还是 要当华文老师。邱校长是我在回母校协助运动会时告诉过他老人家的。没想到,邱校长一直把这事儿给记在心里,终于给我捎来好消息。我的决定,就只花了那不起 眼的一秒钟罢了。
家人对我所做出的决定,反应不一。老爸气得不发一语,他总是觉得好男不当兵也不当教师;妈妈就不一样啦,开心得很。自从哥哥姐姐成了亲后,全都搬到外头去 组织自己的家庭了,家里就只剩下我而已。小弟从小就与书本无缘,老早辍学到外地工作。如今我回到母校执教,工作地点就在我家百步之内,难怪妈妈乐坏了。

“万般皆下品,唯有读书高”,可惜我根本就无法体会到读书的乐趣。由于是假期师训,所以学校一放假,我就得回到学院受训。假期师训班课程紧密,因此上课时 间较长。一旦遇上学校考试,我还得边受训边批改考卷呢!难得遇上明白事理的华文组讲师和班上的几位好同学,在诸事上都为我设想,就像是寒冬里的炭火,深深 地感受到“人情味”。
成为合格教师后,我还是留在母校执教。教学经验尚浅的我,幸好在母校有贵人相助,才得以在杏坛春风化雨近十年。由于母校的老师尚有一部分是教过我 的老师,特别是我一至三年级的班主任——池老师,无时无刻都在协助我完成任务,传授我有效的教学方法,以及教会我如何联系与同事之间的人际关系。这些学 问,是我穷尽一生追求的“宝物”。
“请神容易送神难”,我这一身的“脂肪”怎么甩也甩不掉。还记得我小学四年级,有一天上体育课时,郑老师要我们练习跳鞍。天啊,我怎么跳得过?郑老师不断 地鼓励我,就是要我克服心理障碍。结果,信心满满的我一跃,竟然压碎了鞍马。当时,我羞得涨红了脸,害郑老师以为我惊惶过度,不断地自责。虽然这件事过了 十八年,可是最近一次的同学会上,大家还是念念不忘这件“陈年往事”。
活了25年,体重一直“节节上升”,我也麻木了。或许,这与我的减压方式有关吧!一旦我遇上难题,或是难以入眠,嘴巴就是没完没了地在“开工”。纵使知道 肥胖的后果严重,然而化气愤为“食量”就是我仅有的减压方式。2006年,我首次当小六会考班的班主任,压力更大于之前。学生考试结束后,我的体重自然增 加,连裤子也要换到42寸了。

说易行难,我还是累得睡着了。耳边隐约传来熟悉的声音:“老师,回房休息啦。”我睁开惺忪的眼睛一看,眼前的人是泽。他看起来好多了。第一时间,我摸一摸泽的额头,烧退了耶! “ 快天亮了,回房睡吧!”我这才放心地回到自己的房间。
毅力,是万里大堤一沙一石的凝聚,才有前不见头后不见尾的壮丽;毅力,是春蚕吐丝一丝一缕的坚持,才有破茧而出看见光明的辉煌; 毅力,是远航船只的帆。扬了帆,船才可以抵达成功的彼岸。


首堂课与洪仁进副教授共同认识现今台湾教育发展与趋势发展。深刻的 印象当中,最引起我的注意力是“少子化”。台湾大学普遍化喜忧参半,造成社会阶层悬殊问题逐渐出现。另外,流浪教师的现象虽反映出师资过剩,但从另个角度 来分析,更能激发教师务必鞭策自己,站稳教学立场。九年一贯的新教育制度强调了幼儿教育的重要性。另外,我也明白了,孩子必须学会“一生一专才”,人才方 为世界所有。
终于有机会目睹傅木龙老师的风采了。傅老师超强的记忆,让我深感佩服之余,也悟出一个道理:用心做事。傅老师娓娓道出名人成功之法, 不外是努力与不懈之精神。教学应秉持三不原则:不批评、不抱怨、不责备。上了傅老师的这堂课后,让我仿佛与世界各个最有学问的人交流。期待能再与傅老师结 缘。
笑容可掬的魏丽敏教授一开讲,整个教学过程轻松不已。身教示范,让我惊讶:年龄不是问题。只要体恤孩子,从孩子心里出发塑造身心健康,那么孩 子的未来才是美好。此刻的我,深悟品德的重要性。魏教授的快乐教学方式,即多样化的团康活动,也让我深谙一个道理:设立团康活动不应只用在学校里,亦可用 在社会及家庭。我珍惜这一切,终生可用。
期待甚久的教学——唱跳,果然不让我失望。活力十足的谢兰莉老师充满节奏感。在她的音乐世界里,我如沐春 风,陶醉在其中。一首首简单的儿歌,原本平凡无奇,原来可以通过音乐的洗涤,变成孩子快乐学习的泉源。我诚然笃信——充满欢乐的学习环境,会让孩子喜欢上 学,暂时忘却功课的压力。感谢谢老师的一句名言:老师必须乐在其中。
活泼作文教学是我盼望已久的一堂课,原因是想从林明进老师身上取经。喜爱文宇 琢磨的我,赫然发现:好的文章必须具有感动人心的文字感染。教华小的学生写文章并非一件易事;写好文章更是一件难事;要写出一篇令人感动的好文章无疑是难 上加难。学易教难,教孩子之后方知学艺未精。有幸上林老师的课,让我茅塞顿开。认同林老师所言:教师须深入浅出,引导孩子审题,取材于熟悉的环境。对林老 师所强调的“蹲马步”基本作文训练,厚实学生最基本的能力,深感认同。日后有机会教学生作文,我必然效仿林老师。
陈 学添校长的艺术治疗与艺术教育,是我探索合作内心深处的一种工具。陈校长强调的:艺术治疗仅是工具,未必完全凑效。我身同感受:教师如本身未能具有相当的 艺术程度,很难进入了解孩子的内心世界。很幸运地,我们身为教师,不必深入研究找出根源与归类,那是心理医生的工作。我们为人师表的最重要的是如何有效帮 助孩子抒解压力,与他们分享喜怒哀乐。
胡 心慈副教授像个医学家,逐一分析相关病症的个案。上了这一堂课,我放下了对“问题”儿童的成见,学会了赏识和肯定他们。后来,上佘永吉助教的课,更学会了 如何处理个案。很认同佘助教的一句话:把所有的学生都当成自闭儿或过动儿,就会以同理心对待,也不会造成其他学生有被遗忘的感受。上完这一堂课,我会极力 协助“问题”学生,起码,我会做他们的朋友,不会再仇视他们,认为他们只会为我的教学造成麻烦。


池老师是我小学一年级至三年级的班主任,也是我的华文启蒙老师。她循循善诱的教导、孜孜不倦的教学,使我肃然起敬。二十年前,我是她班上其中一个 学生。有些事会一直刻在记忆里的,即使忘记了准确的时间,忘记了事发的环境,忘记了当时身边的人,但是每当想起这件事时的那种感受,是永远都不会改变 的……我写会了我的中文名字——林永历,是池老师以那熟悉的声音教会我一笔一画的写出来的。我至今都无法忘记我的名字中的“历”字,是池老师很有耐心地教 会我写对的,因为我一直写成“力”字。
池老师的板书是我校公认的整齐和端正。她能写出一手好字,就像她的为人一样:好人一个。池老师今年五十四岁了,可是,从外表看,池老师不像再过两 年就退休的人。她被我校誉为“常青树”,实在贴切。她办事的能力,可以从她被校方委任训导主任一职不言而喻。她施行“铁的纪律,爱的教育”,让每个学生都 对她打从心里信服,也是家长们心中的好老师。
我,当年是她的学生,如今变成了同道。身份的改变,并不会影响我们之间的师生情谊。近年来,我们有缘被安排坐在同一组,更是让我对池老师有更进一 步的了解,也使我更加佩服她。池老师办事认真,就连准备每日教案也是一丝不苟的。纵然池老师教了逾三十年的书,但是她还是认真地备课、准备教材。我最佩服 她的地方是她为人谦虚,不会倚老卖老。她有好几次问过我一些教学上的疑点,还赞我青出于蓝。她越是赞我,越让我更钦佩她过人的度量。
池老师把一生最珍贵的青春都奉献在教育孩子事业上,从不厌倦。我时常发觉她留在学校批改学生作业,或是准备教材。我对池老师的感激之情,时常从不 同的人与事当中不断增加。我校以前有位马来人书记就对我说过,她最欣赏的老师就是池老师了,所以当年池老师获得校方举荐的教师卓越服务,那名书记就特别起 劲处理相关文件工作。从这件事看来,池老师的确“深入民心”噢!
另外,我们每年都有小学同学会。每次,我们的话题都会讨论到池老师与我们的点点滴滴。我的同学还不时亮出一年级的班级照片,里头就有我们与池老师 当年庆祝儿童节的回忆。今年,我的一位老同学结婚了,特地安排在母校礼堂大排筵席,还千叮万嘱我要请池老师和另一位四至六年级的班主任参加他的婚礼。那次 婚宴上,新郎上台致谢时道出了对池老师的感激之情,更是让我和池老师感动不已。我想:为人师者,最满足的莫过于学生还心存感恩。