Ask a Fellow : Part 2
As promised, this is the second part to the “Ask a Fellow” series. For those of you that have not been following us, before the recent Chinese New Year break, we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter if they had any questions for the Fellows. We received a great response and as promised, these are the compiled answers to your questions, courtesy of the Fellows.
How different is a real classroom compared to Kem SKORlah? And how did you manage under/over expectations?
“Kem SKORlah was easy. This is entirely different. These kids are those who we are going to be seeing for the next 2 years. Developing rapport for a long term is a lot different compared to the kids that we taught for 1 month in Kem SKORlah. Energy and time management are put to the test. How I managed? I did not expect anything, just stepped into the school with an open mind and heart”.
What type of skills did you find yourself learning and/or improving?
“I think I have improved in communicating with the kids. As I am teaching form 1 to form 4 students, I have learned the different ways to approach kids at different ages.”
“For starters, how to break down my English thought processes to cater to a wide variety of learning levels – it’s harder than you think!”
“My human touch skill, I’m becoming more human :)”
What’s the biggest challenge you face in changing mindsets?
“My biggest challenge is to change my students’ mindsets. They have believed their entire life that they are dumb and just can’t do it. It has to start with them.”
“Many students appear apathetic towards learning, especially English, as they may not realise how important it is in their lives”.
What are some of the underrated or simple things you’ve discovered that help motivate students?
“Putting it simply, helping them learn something basic and letting them know that they should have known it a long time ago. They get addicted to the learning and I’ve not had a student who has gone back to behaving badly after spending some time with them alone teaching them something”.
“Just giving them the respect they deserve as a person. Negative approaches will demotivate students and turn them off from learning. If they don’t respect you as a person they won’t want to learn from you. It’s just basic respect and understanding. Respect goes both ways”.
What is the one thing, that the kids are most happy about having you guys there?
“We always smile and never ‘scold’ them”.
If you could change one thing to improve the Malaysian school system, what would it be?
“Place the emphasis squarely on teaching, learning and education. The kids come first”.