As 2012 comes to a close, Khalida, a Teach For Malaysia 2012 Fellow, reflects on her first year of teaching in a Sentul-district school. The challenges of teaching in a high-needs school are overwhelming, but Cikgu Khalida demonstrates the determination, resilience and dedication necessary to make progress and continuously improve effectiveness.
My biggest regret for the 2012 term is that I focused too much on the systemic stuff (eg. finishing the syllabus, trying to cover as much PBS [Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah or School-Based Assessment]) and forgot that these kids need other things as well – like attention, customised coaching and love.
I forgot that teaching them to love the subject first is more important than teaching them to score on the summative test.
While grading exam papers, sighing over every mistake and holding my breath while I tally their marks, I found myself afraid that they had failed. I’d forgotten to preach what I believe, which is that grades don’t define who you are.
What I should be concerned about is what went wrong. And what I should improve on next year. I feel ashamed. After a year, I don’t think much has changed from the status quo.
This is a wakeup call. Your vision defines your actions and your intuition and intentions craft your mindset.
Reality check. This is not what I came here for.
2013. Can’t wait.