Institute Day 9

Sorry for the lack of updates! I’m so tired right now I feel like vomiting T_____T We’ve been incredibly busy the past week and this is the only time I have to blog. I’m sacrificing my 1-hr break to blog instead of taking a nap, true commitment *proud

So! First of, I’m obviously alive. Ha ha ha *laughs at own lame joke.

Secondly, we’ve been here for our training for two weeks now, and we’ll be going to school next week!!!!! Super super duper nervous about this because we’ll be teaching real kids now. Teach For Malaysia’s training is composed of both theoretical and practical parts of teaching, and they organized a holiday camp for a few hundred high-need kids so we could try out our crazy creative ideas on them! (but raise their academic achievement too of course, we have pretty ambitious goals)

Week 2, feels like Month 2.

Photobooth time with Kugahn and Kok Hin!

See how many crazy fellows you can fit in one picture! and spot all ze eyebags T___T

my eyebags are so bad they should be illegal hahaha

Team Pioneer- always coming in first!

This is the “how am I doing today?” board in our room. We change the colors of the paper according to our moods so they know how we feel that day.

Filling in the 6 main strategies for highly effective teachers! We follow the Teaching As Leadership model – which is an amazing framework that employs characteristics of a transformational leader into being a teacher.

How a typical session looks like

Dzam with Shannon and Giles who’re our trainers from teach for america and teach first UK. We have 6 phenomenal trainers from both TFA and TF who will be spending the whole two months with us here at Genting!

They are people who have gone through the same program in their home countries and know how it’s like working with a high-need community. Interesting how you can draw parallels between a few so seemingly different countries and learn how to adopt best practices into a more localized context.

I think our trainers are what maketh our training. I expected the training to be amazing, but everything keeps blowing my mind away again and again. They are extremely interesting and engaging, and most importantly very invested and motivated, exactly how we want to be as teachers later. I feel sooo blessed that we got to work with such great people!

If a bunch of Americans and British would put so much effort day in day out to make sure we succeed and make sure our kids achieve, I don’t see why we as Malaysians can’t do the same.

Silly picture to lighten the mood. We’re definitely getting more and more tensed as the day progresses.

We’ve been spending the last few days working on our first ever lesson plan, and it just takes so much effort and time. It’s unlike what I thought most teachers have to do and the amount of work expected to be put into each lesson is crazy. I officially spent about 6 hours planning my first 45-minute lesson.

Taking a quick power nap before we work into the night.

The thing about working with all these super high-achieving people is the fact that everyone is such a perfectionist! We push ourselves so hard and are quite harsh on ourselves, and I’m afraid we might burn out even before we start our actual school year next year.

Like I said, things are getting very tensed these days. We’ve met many people – people who are our biggest stakeholders, the ministry, the education minister, the principals and teachers, our corporate partners, the media – and everyone seems to be expecting so much that we’re all so afraid of failure.

Despite all that fear however, I think it’s what really drives us forward too. We expect the best from ourselves and our kids, and it’s not about having high absurd expectations but having really big goals that I know I can achieve. The training’s been extremely fun though, and I love working with like-minded people with similar values and passion 😀

Anyway too much work tonight so will update more next time! Tell me what you guys want me to talk about, or if you don’t even wanna hear about my training/work at all wtf.


  1. mun says:

    Thank you for sacrificing your much needed nap to update us on your training/work. Keep it coming, I love to read about all your training/work and everything about Team Pioneer. Malaysia need more young people like you!

  2. Crystal says:

    Hey Sweat,

    Please don’t stop talking about your TFM adventures and your progress to being a full-fledged teacher. If not for the fact that I’m still studying, I would have signed up for this first cohort as well, simply because I believe in contributing to my home country first before anything else.

    It’s a proud feeling to know that you and your team are making progress as the day goes by, and achieving failure is out of the question because you guys WILL end up somewhere 🙂

    At least now, I can tell my mum who’s always pestering me to leave the country, that there are people out there trying to make a difference, and you’re one of them!

  3. bubbles says:

    I think you’re doing a great job and it’s wonderful to see that you are sincerely interested in your calling. =) Wish you all the best and I envy the lucky kids who’re gonna get this bunch of enthusiastic, dedicated teachers. Don’t always come across good ones but these that are always leave an impact. I am still grateful for the teachers who REALLY taught me well in high school.

  4. lei wei says:

    really impressed when i know what you are doing. i started thinking about what kind of preson i want to be and how i willing to dedicate to our country. (am now studying in singapore and have bond for 3 years after graduate)

    all the best =)

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