Kem SKORlah!

Looking at my schedule for the next few months and years, looks like I’ll only have time to blog once a week now. But! Today’s post is realllllly exciting (for me at least) because it’s a summary of my extremely exciting and challenging week!

This is from last week:

Me with Jacintha and Oga. We were waiting to take pictures with Deborah Henry who was there with Joyce Tagal, Edmund Bon and Zain HD for a session on inspiring youth leaders, but everyone was trying to take pictures with her so we gave up and just took one of ourselves hahah.

This was on Sheau Wen’s birthday! Muzzie was singing Happy Birthday to her, it was so sweet!

I love everyone who’s here with me, all 49 other Fellows and 10+ staff members. We’re like one HUGE happy family and are always there for each other!

A session with Brett, the founder of Teach First UK! He flew in from London just to see us!

Jasmine, Victoria, Connie, Priscilla and Nina!

The day before the D Day, everyone was busy working on our posters for our classes!

Worked the entire day but it was so fun cause we could hear everyone going “eh pass me scissors!” “who got silver marker pen??” “wahhh your poster so nice!” and the team spirit was just so strong!

Karthik and I with our posters. The one he’s holding is of our motto in class “I want, I can and I will!” (we get them to say this quite often and believe it or not but they’ve actually begun to internalize it!) and our BIG goal for the class after 4 weeks: 30% increase in achievement! I’ll explain the fire poster later.

Golden tickets for students who participate in class! They got so excited when they saw us giving this out and participation rate increased dramatically, and this was even before they knew what these were for!! Hahahha

The tickets are for a raffle at the end of the week πŸ™‚

The amazing training team is beyond amazing. On Monday, our first day of school, they stuck quotes on our doors.

They also gave us free hugs and made a huge banner that said “GOOD LUCK transformational teachers!” and when we came back they held up one that said “Welcome Back, Teachers!”

On Tuesday, they gave us chocolates with more inspirational quotes. On Wednesday, we got individualized cards that say “Happy Wednesday! You’re halfway through your first week!”, on Thursday, more encouraging notes on doors and on Friday, a huge cheer for all of us.

I don’t think any of us would have made it through our first week without their support and love!

We have 6 vans that bring us to our two respective schools every morning and our journey to the schools takes 45 minutes each way.

We usually start the journey at 7am, teach till 12pm, get back and rest, continue training till 7pm and work on our lesson plans till 1 am. Repeat everyday. I’m exhausted!!!!

Before the kids got in!

Our amazing kids!!!!! We had a really fun ice-breaking game where they had to pass an orange around under 30 seconds. They were all sitting really far away at first and they had to figure out how to make the goal.

They got to 20 seconds, and we made it even shorter, and shorter.

To only 2 seconds!

We didn’t even tell them anything but they figured that they have to get closer…and closer..and finally put only their fingers together to “pass” the orange to everyone! We used this activity to show them that the goal may look ambitious but it’s definitely do-able with teamwork! (didn’t tell them that it also means there are shortcuts in life :P)

Our first day was quite bad because we had to give them their diagnostics to see their current level. They’re at about 10% for Math and 40% for English – failing both of them! They are failing Math primarily because they cannot understand the questions that are in English. The effects of PPMSI on real kids in somewhat more suburban-rural schools, which is about 70% of the schools in Malaysia!!

Lotsa work to do for us then!

This poster is part of our Classroom Management Plan. If a student misbehaves (talk when teacher is talking, not listen to instructions, defiant etc), we put them in the yellow part and give them a verbal warning. If they get to the orange part, they have to meet with us and if they get to the red part, we will call their parents.

No one got to the yellow part even, our kids were extremely well behaved! Which I really think is because of our other Classroom Management Plan:

We fully exercise our Classroom Policies: be courageous, be respectful and to have teamwork. We constantly explain this in great detail and point a lot of our objectives and activities back to this and it works!

But this is the one that worked the best! It’s a Happy-o-Meter, and when the whole class behaves really well and are really participative, we move the thermometer up one scale. When it gets to 10, we give them a reward! This week’s reward is a 2-minute dance party (which we just did today!!!) and next week’s is Game Party!

This week went so well. It was rough at first because they weren’t used to all this, but once they got invested in the classroom culture, everything went so smoothly! From 0% participation rate, they now fight to answer questions. We just had a dance party today and it was awesomeeee! They were so shy and didn’t know what to do at first when we blasted the music, but after teaching them the lightbulb and pet the dog dance wtf, everyone had so much fun! They all went back with a hugeeee smile πŸ˜€

Oh, we also have individual behavior log for every student, and they have to get us to rate their behavior and performance at the end of the day. It works like a charm because it shows that we have our eyes on every single one of them! We always forget to rate them but they will constantly remind us at the end of the day.

I love my kids, they’re so awesome *tear

I wanted to give them a sense of ownership of their class, so I asked them to name themselves. The Justin Bieber fan club in my class came up with “Never Say Never”, which I thought would be apt for our motto hahaha. But the rest of the class decided on Intelligent Geniuses! I greet them every morning with “Hello my intelligent geniuses!” and “Bye, have a nice day today geniuses!”

The view outside the school, beautiful!

Some of the kids in our school. Here, they were singing happy birthday to one of the Teach For Malaysia staff.

This is me, dead. from lesson plan preparation. It takes about 4-5 hours to plan and get the materials ready for each lesson T___T

Proud of our hardwork!

I have more pictures and stuff to talk and show you guys but I’m so tired! I just made a huge Shout Out Board in our class and the responses were crazy! I tell them to leave us notes and write anything they want on the board, and we’ve gotten so many “I love today’s class!” and “I want to learn more!”. I also got a “Tak suka duduk belakang la cikgu” hahaha. We change their seat arrangement everyday to get them used to working with different people everyday.

It was also through this board that I found out that one of my kids was having a very bad day, and we talked about it over lunch. It’s quite a depressing topic and very personal, so I won’t talk about it.

That’s all for now, will try to update more soon! I have so many stories to tell! In fact, I have one story for every single kid in my class because they’re all so unique and interesting. Actually lemme tell one story!

There’s this one kid who’s probably the 2nd weakest in the class. On the first day, he didn’t want to participate much and was very quiet. He didn’t come the next day but he came day after that and saw the change in the classroom. Other kids were already ahead in terms of points (we give kids points for participating) and I guess he wanted to be part of it too.

We also set up a one-on-one session with him to keep him updated about the previous lessons that he missed, and since then his change in behavior was so dramatic. He became a superstar in our class. Still shy and still weak in both English and Math, but he participated regularly and became extremely invested in wanting to learn more. I’m so proud of him *tear

There’s this other boy who is clearly the naughtiest kid in class. He has this very cheeky grin and would make jokes in class. We knew we had to get on this kid’s good side because he was clearly the “leader” here. I think the sweetest words I’ve heard from him was “teacher, I will see you tomorrow!” in perfect English. It means he’s coming the next day and it means I did something right today!

He comes 1 hour early to class everyday and would sit with me to go through our previous lessons. He also likes to make sure I don’t forget my bag.

Ok, for real, that’s all for now!

147 Responses to “Kem SKORlah!”

  1. Ming says:

    I went through the post with a grin on my face. I can’t agree more that, this is the kind of education Malaysia needs. There was too much anxiety and fear in the traditional system.
    What you’re doing is admirable and inspiring. I know it’s going to take time but I sincerely hope that it will be implemented in more schools, if not All, across the country in the future so that our future generation can benefit.

    PS: For more selfish reason, I would want to raise my kids in Malaysia, maybe 10 years down the road. heh.

  2. Felicia~ says:

    Wowwww, you guys are doing great things! In fact, thanks for blogging your experience in detail, im too getting inspirations on what to do with my bunch of kids next year πŸ™‚

  3. zwei says:

    all the best, suet! looking forward to read your future posts on your training. πŸ™‚

  4. Nadiah says:

    Why I’m smiling like a proud mom here while reading this? looking forward for your next update πŸ™‚

  5. Balqiz says:

    Truly and remarkably inspiring!!! Well done, Suet! Please tell all your team mates they are FANTABULOUSLY AWESOME PEOPLE!

  6. Tan Yee Hou says:

    Hor cheeky boy has teacher fantasies!

    Awesome Suet! I used to think: “this teacher sucks” until I worked in school as a substitute teacher way back in 2007.

    Man that was tough stuff. I’ll send my kids to you ok?

  7. fiionx says:

    cheers for you guys who made an effort for our education!!

    happy for you too, you seems to enjoy teaching and the kids!

    Good luck and keep blogging ~!

  8. amyl says:

    miss liew,great job! a reward for you. i hav an unforgettable teacher <3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIun5xGK86g&feature=share

  9. janice says:

    i love reading your journey in teach for malaysia. it’s truly inspiring and what you are doing now is indeed laudable and commendable. there’s this saying that says ‘find a job you love and you’ll never have to work another day of your life’ and i can see that even though you have to work till 1am everyday you still enjoy doing it. do continue writing about your teaching journey and i look forward to reading more! jia you!

  10. Amy says:

    Aw, super sweet post Suet. It sounds like a fun class, we never had a 2 minute dance party after a hard day of learning. Oh to be a carefree kid again…

  11. Evelyn says:

    Suet Li!

    I’ve been a faithful follower of your blog since years ago and what you’re doing right now is really inspiring! it’s amazing to see how much a teacher can do to change the future of many kids, makes the whole effort really worthwhile πŸ™‚

    keep up the great work! we love you suet!!

  12. dandelion says:

    I wish I can say something more significant than ‘awesome’ but that’s pretty much how I felt reading through your post.

    I have always had this cita2 to be an inspiring teacher to these awkward, growing-up kids. So I taught for 2 months after my Form 6 and had a little taste of it. Tiring, but very meaningful because on my last day, my Form 1 boys salam with me and asked for forgiveness for their misdemeanour. It warmed my heart so much.

    Please keep up the good work, suet li! I hope Teach For Malaysia will come through for not only the 49 of you but the students whom you all touch πŸ™‚

  13. Jaclyn says:

    this is awesome and i can foresee myself in your shoes in a few years time when I’m going for my practical. no sleep T_T but awesome experience! updates updates!! <3

  14. Aaron Lee says:

    Once teacher, forever teacher! haha

  15. Yvonne says:

    AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW <3

  16. Cass says:

    :DDDDD it’s so nice how u n ur team encourage the children! Yay gd job!!!

  17. nanalim says:

    Just delete my previous comment?

    Should be cikgu Suet! πŸ™‚

  18. aud says:

    eh very cool ah! if my teachers were like that last time i would be very happy! come to class earlier and pull my desk until same level as the teacher’s WTF

  19. alexis says:

    i’ve come to realise that no matter how many people we forget in our lives, we’ll NEVER forget teachers that have made an impact. well done you πŸ™‚

  20. bjk says:

    you’re simply amazing! *tears*

  21. Jme says:

    U are amazing!! So proud of you!

  22. Atlantisian says:

    Kudos to you and the rest of the teachers. I never thought that we will have something like this for the rural school. Paid motivation camp for the urban school yes, but for these young children who was ignored by the society, what you guys have done for them were amazing. Keep up the good work!

  23. yumii says:

    suet… T_T i wanna give you a hug! you did so well! keep updating us with your adventure! =D

  24. estee says:

    You’re Amazeballs Suet! <3

  25. Mei says:

    It’s inspiring. You are making a change *tear

  26. puff says:

    hey Suet, i love your Teach for Msia posts. keep it up! and don’t forget the photos! :p it’s so brave and courageous of you to be in this program, and it’s good to know that not only it’s a great experience, you are also happy there. πŸ™‚ you are doing great, Suet! πŸ™‚

  27. Amira says:

    Sounds absolutely amazing!! You’re doing wonderful things for our country, thank you! =)

  28. iqa says:

    over the years reading your blog since you start blogging at the x-fresh blog, just by reading you ave created your own future. impressive.

  29. lv says:

    Always proud of you, Suet Li!! πŸ™‚ what you and your team is doing now is so admirable and inspiring. will share this to my teacher friends to pump their spirit especially those teaching in rural areas.

    Gambateh Teacher Suetli!! πŸ˜€

  30. Amanda says:

    Suet Li,

    This is really awesome…This is what the kids need for now and in the future…Keep it up! Well done & good job

  31. boooo says:

    you sound like you’re really enjoying what you’re doing! and the kids all seem adorable!!

  32. flora says:

    I am so proud of you suet li!!! *tears πŸ˜€

  33. Mei says:

    Good for the kids and for you too! So happy to see the dedication given to the kids! God bless.

  34. autumn says:

    i like the part where the kids changed from from being all shy to kids eager to just do things! i’m a shy person myself, fear of people has stopped me from doing A LOT of things, thus lagging behind in so many areas. you’re doing meaningful work here, gah yao ah!

  35. Hannah says:

    Keep us posted! The progress you lot have made is so very exciting!! You must feel so gratified despite the perpetual exhaustion. πŸ™‚

  36. Kim says:

    i loved reading this entire post. you seem genuinely happy and its more awesome since the kids are in good hands πŸ˜€

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    between those two? who can be a successful blogger?in this post, i am going to share a few characteristics and habits which you must adopt in 2012 to become a successful blogger. though it takes some time for your blog to

  102. for bloggers who have strong targeted audience.

    top bloggers can earn thousands of dollars per month from advertisers that leave their links on their blogs. if you already have a blog, focus on a particular niche and grow your followings; sooner or later, somebody will take notice and

  103. instead, we talked about “focus,” “purpose,” and

    “organization.” in short, we talked about marketing without her realizing it.you can’t separate writing and marketing. well, you can, but if you do, you probably will end up with a poorly written book that is unmarketable. a good author knows the

  104. it meets a deep need to always

    be connected, but always being connected has problems also.in summary texting is the new way of communicating and the fact that our children have the ability to create a new language and communicate is an indication of the adaptability and innate

  105. or to inform others of any new

    products you may have added to your inventory.while writing a blog is an excellent way to promote your business, it is just as important that your blog has readers visiting the site regularly. in order to help your blog succeed we

  106. all big websites have blogs which are

    located on the website or on a different domain. usually you need to update the blog frequently and with quality content. it is good for search engine optimization and for becoming an authority in humans’ eyes as well. it is great

  107. to become a better blog post writer.keep

    an eye on what is happening howthe beauty of blogging is that blogs as usual focus on news or events happening in the whole world. the first very important tip for every blog article writer is to write about currently discussed

  108. your ideas and message will always shine

    through. our readers will always find value in the truth we write about. so in order to draw them in, do your research and find out what they are interested in. with this you can choose which poems closely relate to

  109. point targeting people who are never going

    to buy from you.whenever i use youtube for marketing i tend to target only specific groups of people i feel may be interested in my service.when you target your audience it becomes easier to promote in the youtube community. also finding

  110. benefits them. they also want to know

    how to do things or why someone would do something. start headlines with “how to” or something similar. consider what you would search for if interested in the topic. effective marketing means that you have to climb into the heads of

  111. 30-40 calories. if you’re new to blogging,

    you may have already heard that hosting your own blog is one of the greatest moves you can make. it’s true – blogging is a great way to make money online, but if you really want to succeed, you need to

  112. and affordable content writing services. you will

    get dependable services from the content writers from india who are available at cost-effective rates. they will work within time and will make timely project deliveries. hence, you will not face any problem when executing your work.the internet is ful…

  113. previous website design.although the day might come

    when you decide to have your business blog transferred to a full-blown commercial website, first you should plan on publishing your blog on a popular blogging website such as blogger or live journal. the advantage to using one of these sites,

  114. different article directories with their articles being

    around 200-250 words long, but an article this short typically has only 1 purpose:to sell you on something.even if you see the “gurus” doing it, don’t do it. people know the difference between good content and poor content. if you want

  115. basic at first and it is, but

    even the basic theme can look great if you use it well, once you start to add the plugins then the magic can really start. plugins can turn your blog from just a one or two video posts to a complete

  116. your readers will feel your passion for

    the subject. learn to trust your thoughts as they are entering your fingers on the keyboard and just write as if you were talking to your best friend. you can organize this first draft later, adding headings, bolds, italics, bulleted lists,

  117. seemed to me tantamount to telling every

    detail of your finances or your sex life to every random stranger you come across.the first few blogs i looked at seemed to be mostly unsubstantiated random thoughts about whatever was on the writer’s mind. so it was a long time

  118. story telling has been a way to

    communicate since the beginning of time. everyone can relate to a good story, you can even use your own insight and retell a story by adding in your own personal opinions.use humorthis is where you can really let loose. everyone loves

  119. ‘i’ and ‘we’, will make a huge

    difference. you’re immediately involving the reader in your post. you’re building rapport, drawing them in, gaining their trust.lesson 2:what does your post look like?a solid wall of text is a huge turn off but break it into small paragraphs and sub

  120. and articles are pinging off to every

    corner of the blogosphere.this is great for traffic if the blogs have a high readership and that your posts are of great quality. but then what? do you do it just the once? of course not. it would be good if

  121. them speak for themselves by scanning for

    and removing any vague word constructions ending in “ly.” readers are more intrigued by an “enormous bear” than they are an “overly large bear.”• know when to keep it short and sweet – writing that is composed of more long sentences

  122. an online shop cuts the overhead cost.

    what’s more is that you can easily set up an online payment for free.if you are officially in between jobs and are looking for some extra money to pay the bills, rest assured that there are lots of quick ways to

  123. you sit back and wait for the

    traffic to flood in, right? “build it and they will come” and all that.unfortunately not.well, that isn’t always the case. especially if you are a super high profile person or company, some of the traffic you have built into your brand.

  124. cordland.eu says:

    50-100 post topics to get started. it

    can be difficult to think of a post idea when you are stressed for time so if you do it ahead of time you will save a lot of trouble. you should also consider keeping a stockpile of posts handy in

  125. you blog less – not more. similarly,

    if someone argues successfully that you should use a specific blogging service because of it’s ability to be adapted to your circumstances, the additional functionality will be worthless if you don’t use the service because you simply don’t get on w…

  126. shows how much advertisers are willing to

    pay to be mentioned in the top listings. now, value varies from category to category and there are also other approaches to earn money off of a blog besides adsense, but this is a readily available piece of data that you

  127. do about the topic or overwhelming them

    with technical jargon. according to pace, (2006) “jargon consists of words that are used in specific fields and trades” (p. 82). a bit of humor might lighten the reading for a general audience, but it would be out of place in

  128. as an example there is a gadget

    that contains share links for facebook and twitter. of course blogger automatically puts in share buttons at the bottom of each post as well.you can make income directly from your blog by putting in an amazon affiliate box, placing ads from

  129. free images to be found on the

    web – you just have to know where to look. happy hunting! most bloggers want to find free pictures for their blogs. if you’re making money from your blog, you may have a budget to spend on images to add to

  130. important distinction. in sci-fi there are no

    wizards, no magic, no nymphs or elves or fairies. fantasy is wonderful; this is not a rant against it. but let’s let fantasy be fantasy, call a moose a moose, and give sci-fi its due.the thing i find so thrilling about

  131. find out ere says:

    personal experiences is that you can form

    a bond with your readers and that is always good. add photos from holidays and make your blog personal, it’s easy to make a great blog that people can see is about you. add a profile picture to your blog and

  132. blog. a seo blog may seem similar

    to a regular blog but the set up is different and is crucial to helping you set up the best blog to make money online.what is a seo blog is a debated topic. through my research and studies, i found a

  133. all the various aspects of the subject

    that attract you. from there, use that list to develop search terms. this process can be translated to multiple disciplines or fields of interest. make sure that you do this for all of your sites, or at least make sure that

  134. practicing your craft on a daily basis

    and pouring your passion into your writing, whether it is article marketing or a newspaper column, your writing skills will improve and before you know it you will be an excellent writer. as a writer you are able to expand your

  135. their fields and understand what it takes

    to write successful posts time after time. in the last several years, blogs have become an increasingly common way for business owners to maintain contact with the outside world. when the idea of creating or maintaining a successful blog seems like

  136. skills they are looking for without breaking

    any confidentiality clauses with your existing clients, and with just a little bit of luck they’ll adopt your method of working so you can continue to recycle your past efforts too.what’s in a template?your templates should ideally end up covering th…

  137. can’t do it effectively without hard practice.

    a good piece of writing requires 99% hard practice and only 1% inspiration.what the necessary things you need to do to improve your writings are as follows:keep a very good dictionary with you that clearly mention the exact meaning of a

  138. Trackback says:

    Great

    I have been a yahoo users for some years now. I am only starting to make use of the tools which they provide, one of which being blog posts. I have written a blog and would like to know if my blog posts are being seen by others. If not then does anyone…

  139. how to pdr says:

    you, isn’t it important to form the

    best impression you can, always? you see, the thing about writing is, you never know who will read your words, or when, or for what purpose, or under what circumstance. therefore, it is to your benefit to always leave the best

  140. Good info

    I open it then something pops up saying:.. Firefox has stopped working.. Windows can check online for a solution to the problem… So can anyone help to fix it?.

  141. I have some question

    How would you start a website to help people that are having problems in there Relationship?

  142. Trackback says:

    Thank you

    How can I get a support question to the blogger team?

  143. read and mark and criticize what you

    have written. bear into that criticism. change what is recommended. alter your approach. try it again. revising and editing your work are half of the writing process.if you lay out these five skills of effective writing for your teenagers, they will

  144. Trackback says:

    Good info

    How do I copy my WordPress blog onto my computer so I can locally edit and try out plugins before publishing?

  145. trade associations and public arts organizations are

    also nonprofit organizations.although nonprofit organizations’ goal is not to make profit, nevertheless actually they generate income and they need money to achieve different goals. for example charities need a lot of money to support their causes. mo…

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