Friday, July 17, 2009

Regarding the matters of the hearts. To share or not to share the problems with others. That is the question.

The most delicate matter there is..the matters of the hearts.

Heart Don’t Fail Me
Amiza Hazni Bt Mohd. Radzi

To be honest with you I had this title in mind for so many years already. My former university professor once mentioned the title of Diana Ross’s song, “Heart Don’t Fail Me.” The title was catchy then and it still is until this very moment. It kept appearing in my mind these few days and this definitely signaled something significant which I could not brush aside. Life has different meanings to different individual. As for me life is just great! I am not being cynical neither I am being boastful. Life is full of co-existence of many opposite concepts, ideas and things. Good and Evil, Happiness and Sadness, Success and Failure, Promises and Lies and Tears and Laughter co-exist peacefully in this world. I am not being a hopeless romantic. Please bear with me and let me clarify further. After each and every one of us had gone through a lot in our lives, it begins to make sense to us why certain things happened. At first we might wonder, “Why and how it could have happened?” Unfortunately not all questions have answers and worse if those who have the answers remained silent. The only thing left for us to do is to rely on our hearts because hearts do not lie not even to us.

Resilience is an inner strength that we have in us. We keep telling ourselves to stand up, walk slowly, faster a bit, run now and then fly every time after we fell. But deep inside us, a small voice in our heads which surely would have come from our hearts whispers to us how long can we stand this never ending occurrences of rise and fall? It goes back to the strength of our hearts or some might say our sanity. If we are hurt some of us might cry, some might fight back and some might just ignore the sinking feeling and move on. It solely depends on our hearts whether things will be alright eventually or things will get worse. Some of us seek help and comfort in others and listen to advice but after having listened to loved ones, closed friends or professionals, it usually brings us back to our own hearts. We just have to listen to our hearts.

Listening to our hearts is surely a risky business. What if we our hearts fail us again? We should have known better because through our personal experiences we have been hurt one time too many and we have no choice but to trust our instinct and listen to our hearts. Is it a risk or a chance we are referring to here? I would say we are taking chances. So why not just go ahead and take chances. I cannot guarantee we have nothing to lose but there are chances that are worth taking. Our hearts are the strongest organs in our bodies so they are surely strong enough to withstand any circumstances in our lives. So just pray silently and hope our hearts will not going to fail us.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Becoming a Phenomenal Teacher

By Amiza Hazni Bt Mohd. Radzi

Frankly speaking, the life of a teacher is never a bed of roses and that is for sure. I can personally guarantee that speaking from my own experience of 11 years of teaching. Comparing my plights and challenges with teachers who have been in this noble profession for 20 years or more, mine would be minute and theirs would be gigantic. Not to sound provocative or biased, being a teacher in the 80s and 90s was not as challenging as being a 21st century teacher when every task requires intelligence, great patience, up-to-date knowledge at the global level and good mental health. Still it is not impossible to be an incredible teacher who is really fit emotionally, mentally and physically.

This is the time when we teachers have to revamp ourselves to meet the challenges at hand now. Nowadays, being good is never enough. A teacher has to be phenomenal, charming, memorable, exciting, inspiring, motivational, very calm in critical situations and not forgetting intelligent as well. Then there is another question of how to become one? I just want to share my views on how to become phenomenal ourselves. First and foremost, make sure we are happy at home only then we can try to be happy at work. Even though our workload can be overwhelming sometimes and our students seem impossible to be helped at times, at least we have a happy family and a nice home to go back to. Refresh our emotions and our bodies at home and the next morning is a brand new day for us.

It may sound cruel but if our lessons are boring and our students are bored then it is entirely our fault. Do something about it, please take action now! Make our class exciting does not mean we have to use ICT equipments all the time. There are various kinds of teaching aid or teaching material that we can always use. Do not rely on newspaper articles only to make lessons exciting. What about National Geographic magazines, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, entertainment magazines, health magazines, automobiles magazines, sports magazines and fashion magazines that are always there at the school libraries or at our homes. Not forgetting the Internet, just goggle and type any topic of your interest or your students’ interest and then use all of them in our classrooms from time to time. Music is indeed a universal language and it heals troubled teenagers’ minds so use appropriate beautiful songs to incorporate it in our lessons. Very easy indeed just be creative and everything will be alright.

Personality makeover is essential to become a phenomenal teacher. What to do? Well recheck our sense of humour level. Are we funny enough to crack appropriate jokes to make sure our students still awake in our classes? Are we able to laugh with our colleagues and students whenever a funny incident occurs? Being able to just laugh is very important to maintain our mental health and balance our emotions. Please laugh accordingly and never suppress ourselves from being cheerful and happy. It is not wrong to smile to others, in fact a smile and a laugh are indeed very powerful and infectious.

If Martin Luther King was inspirational, so can we. First thing first, we have to be inspired. Take famous world personalities as role models and read more about them and use their success stories to motivate us. Share those success stories which are relevant to our students in our classes. Our beloved students need role models to look up to in their lives so we have to inspire them. While our students are paying attention to us take that opportunity to motivate them to become better sons and daughters and better students. Encouraging them to get better grades is not enough. We want to produce “modal insan” so it is our core business not only to teach but to help them to become better human beings who are not prejudiced, hate wars, love to recycle, ever willing to help one another and moving towards success.

Enough said, becoming a phenomenal teacher is not impossible. The choice to become one is always in our hands. Make the right choice. It is never too late to change. Change, improve and keep up the good work fellow teachers.

Should Teachers and Students be best buddies?