I HAVE been following all the articles in The Star about how teachers should teach and what should be taught, Well, let me offer my opinion.
Whatever the Government introduces or implements for the teaching of English is not important or effective. It all boils down to the attitude of the English teachers. You may have a good programme but if the teachers are not implementing it in the classroom, it is useless.
I have seen many teachers practically reading from textbooks or giving exercises to students with answers. The students just copy and all the English exercise books look wonderful. The students complain to the principal but nothing is done. It has been six years and one teacher I know is still doing it.
At times I felt so frustrated that the teacher could get away with it and as the saying goes, “If you can’t win them, join them.” Yet I have a conscience – everything single sen that I earn must be halal.
My kids used to ask why I was always tired after school. I told them that I was always seeking new methods and preparing my work so that my students would not be bored.
They said, “Why can’t you be like my teacher? She sits in class all the time.”
Well, I told them, “Mummy has kids who go to school and Mummy hopes that by teaching the children of other people, other people will likewise teach you.”
The teaching of English involves play, fun and games. To motivate students, you have to understand them.
I am not self-praising but if I was only two minutes late, my students would come looking for me. My principal used to tell me that they were all very excited to have me teach them English.
I am retired now and I dare say that in my 32 years of teaching, I never stopped learning new ways of teaching English to capture my students’ interests. My students have called me, asking me to come back but I say I am tired and need a rest.
For an effective learning process in the class, a teacher must earn the respect of the students. If you don’t teach in class, how are you going to get the students to respect you? Students are not naive or stupid, as they know who are teaching and who are not.
To all the teachers out there, teaching is a noble profession. Some of you are parents yourselves. Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.
RETIRED ENGLISH TEACHER,