Practicum Experience

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My initial reaction when I was informed of my practicum posting.

Frankly speaking, when I was first informed of my practicum posting, I was really excited and eager to do my practicum. I started to think on how I am going to introduce myself when I first entered the class, what am I going to wear, would I be serious enough in front of my students, how is the school, the teachers, and most importantly, the students. Despite the excitement, I would not deny that I had a mixed- feeling on that. I was afraid if my students could not accept their new temporary English teacher, and how their reactions would be when I teach, since obviously, I had no experiences whatsoever in teaching. I was also curious on what would be their first impression on me as a teacher. Then, I got to know that my practicum school was at SMK Tunku Sulong, Jeniang, and unfortunately, I had no idea on where Jeniang was. I started wondering on whether my school was really a rural school (since I never came across the name) and that, I know, I might face the biggest challenge, which is to teach students in the rural area.

1. My first impression of the school.
I did not really have any high expectations on my school at first (in terms of facilities and the building), since I know that rural schools are sometimes isolated and not getting much attention by the authority, and that is the saddest part actually. But to my surprise, when I first stepped into my school compound, I was shocked to found out that my school is big and beautiful! I was very happy, of course, and I began to feel that I will enjoy doing my practicum in the school.

2. My first meeting with my English teacher mentor.
One word to describe my first meeting with my English teacher mentor is, INSPIRED. Her name is Pn. Norzian and she may look like any other ordinary teacher, but getting to know her means so much to me and I knew that she was not just an ordinary teacher. With her warmth smile, she said that teaching is not easy but always remember to treat your students as human, and to always teach with your heart, because that is actually the crucial factor in ensuring that students understand the value of learning. I was just inspired right there and then, and I began to realize that I could also make a difference and bring a great impact in my students’ life.

3. The first time I entered my class.
Just like other novice teachers, I myself could not help from being nervous yet anticipated when it comes to entering the class for the first time. I was so motivated on my Day 1, and believe it or not, I even planned for a ‘Wheel of Nouns’ activity, in which I burnt my midnight oil just for the sake of preparing the “wheel”. I was so eager to teach, and I even imagined how happy and fun my class would be during my lesson. But it is always easier said than done. Managing class is not easy as it seems, trust my experience. I thought that managing class was just a piece of cake, but it was rather way beyond my expectation. My class was under control, but only for the first 20 minutes. When I started spinning the wheel, my students became too emotional with the results and they started jumping, running, stomping, shouting and yelling at each other. As a result, I called the activity a quit. I was too confused at that time that I only watched them running freely in the class without saying anything and believe me; nothing could be more horrible than that. At first the class was in a state of composure, and the last thing you know, the class was no longer a class.

4. Brief description of the students.
My students were Form 4 art-stream students, and to tell the truth, majority of them are weak in English as they could barely speak and write even in simple English. My heart really goes to my students, as everyday I felt like I began to be able to reach out to them and I realized that they are actually so naïve and unmotivated. I could see that...
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