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TASK 3: REFLECTION
Our national education system is emerging to a whole different level. With the
changing of curriculum in current system teachers are having their hard times in determining
the best way to ensure that the pupils get everything that they need to learn. Thus, teachers
have been trained since their college time to enforce the correct way of teaching in the
classroom. This has been manifested through a few sessions of microteaching that should
be carried out by the trainee teachers before they are being sent out to the school. For the
subject of TSL 3110; Linking Theory to Practice, the microteaching session is the important
part of the course as it will be the proofs of what have been learnt throughout the semester.
It is the manifestation of our understanding and ability to use different sorts of theories in our
teaching.
For the purpose of the session, we have been divided into a few groups of three to
four persons per group. I, myself together with my group members, Muhammad Sariy
Syazani and Amirah Athirah then decided to conduct a lesson on the topic of occupation
for a mixed-ability class. When the time comes for my group, we started our session with a
simple set induction that was carried out by me. The set induction went well with the class
giving full cooperation even though everyone was tired due to the long hours of class that we
had gone through on that day. In this stage, I would say that teachers need to play an
important role to arouse the pupils interest especially when they have been through a long
day at school. The objective of set induction is to induce the pupils to attract them and make
them concentrate their attention towards teacher's presentation (Hafiz, 2010). What
happened during the microteaching session had given me the real look on how the real
situation would be in the school with the real pupils.
Moving on to the next stage of the session which is the important part of the lesson, it
went on well as during this part, the pupils become interested to engage themselves with the
lesson which cooperated by the video on song about occupation. The involvement of the
multimedia element; the video managed to help them to indulge themselves into the lesson
in a much more interesting way. It was another important lesson that I had learnt during the
session. According to Mayer (2001), multimedia provides a complex multi-sensory
experience in exploring our world through the presentation of information through text,
graphics, images, audio and video, and there is evidence to suggest that a mixture of words
and pictures increases the likelihood that people can integrate a large amount of information.
During my primary school day, I could still remember how my English subject teacher taught
me with the simple use of chalk-and-talk approach. It was a struggle for me and my other
classmates to stay put throughout the lesson. The only thing that managed to make us
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concentrating was the nature of the stern-looking teacher in front of us. Thus, instead of just
using the traditional way of chalk-and-talk teaching method, it is important for teachers to
inculcate the element of technology to avoid boredom. Apart from that, I believe that the use
of melody and song can help to boost up the learning process and facilitate their
understanding about what they are learning. As one educator asked, How is it that for most
people music is a powerful part of their personal life and yet when we go to work or school
we turn it off? (Brewer,1995). Thus, I trust that using music can be an alternative to make
the classroom enjoyable and lively.
As the session progressed, I discovered a lot of things that needed to get notified by
a future teacher in terms of teaching and managing the classroom at the same time. First of
all, I learned that in planning the activity, teachers should consider the pupils level so that
the activity prepared would not be beyond their capability. If it happens to be that way, it will
distort the learning process. Teachers would be having quite a trouble to continue with the
learning process. This was seen during our microteaching session as one of our activities
seemed to be quite difficult to be comprehended by our target pupils. The feedback from our
lecturer, Mr Rosli as well as our fellow classmates had said it all. Most of the feedback
mentioned that the dictation activity in step 2 was not suitable in the context of our year 3
pupils. In fact, as I looked back, it seemed that it was not suitable after all when you looked
into it from the perspective of our Malaysian school pupils.
Next, I learned the importance of giving positive feedback to the pupils in the
classroom. The feedback would be another form of reinforcement to increase the pupils
motivation in their learning. On top of that, the feedback would also be the yard stick to
measure the pupils understanding of what they are learning. Miltenberger (2008) stated that
reinforcement is the stage in which the behaviour is strengthened by the immediate
consequences that reliably follows its occurrence. Once the teachers know how to react to
the pupils engagement, pupils would feel interested to stay connected to the session. This
would reduce the possibilities of misbehaviour during the class.
Other than that, I learned the importance of reinforcing classroom rules before
starting any lesson. Rules help create a predictable atmosphere that limit classroom
disruptions and encourage children to use self-control (Davis, 2006). Teachers should
remember to state a few rules before starting any lesson and be consistent with it in every
lesson. Teachers can develop good class control by establishing rules and regulations
earlier as students will be aware that they have been briefed about how they should react
(Woolfolk, 2009). Teachers should also have their own way of gaining the pupils attention
during the class. In this matter, it can be in the form of gestures or other kind of signs that
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the teachers could think of. Clapping hands like what I have done could be one of the ways
to do this.
Teachers involvement is crucial in every lesson. In this matter, I learned that
teachers needed to get involved physically and mentally in every activity prepared for the
pupils. When it comes to the singing and action song part, teachers should be flexible and
sing it together with the pupils. When it involves dancing or any kind of movement, make
sure that teachers take part with the pupils in doing it. This is to give the pupils the
impression that the teachers are willing to share their moments together and thus be some
sort of motivation for them to learn better (Lyons, Ford, Arthur-Kelly, 2011). From my
experience this week with my pupils for my first class in Sekolah Kebangsaan Pantai Senak
with them, they were really enjoying the lesson especially when I joined in with all kind of
gestures and movements.
The varieties of teaching materials are often the best companies of teachers in every
lesson. I discovered that it is important for teachers to come up with different kind of
attractive teaching materials to attract the pupils attention especially when the lesson is
around the high time of the day after the recess time in school. It is during this time that
usually their attention span is decreasing and as a result, some of them might be sleepy
during the class. If the teacher can come up with variety and colourful teaching materials, it
might be helpful in getting them to put together their mind back in the classroom for the
lesson. These materials play a large role in making knowledge accessible to a learner and
can encourage a student to engage with knowledge in different ways (UCC, 2014). In fact,
they will feel excited to take part with sorts of colourful materials to be used.
Not to forget, this whole session had taught me an important lesson that were useful
as my future reference in the teaching profession. Throughout the session, I learned that
teachers really need to consider the pupils level before starting any lesson and once it had
been confirmed, teachers need to lower their level of English according to the pupils level.
This was stressed out especially during the communication between teachers and pupils.
Hurt, Scott, and McCroskey (1978) noted that Communication is the crucial link between a
knowledgeable teacher and a learning student. At this point, teachers need to consider
lowering their level of English to the most basic level to make sure that the pupils can catch
up with them. This is also to ensure that the lesson could move on according to the plan.
Among the important things, I sensed that there was one thing that really caught my
attention. As a teacher, one should not easily give up on the pupils when they have difficulty
in understanding what they are learning. Even though they find it hard to be comprehended,
the teacher should try the best to explain it to them no matter what it takes along the way. If
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the teacher gives up easily, it will defeat the purpose of this noble profession. During my
school days, I saluted every teacher who used to teach my back then. Their endless efforts
had made me into who I am today what I am going to be in the future. When we could not
understand the lesson, they would try their best to make us understand even if it took them
to do funny things such as dancing and jumping here and there.
The famous Socrates used to say that, false words are not only evil in themselves,
but they infect the soul with evil. Throughout the microteaching session, I learned that as a
teacher, one should not use any kind of harsh words even though they felt frustrated with the
pupils. In every classroom, there will surely be a few pupils who will have the tendency to
misbehave. Thus, in dealing with this, teachers should not at any time, use any kind of harsh
words even for the purpose of scolding. Instead, they should really do it in a brilliant way
such as proposed by various famous theorists (Marland,1993).
Apart from a lot of new things that I learnt from the microteaching session, I
discovered that there were certain strengths and weaknesses that should be taken into
account by future teacher like me for the sake of my teaching later. One of the weaknesses
that were pointed out by my friends in their feedback form was the way of giving instruction
to the pupils. It was said that most of us were using a high level of English when giving out
instructions. We should lower the level because it will be totally different when it comes to
the real classroom environment with real pupils compared to a classroom full of future
English teachers. In some cases, teachers should consider the use of the pupils first
language to explain things but this should be the last option to be considered (Tauber,
2007).
Getting back to the strengths of the session, there are a few strengths that had been
pointed out by the observers. The clearest one was that the lesson managed to achieve the
purpose of modern teaching which comprise the student-centred activity. We managed to
pull out an interactive lesson throughout the session. Judging from the flow of the lesson, we
also succeed in managing the classroom and the pupils. In this matter, I felt that my group
mate and I had managed to get a good grasp of the classroom control throughout the whole
session.
In conclusion, the whole session of microteaching had given me a lot of new
knowledge to get me back on the ground about the teaching methodologies that might be
useful to me during my teaching in the real classroom context. It had also opened my eyes
regarding certain things that should be considered by teachers before starting their class.
For me, this microteaching session had given me a valuable opportunity to practise my skills
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in handling the real classroom even though I realised that it would be totally different with the
real classroom environment.
(2056 words)