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TIPS 1-20

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 1 - Reflect on the main reason you become a teacher in the first place. Was it your childhood dream or mainly because you did not have much choices then? Why on earth are you still a teacher now? Find the answers in your heart. What you are today is a result of how you first took off in this noble profession... SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 2 - Assign a special task to your students today : ` Write ONE word that best describes my teacher, Puan/Mrs/Dr/Prof/Mdm ....(fill in the blank with your own name)' Provide each student with a post-it note. Input should be anonymous. Pass around a small box to collect the notes. Paste them on a wall surface (in your bedroom) the words describe what the students see in you! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 3 - Prioritize the weakest student in your class, instead of the cleverest. Those who are gifted with superb IQ could sail thru' without much of your help. It's the weakest who needs you the most. Don't ignore him/her. Look at her/him with a different perspective today - full with hopes & dreams! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 4 - Be a great teacher who inspires. From William Hart - a mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains, a superior teacher demonstrates & a great teacher inspires! Convince your students that you're a different breed of teacher - the one who really cares & prays for them, every time, every day!

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 5 - Honour the students' trust in you. Keep their secrets. Do not spread out the private info they confided in you to other teachers in the school, unless it's related to safety and legal matters. Even then, just tell the principle/headmaster. Confidentiality is a part of teaching ethics. SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 6 - Teach with all your heart, imagine the students are your own flesh and blood. Thank Allah (again & again) for the honour of being a teacher. Focus your energy before stepping into class. Remind yourself of the responsibilities put on your shoulders. Finish this statement : ` At the end of this session, my students should be able to.....' SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS - Tip no.7 - Look back into history - all great individuals were teachers. Rasulullah SAW was a great mu'allim/murrabi. Imam Al-Ghazali, Ibnu Sina, Gandhi, Hippocrates, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Mother Teresa, the list is non-exhaustive. These great people shared a common teaching style - they touched the hearts of each student they encountered (student-centered teaching). How about you? SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS - Tip no.8 - Read, read and read more! Teachers are readers and readers are leaders. Lead your students to explore the marvellous world of knowledge & virtue. Look up for new books & re-read the old ones. Reading builds up creativity of teachers. So, what book are you reading now?

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SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS - Tip no.9 - Shine as your students' best role model, esp. for those who do not have one at home. Practice what you preach, and walk the talk. For students who only have bad role modelling all these while, YOU are their shining beacon, salvation and last hope. Don't let them down, please... SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS - Tip no.10 - Serve as your students' life mentor. Do you still receive SMS, emails, wedding cards, festive greetings and well wishes years after your students have left school/college? Did the old students look for you whenever they came visiting? If so, rejoice...for you're indeed your students' life mentor! If not and you do not really mind, you might have never meant to be one.

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no.11 - Remind yourself that teaching profession will not propel you to stardom and wealth. It is indeed a very humble and modest profession. If you're able to turn your teaching career into money-churning business, maybe it helps to pause awhile and rethink. Are you taking advantages of the public's (esp. parents') feeling of insecurity, inadequacy and ignorance? I really hope not.... SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no.12 - Pat yourself at the back sometimes, especially after a long day at school. Convince yourself that you've done what you could, as best as you would. The end product is not yours to determine. It is indeed sad to see why students keep choosing wrong decisions all the time. At the end of the day, you just have to move on...

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no.13 - Smile whenever you're facing your students in class. Experience the `lightness & feel-good feeling' that comes with it. See the counter response from your students, they'll be more cheerful, relaxed and attentive. Enjoy the session together...and before you know it, there goes the bell! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 14 - Avoid burn out by ensuring that you're sincere in your teachings. At times when you feel like giving up, check your intentions - there might be secondary (inferior) motives. Pause, reflect & contemplate. You have to recharge your batteries & dynamo to keep shining! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 15 - Be a `student-friendly' and `stress-free' teacher. Provide a safe environment for your students to make mistakes and learn, yet be clear of what you expect from them. Only the best and nothing less! You can strike the balance between being fair, realistic and strict all at the same time. SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 16 - Pray for your students, every single one of them. Visualize their faces as you say your prayers. Beg Allah to bestow you with wisdom, patience and dedication. You definitely depend on divine intervention to complete this noble teaching mission. Ask nothing in return, except for Allah's blessings.

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 17 - Share a part of you with your students. Do not be aloof and detached from them. Tell them about your life experiences - esp. those that have changed you to be a better person. Yet, do not ever try to be boastful - they can easily tell when you're inflating yourself! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 18 - Be creative in class . Surprise your students with new style of teaching & learning materials. Bring them out of the class, guide them to discover the biggest book, spread open in-front of them : the world & universe. Learning is supposed to be fun, thrilling & enjoyable! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 19 - Contain your anger the next time you almost blow your top in front of the class! Push the `pause' button. Give yourself and the students timeout...I suggest you tell them why you're angry, assign a short redemption task , step out of the class, return after 10 min - InsyaAllah, you'll find a more cooperative class - how grateful they are that you do not shout this time! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 20 - Be humble, lower down your wings. Humility will never make you inferior. Avoid being a snob, or feeling more superior. Stop looking down at others. It takes a lot of courage and sense of security to be humble, especially if you have achieved so much in life. You will gain more respect from students and colleagues if you're humble, Just mark my words.


by Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj a medical educator since 1997



SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 21 - Aim to greet your students first, before they greet you. Surprise them with your warm salam/hello, calling out their names (if you have good memory) at the end of the greeting.Enjoy their initial `stunned' facial expression. Dale Carnegie reminded us : The most important word a person would like to hear is his/her own name! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 22 - Be a good team member among the teaching staff. Demonstrate outstanding tolerance, cooperation and teamwork. Do not back-bite, gossip or talk bad about other teachers infront of your class. Settle all misunderstandings with colleagues. Never turn the teaching staff room into a war zone! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 23 - Use encouraging words when you're giving feedback to students. Replace all those harsh, bitter, humiliating critics with better alternatives words in your comments. Be aware of your body languages. Constant degradation and humiliation is the WORST form of teaching! If that's your usual feedback strategy, it is indeed high time to change! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 24 - Extend your friendly hands to your partners in this noble mission of teaching; the parents & guardians of your students! They might not seem to be interested or just too busy to supervise their children, yet their role is indeed pivotal. Engage them as much as you can, don't give up! How about sending them an informal personal friendship card through their children? You might see an increase turn-ups in the next PTA meeting!

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 25 - Provide space & time for your students to grow & bloom, each at his/her own rate & speed. Continue to believe in them, for believing and being believed in is such a powerful drive to success. Let you be the only person who believes that he/she deserves a second chance. Besides a parent, a teacher is the only person on earth who supposed to love unconditionally. What if you're actually both to your students - a teacher as well as a substitute parent? SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 26 - Recall your own teacher whom you liked most. What was the main quality in that particular teacher that made him/her exceptionally special, at least to you, if not for anyone else? How about you now? Are you inspiring enough to your students? Does anyone in your class wish to be like YOU one day? SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 27 Stop nagging your students. Instead, start listening to their heart messages. When your student complains that no matter what he/she does, it is never enough to please you his/her heart message is saying ; `I hope you appreciate me and notice what Im trying to do here. Theres no way you can hear those heart messages with your loud nagging noise at the background! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 28 - Involve yourself in voluntary social work within your neighbourhood to enrich your life experience and perspectives. Do not isolate yourself from your community. Display genuine and caring attitudes to others. A teacher is highly regarded in a society, for the wisdom and good deeds that he/she is expected to contribute. Just give yourself away, you'll get more in return, InsyaAllah!

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 29 - Assist your students to discover Allah their Creator, their purpose of life, their destiny. Do not push TRUTH down their throats, they might regurgitate & vomit it all out. Allow them to come to their own conclusions. Be prepared to face their challenges & debates. After all, you want them to be critical thinkers, eh? Just lead their thoughts to Allah, and they will soon discover Him themselves. SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 30 - Allocate the last five minutes of your teaching session for a short, special dedication to one of your students. One student for each session. It can be a line of poem, a Malay pantun, a remark or a statement that indicates your hope with his/her name specifically mentioned in it. Start with the last student in the name list, going upward. Feel the anticipation & excitement buzzing in the class as each session comes to an end....Enjoy it! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 31 - Always bear in mind, there might be a few `late bloomers' in your class now. They are relatively slower in catching up with what you're teaching. Hold your tongue, do not degrade/compare them with the smart, brilliant students. Google `late bloomers' - you'll be surprised to see the famous names listed in this category! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 32 - Overcome your prejudice and bias. Do not discriminate. Different does not mean less good or much better. Manage diversity wisely by celebrating or embracing it. Or at least be tolerant and inclusive. There would not have been beautiful rainbows around without the seven different colour!

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 33 - Avoid measuring your teaching success simply by the number of students scoring A for your subject. That might be the easiest way, but certainly not the most accurate. If only you could keep track of those students who were inspired by you, and shifted their paradigms for better lives & future - now, that is what I consider real success! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 34 - First, reflect and contemplate. Then regulate and align your actions. After that, correct all your mistakes and wrongdoings. Those are three steps towards building up your professionalism. Without ability to reflect, you will never realize your strengths & weaknesses, resistant towards feedback and will not be able to improve! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS: Tip no. 35 - Adhere to principles. Let the students experience what principle-centeredness really means. We have to disagree and dispute our close friends when they're doing wrongs, and compliment/praise our enemies if they're doing the right thing! How else would students learn about what's right or wrong - if it's not from the teachers! (parents included) SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 36 - Assist your students to adapt deep learning approach. Guide them to relate everything they learn to their daily lives, it is not merely to pass exams! Impress them with your massive knowledge & experience.

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 37 - Do not expect much gratitude from your students, especially after they have succeeded. Be grateful if they pray for you, even sometimes if not always. Allah knows exactly how much you have contributed for those young people's life and future. Stop worrying, just go on teaching. SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 38 - Thank your students today before you step out of your class. Appreciate their determination to attend school everyday. Tell them how much you treasure their trust in you. After their usual sing-song thank, `Terima kasih Cikgu!', stand there for another 30 seconds & say `Terima kasih murid-muridku!' Say it out loud, clear and sincerely. SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 39 - Be constantly reminded, as teachers, we cannot not role-model. Students are observing and watching. Choose between the two - as a good, exemplary role model or a bad one. The choice is totally yours! SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TEACHERS : Tip no. 40 - Never be discouraged by your students' misconducts & lack of good manners. Those undesirable behaviour are indicators of existing gaps / loopholes in the education process of the individuals. Simply speaking, they haven't learned enough from their parents, teachers & other adults around them. Wonder if it is us (adults) who have not taught them enough?