It's the second week of 2017...and I hope it's still not too late to wish everyone a happy new year. So, any new year resolutions? I aim to make 2017 a better year by giving myself more time to read for pleasure, to travel for pleasure and to write for pleasure :)
Under 'write for pleasure' is doing this blog...so I aim to blog more often than last year. I realised that 2016 had not been very productive for Beyond Chalk & Talk - only two posts published for the whole year. So 2017 is the year to do more blogging. So, this is my first blog post in 2017, and I want to start by counting my blessings.
2016 was tumultuous, filled with ups and downs - but overall it had been a great year. Here's a list of the things that I'm grateful for:
Friends and family - near and far
I don't think I have the words to describe how grateful I am for my beloved family and for all the wonderful friends that I have in my life. 2016 had not been a very good year for me health wise. I was in and out of the hospital a dozen times. I had been unwell, I had been depressed - during those times I could be horrible and it wasn't easy to be around me, I know. But my dear family and friends were never far from me. They might not be close to me physically but they were always there for me and with me. I'm beyond blessed. Oh, and I have to mention this: God had blessed my brother and his wife with a baby girl. My beautiful niece Jordan Nicole was born on the 9th of September last year, and I'm officially a #proudaunty.
|Christmas with family, 2016|
This would be my second year working in PPD Kota Kinabalu as district English language officer. It had been an interesting year, a year filled with learning experiences. Early last year I had written a post about how much I missed my classroom and my kids - but after one year here's what I can say: I'm a teacher, and I always will be no matter where you put me. This new responsibility has given me the chance to gain new perspectives, but it doesn't in any way affect my passion for teaching. If anything, it only makes me love being a teacher even more. I had the opportunities to see many schools, meet many teachers and spoken to quite a number of great leaders in this field. I had been inspired, I had been rejuvenated. I had learned a lot. A LOT.
And as far as learning is concerned, I would have to say that I'm so grateful for the opportunity to embark upon my postgraduate study in 2016. My academic supervisor and mentor, AP Dr. Lee Kean Wah is the greatest ever and I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from him.
Work trip to Sepanggar Island:
|Great leaders - Ms Julia Jock (former Excellent Principal of SM La Salle), Ms Gertrude Jock (Director of IPGM Kampus Gaya), Ms Juliana Johari (Head of English Unit, IPGM Kampus Gaya)|
|With my 'Going Digital' team|
|With my MELTA KK family - Ease, Shuba, Aishah, Nigel and Ian. With Dr Sivabala Naidu from University of Nottingham, KL|
|With awesome KK teachers|
|With awesome educators and scholars: Associate Professor Dr Lee Kean Wah and Associate Professor Dr Tan Choon Keong (Universiti Malaysia Sabah) in Miri, Sarawak|
|With my super cool Head of Academic Unit at PPD KK - Ms Doreen Peter|
More opportunities to share
I love sharing with other teachers, and being the English language officer has given me more opportunities to do that. Since I'm no longer attached to any school, I'm free to go to around - within my district and beyond - to help my fellow teachers. I ran workshops, sharing sessions and seminars (most memorable was a two-day workshop with English teachers in Beaufort and a one-and-a-half day PLC-based sharing session with English teachers and students in Kota Marudu). My favourite was the Ed-Camps for UPSR teachers that I organised with my SISC+ colleagues in Kota Kinabalu. Another great one is when I collaborated with Universiti Malaysia Sabah for a PLC-based project to promote technology integration among 'digital immigrant' English language teachers in my district. And we finally set up a MELTA chapter for Kota Kinabalu! And organised the first-ever symposium specifically for Sabah English teachers! Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I was able to do all these in a single year. More on this in my next post.
Some snapshots from last year's MELTA KK Symposium:
|'Sharing Your Research' Seminar at SM St. Francis Convent, Kota Kinabalu|
|Sharing session with UMS TESL students|