October 16, 2012

In the life of DancerGal: My FIRST ever DEEJAY gig!!!

It was a bright and early Monday morning, where I had taken a one-day annual leave. Thoughts in my head?

"Tidur, Makan, Main...." 

However, I was awaken by a whatsapp message by Mr. Producer of Inspire.FM (P/S: he's one of them in the photo above!) that asks if I could come in and stand in for Mr. Host of The MotivationMY Show (also in the photo above) !!! The following feelings literally RAN THROUGH my body when I saw that message:

  • Shocked
  • Surprised
  • Happy
  • Nervous
  • Excited
  • Scared
I was finally getting a shot at doing something that I've always wanted to do... HOSTING! But there wasn't even a guest, so I asked if I could interview SammoBammo4 on "Creative Education". It's a topic that I am currently very interested in, and who better to ask than a teacher himself? :) So Mr Producer gave me the green light. So I thought that was it. 

I walked into the studio with SammoBammo and was a freakishly nervous wreck. I nearly wanted to punch myself. My nerves kinda got the better of me. But I am so hilariously lucky. Mr Producer made the podcast sound good, Mr Host said I did okay, and SammoBammo said I did well for a first timer! :) 

Credits: Inspire.FM

Credits: motivationMY.com

You can listen to the final product here

Here's my personal review of me (could this sound any less narcissistic??)

I did okay considering that it was a last minute thing, but I am glad that it happened :) This will only push me to grow more in terms of hosting and being confident of my own voice. 

I cannot thank Inspire.FM and MotivationMY.com enough for giving me this opportunity to grow, learn and hone my love for talking! I will continuously push myself to do better and my next podcast, will only be better than the one I did before :) Thank you once again for the amazing collaboration between the two best platforms that have allowed me to come to where I am today. 

It was definitely the experience of a lifetime, and I simply cannot wait to push myself to the limits and do my best to what life is willing to offer me :) 

Thanks again to the following people: 

Syafique Shuib, Founder of MotivationMY, for believing in me :) 

Kum Gheng, Producer on Inspire.FM, for guiding me through :) 

Hisham Hamzah, SammoBammo, for being my first guest :) 

Thank you so very much for the amazing opportunity. I really don't know what else to say except thank you. Gratitude beyond expression. 

Credits: Inspire.FM

Love always, 
DancerGal Sheryl <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

October 9, 2012

Guest Post: @HishamHamzah "I Hate Exams"

Editor's Note: This is my first ever guest post! :) Thank you, Hisham Hamzah (SB4) for your generous contribution. I found this quite interesting, because I never believed that I was stupid even though I kept not performing in exams. :) Also, this is SammoBammo's first blog post! Support by following his blog! GO GO GO! Read the original post here...

Like today's student, I've probably said this myself when I was their age. I hate exams. And now that the exam season is upon us, twitter, FB and blogs are alight with such sentiments and comments.

Credit: technorati.com

But now, as a teacher, shouldn't I love/like exams? After all, when I was a student that was what I thought. The teachers must love exams! Why wouldn't they if they are always giving so much emphasis on it?

But the truth is I do hate exams, but for different reasons. I don't hate setting papers and grading them, those are pretty straight forward tasks although a tad tedious at times. I don't find them a useful assessment tool.

I tweeted a few days ago "A few pages of questions doesn't give me a clear idea of whether you are smart or not, whether you get it or not". As I set papers for testing, I have to make choices from which part of the syllabus should I pick from, because I obviously cannot test every single chapter/topic/concept. The "logic" is that, since the student doesn't know what would be tested, the student should study EVERYTHING in order to have a chance at passing the paper. So from here, the exam itself is suppose to "force" learning.

To me, that is the weakness right there, how can you force learning?

Credit: speakitalianmagically.com

Learning must stem from curiosity, a thirst to find out more and more, and that must originate from the student. My struggle is to find as many ways as I can to bring out that curiosity in every single one of my students. I don't think I have succeeded completely, and I'm constantly making mistakes but I have a strong feeling that this is a struggle that I am suppose to go through as a teacher, and there are far greater teachers at Cempaka who have gone through this struggle, year after year, with amazing stamina, dedication and commitment. I cannot bring myself to consider them colleagues, they will forever be my teachers.

Credit: cempaka.edu.my

At this point I must comment on how I felt when my first class graduated last year, and the feeling I had. It dawned on me, my former teachers who are still going strong in Cempaka have had this feeling every year since my time. People ask why be a teacher... hell... why not! It is addictive. I kind of get it when the younger players at United say they want to emulate the careers of Scholes and Giggs now.

Returning to the topic of this post, why I hate exams, I feel that it puts huge pressure on students that does not proportionally reflect the student's true capability, intellect and most important, curiosity.

Of course, to simply disband traditional examinations might be greeted with huge outcry. There is no standardised way of assessment, a benchmark to compare our students to, which can be used for entry to higher learning institutions. Well, to that I respond, why would you want standardised testing if it only produces standardised products(students) that would be completely useless in a future economy that will thrive on innovation, creativity and, yes, curiosity.

Solutions then? What can we do? How can we have an assessment based system that challenges our students much like the real world would? Is that not the true assessment we should be aspiring for? Instead of dumping students into the real world, we need to slowly expose them to its challenges and demands, develop skills of thinking critically, expanding their creative capabilities and starting that thirst for new knowledge, that curiosity, that will drive their own learning.

But firstly we must understand one thing, failure is inevitable, we will not get it right the first time. But we need to be open to new things, we need to have the resources to pursue new ideas and innovations, utilize new technology, reach others on a global scale, and we must be allowed to fail while doing so

Without failure, there is no success.