When I was young I came across a quote by Nelson Mandela. It says “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.
My journey in the education field started after I graduated from International Medical University (IMU) in 2011. I completed my degree in Biomedical Science, having joined the pioneer batch in 2008. In 2012, I was offered to teach Cambridge A Levels (CAL) in the best college for Pre-U studies which is Taylor’s College Subang Jaya. Initially, it was tough to settle down in Taylor’s College with many lecturers having 15-20 years of teaching experience. However, my passion to teach and the exposure that IMU gave me to working under pressure, made me excel in the teaching field. I had to go through the details of the content and I included many different teaching pedagogies in my lessons. I had to do a lot of preparation and arrange for materials to deliver the best lecture to my students. This was simply because of my personal interest in Biology and I enjoyed every bit of teaching. As I moved on to the second year in teaching, I learnt that my teaching strengths will be to work techniques into the classroom that promote learning and retention of the material. I believed that an education would be almost worthless if the students were unable to take what they have learned beyond the ﬁnal exam.
One way to promote explicit knowledge of the material is to build in activities wherein students link the concepts to other concepts of the course or apply the concept to issues of the students’ own interests. Therefore, I explored books on effective teaching and learning strategies. Additionally, I enrolled myself in many professional development courses such as CIE teaching training, quantum learning, clickers, google classroom and many more.
Being a teacher for all this years, made me realise that to become a good teacher we must be willing to learn from any situation. I am proud enough to say that I have learnt new things and values from my students. I also understood that a teacher can impact a student’s life in a positive way. For example, from my personal experience, I met a very bright student with family issues. He started to misbehave in class and even stopped attending lectures. It took me a while to get to know him and then we spent a lot of time trying to sort out some of the issues that bothered him. After that he started to focus better in class. We shared a good bond with one another and he looked at me as his mentor. This experience thought me that as teacher it is our task to find not only what motivates each student to learn but also what motivates them to misbehave. If we can meet them at that point and take away that motivation, we can go a long way toward achieving more effective classroom management and a better learning environment. Lastly, my advice for those who are considering teaching career, teaching requires passion, compassion, discipline and of course a lot of patience. I have got the best times in my life in the classroom, I have met best people in teaching field, I have students whom still adore the concepts of Biology I thought them. I could never think of a better career then being a TEACHER!
Written by IMU Biomedical Science alumna, Salini a/p Mohan Kumar.