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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reflection # 4

It was almost six months I have gone through the teacher training at Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris or known as UPSI. I don’t felt it was like a long journey since I was enjoyed here spent my time together with my new friends and being learned new things about education field which almost different from the course I was taken during my undergraduate study which was an electrical engineering. Time was moving faster and about three more weeks for me to go for practical training. Right now, I feel quite nervous since the time that I’m most frightened of is being one step closer to a practical day. I am wondering whether I can face all the incoming challenges and hard time during the practical days with full of perseverance and sincerely or other way around. The thing that I am always thinking of recently is can I be such a good physics teacher just like my late physics teacher during my school time, Mr. Chang or perhaps just like Dr Nurul where both of them have depth and much content knowledge about physics and the way they taught in class can attract students’ attention along the lesson was carry out and make students impressed with the teaching approached. That is the question which puzzled me and revolved over my head lately. This kind of problem which is I felt that I can’t be such a good physics teacher is the main reason why I was feeling nervous to do the practical and being a teacher after I got posting soon. I found this problem after I did micro and macro teaching in Teaching and Learning of Physics subject previously.
One of the reasons that make me think that I can’t be such a good physics teacher is surely because I do not have enough content knowledge about physics. Out of 5, the knowledge that I have obtained till now was about half of it. That is the thing which makes me worried about. With a less of content knowledge, I was unable to teach my class very well during micro and macro teaching as is quite limited for me to present the ideas and information in depth about the concept of the lesson due to this problem. Perhaps, when I was acted as a student during micro or macro teaching of my fellow friends, I was failed to answer their question orderly except by referring to a Physics text book. Based on Pedagogical Content Knowledge theory, as a teacher, they are not only concern with the teaching method that they might be used during teaching session but they also be firm to gain themselves with as much content knowledge in related subject as they can before they can teach and convey the information or knowledge to their students. Perhaps, this can help students to overcome their misconception on the particular subject and students will more respect towards teacher who is knowledgeable and also will avoid teacher to say “ I don’t know” when students ask some questions. If teacher would say like that it will reveal the weakness of the teacher. Now, I realized that to be a teacher the main thing that teacher must have is a good of content knowledge.
Due to lack of content knowledge in physics, it is hard for me to probe further of students’ answer. For instance, if a student give his/her answer to my question, I just accepted the answer and just let the answer “hanging in the air” without elaborated or interpreted it in detailed or asked them back for detail answer until they give the answer in term of physics concept. Regarding to Dr Nurul, a good physics teacher should have excellent probe further skill in order to develop students thinking skill and to clarify the students’ ideas and this is one of the component that must be included in the questioning skill. But poorly I do not have much skill on this kind of component and this is the other cause which make me thing that I can’t be such a good physics teacher. I’m afraid of if this matter will make my lesson involving more explaining rather than encourage students to think and obviously it will not be the inquiry lesson. I was conscious about this problem when I did my macroteaching session when one of the commentator said that I used less of probing further skill in order to elicit students’ idea about general definition of series and parallel based on students prior knowledge.
Unable to speak English fluently is another obstacle that I feel will prevent me from being a good physics teacher. My English is just at intermediate level. Sometimes, because of the limitation speak in this language, is quite difficult for me to explain certain part of lesson in detail as there are some words that I can not translate in English during the teaching and learning session is carry out. In fact, my teaching will not become naturally as the experienced teachers since I have prepared the script what I am going to say in class. Perhaps, my job will become double as I have to think the way to make my students fully understand and grab all the content of the my lesson and at the same time I also have to translate the sentence over my mind that I am going to say next. This will cause the “aaa…aaaa...” sentence comes out automatically from my mouth during the process of translating is carrying out in my mind. According to Dr Sophia and Dr Sadiah, being a physics teacher, he/she must be able to communicate English excellently especially for those who have to teach at urban school to avoid students under estimated the capability of a teacher. Besides, teacher also can transform their knowledge to students very well. Their advised make me more aware about it as most of my sentences and pronunciations were corrected by them.
Right now, I try to identify and find the ways to overcome this matter in order for me to be a good physics teacher. First thing I have to do is to improve my English by keep practicing speaking in English with my classmates or even lecturers. Then I have to read a lot of books, articles, journals, magazines or newspaper in English rather than in Bahasa Melayu although it force me to open up the dictionary for every minutes. By this way, it will help me to learn the new English words and the meaning respectively. Perhaps, I have to switch my radio channel from 103.30 which Era channel to the Hitz frequency in order to polish my usage of English during conversation with other person by learn the new words and sentences through the conservation of the DJ. Besides, I can improve my pronunciation of English by listening to English song. In order to improve my writing skill, I have to keep practicing write in English. Regarding to this matter, I have write this reflection in English although there are a lot of grammar mistakes and the sentences was upside down or maybe the sentences of this reflection writing makes other people who read it would laugh. But I don’t mind about it because at least I have effort to improve myself and I believed that practices will make us perfect and improve ourselves.
About the content knowledge problem, I have to work hard in order to expand my content knowledge. First of all, I have to revise back on each topics of physics subject and this will make me remember back the things that I have forgotten. A part from that, I will find the information for each topic in physics from various sources such as from internet, some of references physics books not only based on Form 4 and Form 5 reference books or even from expert and experienced teacher. I have to put away my shyness in order to get information and learn something from this kind of person. Once I have much content knowledge in physics, therefore the probing further problem will not arise again and will not become the problem for me at all.
As a conclusion, in order to be a good physics teacher there must be an effort and have to really work hard on it with whole-heartedness and not only being just said it or a dream.