20th MELTA International Conference 2011

2 Comments// Posted in learning, melta, reflection by on 06.18.11.

Finally, I have the time to update this blog! I was bogged down with marking the midyear exam’s scripts and attending 3 wedding receptions during the school holiday. However, I can’t complain much as I had the chance to take a breather by attending the MELTA Conference in Kuala Tererengganu recently. Took a flight to KT with my significant one and I considered this as a professional development cum holiday. The venue for this year’s conference is at Primula Beach Resort and I stayed at the hotel for the sake of convenience. It was my first visit to Terengganu and boy, I was blown away by the picturesque scenery, sandy beach and delectable food. Heavenly!
The conference in progress. I thought the Special Featured Session by Toh Puan Seri Wan Hibatul Hidayah Wan Ismail was brilliant. Her witty rhetoric was indeed refreshing . She intertwined her experience growing up and learning the English Language with ways she believe the subject should be taught in schools. The forum on Innovation in Global Learning was an eye-opener for me as I’ve learned that it is pivotal for teachers to have a stellar support system from the school admins and the parents, in order to sustain our students’ learning gratification. Oh yes, the Teach For Malaysia programme is brilliant as Malaysian youths can chip in to teach students from less fortunate backgrounds. Reminded me of Projek Kalsom that was carried out by the United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC) when I was a student back then.
I presented a paper entitled ‘The Fun Theory: Towards the Thinking ESL Classroom.’ Alhamdulillah, it turned out well but indeed, there’s still room for improvement. From the feedback I’ve received, a workshop session might be my next attempt as it would illustrate the theories presented more effectively. I think I’m the only teacher presenter who attempted paper presentation as most teacher presenters conducted workshops. It was heartening though, despite the lack of hands-on activity, a lot of participants approached me and gave positive remarks on the presentation. Honestly, I was a bit nervous in presenting ( I always feel the jitters whenever I need to talk in front of everyone) but hopefully, with more practice, I could improve my oratory skills. Thank you to those who attended my session and gave support and constructive criticisms. One can never stop learning in order to improve oneself, no?
One of the perks of attending conference is networking with like-minded teachers who are passionate about professional development. Puteri was my junior back in MPIK and she is known for her bubbly demeanour. We get along very well as we shared similar views and visions on teaching and professional development. She won the Basil Wijayasuriya Award for her workshop presentation on Dictionary Skills. Way to go Pu3! I met Ma, one of the Creative Teachers Showcase’s participants who is currently teaching in Kuala Terengganu. She reminded me so much of myself when I started teaching and it’s nice to motivate and share experience with the others. Saidatul is so determined to improve her teaching that she flew all the way from Sabah in order to attend this conference. Way to go!
Personally, I would encourage more teachers to attend MELTA Conference as it is a worthy investment in a long run. To me, teaching is not just about relaying information but it is about making connection. From this conference, I’ve discovered that teachers need to have strong support group from their colleagues as we can assist one another in improving ourselves. I’ve met a lot of inspiring educators that motivated me to improve my teaching skills. Datin Dr. Raja Mazuin (IPBA) was my former lecturer and she’s such an inspiring woman. Dr. Normala (IIU)  has been so supportive of what I do that I am compelled to do something about my professional plan in the future.  Dr. Kabilan (USM) paved the way for me to have a go at academic writing for the upcoming MELTA Journal. I know that I I’ve only been teaching for 9 years and I still have a long way to go. Hence, I am glad that the MELTA Conference had helped me to develop my potential as an educator. Kudos to Dr. Guna and the MELTA Committee members who have made this conference a success!
I left my heart in Kuala Terengganu. Hope I can come back to Terengganu soon. Thank you for the wonderful memories 🙂

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