Prepare for Practicum

  • 'A teacher effects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops'. - Henry Adams

    'They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel'. - Anonymous

    'I have come to a frightening conclusion.
    I am the decisive element in the classroom.
    It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
    It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
    As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.
    I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
    I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
    In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis
    will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized.'
    - Haim Ginott

    Robert Brooks (1993). 'The Impact of Teachers: A Story of Indelible Memories and Self-Esteem'

  • Our beliefs about a child and how he learns guide us to help him be the best that he can be. The Singapore's Philosophy of Education:

    • Every child has intrinsic worth; he is a person in his own right, with his thoughts and beliefs. It takes patience and perseverance to nurture the child as his beliefs and value system take shape. Like a sapling, he needs scaffolding to stay rooted while given the space to grow. 
    • Every child can learn and achieve. He has his own needs and abilities, and develops at his own pace. He needs guidance to build his strengths and achieve his goals. 
    • A child learns well when there is order and discipline. He also needs care and encouragement to explore and excel. A judicious balance of the two creates an environment conducive for learning and growth. 
    • A child’s learning should be developmentally-appropriate. There is a suitable age for what is taught, how it is taught and how much is taught. This will help a child develop confidence and motivation for learning.


    Whose Child Is This?
    'Whose child is this?' I asked one day
    Seeing a little one out at play.
    'Mine', said the parent with a tender smile
    'Mine to keep a little while.
    To bathe his/her hands and comb his/her hair,
    To tell him/her what he/she is to wear,
    To prepare him/her that he/she may always be good,
    And each day do the things he/she should'.

    'Whose child is this?' I asked again,
    As the door opened and someone came in.
    'Mine', said the teacher with the same tender smile.
    'Mine, to keep just for a little while.
    To teach him/her how to be gentle and kind,
    To train and direct his/her dear little mind,
    To help him/her live by every rule,
    And get the best he/she can from school'.

    'Whose child is this?' I asked once more,
    Just as the little one entered the door.
    'Ours', said the parent and the teacher as they smiled.
    And each took the hand of the little child.
    'Ours to love and train together.
    Ours this blessed task forever.'
    ~ Unknown

  • Not Just A Teacher, But A Friend
    © Darby
    I had no where to turn, had no where to go
    this is just something I think you need to know
    I don't know what made me trust you
    I still remember the day when I told you what I've been through
    I thought I should run away, go hide in a hole
    but then you really brought out my true soul

    As each day grew longer
    our trust became stronger
    each time I wanted to cry
    you stayed there right by my side
    then I moved to the next grade
    Boy was I afraid
    that our trust would slowly fade
    but I was wrong
    we are still strong

    even though sometimes you don't have time
    you at least ask me if I am fine
    even though sometimes I am not
    I feel like I have just been shot
    I smile and say yes I'm alright
    then I walk away and your out of sight
    I'll just have to wait
    I still have my fate

    I am so glad
    that you were there when I was sad
    and this is what makes you
    Not just my 7th grade teacher, my friend

    • Reflect on why you made the decision to become a teacher

    • Review what you have learned in your courses in NIE, e.g., theories of child development, understanding motivation, classroom management, pedagogies, etc

    • Make sure you know the content of your teaching subjects

    • Collect resources, e.g., video clips, lesson plans, newspaper cutting, comic strips, etc.

    • Attend the practicum briefing

    • Find out about your posting

    • Contact your principal and supervisor

    • Get to know your school and the neighborhood

    • Understand the practicum structure and assessment procedures

    • Download the necessary documents

    • Prepare your cv and portfolio presentation (if relevant)

    • Find out about policies and procedures

  • To do well in practicum, you will need to have the 5 'P's.

    • Professionalism

      • You are a member of staff

        • be involved in all aspects of school life

        • conform to the school ethos

        • subject to school/MOE rules governing staff conduct

      • You are a teacher

        • dress and act like one

        • be PUNCTUAL for school and classes

        • plan and prepare your lessons diligently

        • write detailed lesson plans for every lesson taught

        • submit your lesson plans to your CTs in advance so that they have time to give feedback

        • mark and return students' assignments promptly

    • Positivity

      • Have a ready smile and be genuine

      • Be willing to learn from your SCM, CT, NIES and peers

      • Take criticisms in your stride

        • it's part of the learning process

        • don't come across as being defensive

      • See problems as they really are, and not worse than they need be

    •  Proactivity

      • Be prepared to handle the unexpected

        • 'Anything that can go wrong will go wrong' – Murphy's law

      • Take charge of situations

        • Ask for help if you don't know where to get resources or don't know how to do something.

        • It's your students, your class and your lesson, NOT your CT's, so prepare your materials, brief the lab technician and check the equipments.

    • Passion
      Good teaching is as much about passion as it is about reason. It's about not only motivating students to learn, but teaching them how to learn, and doing so in a manner that is relevant, meaningful, and memorable.

      'Teaching is not a profession; it's a passion.
      Without your passion and dedication,
      our children's future would resemble a sunset instead of a sunrise.
      Your days are long and often difficult.
      Thrive on your passion, and enhance our world's tomorrow.'
      Copyright © 2003 Linda A. Podojil

      'Teaching is not a profession; it's a passion.
      Without passion for your subject
      and a desire for your students to learn and be the best in the world,
      then we have failed as a teacher and failure is not an option.'
      Copyright © 2003 John F. Podojil

    • Perseverance

      'Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.' ~ Samuel Johnson

      Perseverance Poem 
      'When things go wrong as they sometimes will; 
      When the road you're trudging seems all uphill; 
      When the funds are low, 
      and the debts are high 
      And you want to smile, 
      but have to sigh; 
      When care is pressing you down a bit- 
      Rest if you must, but do not quit. 
      Success is failure turned inside out; 
      The silver tint of the clouds of doubt; 
      And you can never tell how close you are 
      It may be near when it seems so far; 
      So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit- 
      It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.' 
      ~ Unknown