This page will provide new teachers with some "old" staff practical advice.  This page is intended to be less formal but will hopefully save you some time and trouble.  

Living and Working In Malaysia  

Ideas for the Teacher Induction Program:


                  Here are some unusual oddities and annoyances of living in Malaysia: 

                   1.   It is highly recommended that you purchase a SMART phone in Malaysia.  It will help you a lot in your everyday life in Malaysia, especially with maps,                          translations and contacting school representatives in case of an emergency. There is a huge market for both new and used cellphones in Malaysia. The                        best place to purchase  

a.       Taxi drivers and haggling (arguing) with drivers for not using a meter.   Taxi drivers in Kuala Lumpur can be very inconsistent and they are not as helpful as one might expect. The use of an app called My Teksi ensures that you have a phone contact with a taxi driver but also helps with security because both taxi drivers and  Solution: get MyTeksi App

b.       Malaysia has primarily a Muslim country and beer and pork are food items that are more expensive than in Western countries. Bacon can cost approximately $10-15 per package. Beer and alcohol is higher than perhaps expected compared to China and Thailand .  There are a few places in SS15 (which is the street near our school area) and you can get beer cheaper.  You may also be surprised that you can purchase beer and wine in some convenience shops.   

c.       The lack of sidewalks and general poor infrastructure of roads and bike lanes. It is important that you pay attention all of the time because there are motor mikes and small (like Canadian dirt bikes) that people travel on.  So you may find yourself walking in a park and 

d.      The generally poor service industry – Solution: Just relax and try to not get frustrated

e.      The Non Halal Section of the Supermarkets where you pay separately

                    2.       Working with the Taylors Educational group and Candadian Pre-University program 

a.       Human resources is a department that you will have a lot of contact with and at times they can ask for documents and request items from you and can be frustrating at times.  One key piece of advice is to be patient and generally friendly to them, especially when you are frustrated.   Some other advice include:  plan ahead, budget your time-arrange for home return flights well in advance, start thinking about this 5-6 months before you plan to fly and also be nice to them

b.      A Map of the Campus showing all major areas of necessity: admissions office, exam unit, LT1, MPH, Board Room, ICT, Science Labs

c.       New Initiatives are common and oftentimes occur randomly and leave just as quickly – Solution: Be patient and don’t get frustrated (easier said than done!)

d.      A Map of SS15 showing: A/C, Maybank, Starbucks, Peppercorns, Hungry Hog, Herbs and Food, University Book Store, 7/11, Subway, Print Shops, Hong Leong Bank etc…


 Planning and Assessment and Evaluation some practical tips and suggestions for new teachers

#1.   How would I describe my long- and short-term planning process?

LRPs at beginning of semester - use curriculum doc’s suggested hours to overlay how many classes per unit onto academic calendar.

Short-term – daily lesson planning, preparing required materials/ resources days prior.


       #2.   How do I identify the learning goals and criteria for success for each lesson? Do I share and/or clarify the learning goals and criteria at the                      beginning of each lesson?

      Ontario Curriculum Docs provide learning goals.

      I write the “purpose” of the lesson on the whiteboard at the beginning of every lesson.

     #3. What strategies am I using to identify the learning needs of all students?

      Differentiated learning activities; reminders of office hours/ Student Success for students who need help; student rescue plans for those at-risk.

#4.  Are my assessment and evaluation strategies appropriate to the needs of my students, the curriculum expectations being assessed and the learning activities being used?

·         Yes! If there is more than one teacher teaching a course it is highly recommended that you consult with the other teachers early in the semester. Also, deciding on how the assessment and evaluation is conducted.      

#5.   What assessment strategies do I most commonly use? What one other strategy would I like to try?

·         Lab reports, quizzes, unit tests

        #6.   How do I provide my students with multiple opportunities for practice and feedback?

      in-class practice: peer grading & feedback

      use rubric with specific feedback/ instructions for improvement and allow opportunity to re-submit

      students do not have a lot of previous experience with the types of assignments we give, so they need clear expectations/ instructions

      the 1st assignment really needs a LOT of feedback so students can learn from it and improve for next time

      allowing multiple opportunities for reassessment allows teacher to give harsh honest & accurate assessment/ evaluation (If mark is low, then student can re-do)

      “I want you to do better, so here’s exactly HOW…”


#7.  In what ways do I give my students feedback for improvement?  How do I provide class time for students to implement the suggestions for improvement? How can I monitor the student’s use of feedback? What types of feedback has proven most successful?

      rubrics with comments

      after school session for students with low grade on an assignment to explain

      list of common errors when return marked assignments (keep list for next semester to avoid repeated errors)



#8.  How can I use ongoing assessment strategies during a lesson (e.g., thumbs up, observation) to determine if students are learning what is being taught?

      conferencing on Blended learning fridays

      explain to your partner for 2 min with teacher circulation & one-on-one discussion with student

      teacher observation


      exit cards (can be time consuming)

      online journals - read weekly (incl questions that occurred to them out-of-class/ questions they’re too shy to ask/ how they’re feeling about the course

      smiley face/ sad face - looking at quiz questions students draw a face to represent their confidence in their understanding of the question



#9.  How do I establish the criteria for an evaluation task? Could I develop criteria together with my students? How would I do this?

      Performance standards rubric

      I discuss with students before first assessment so they understand HOW they will be evaluated (and show samples of work at different levels)



#10.  How do I use the provincial achievement chart(s) to assess and evaluate student work?

      direct use of prov achievement chart standards on assessment rubric for all written assignments



#11.  Do my assessments reflect a balance of the achievement chart categories?  If not, how can I achieve this balance?

·         Tends to weigh more heavily on knowledge and communication

·         Could create assessment tasks in which only application or inquiry are evaluated (lab reports would be most likely tool)



#12.  How can I work with colleagues to become a more effective/consistent assessor/evaluator?

      meet at beginning of semester with teachers of the same course to discuss common assignments/ unit tests (& set dates)

      team marking/ cross-marking to establish clear boundaries for levels

      sharing samples of student works to agree on what different levels of student achievement look (ie. This is a level 2, 3, or 4 paper because…)



#13.  How can I use exemplars/anchors in: my lessons? My assessment of student work?  My    communication with students and parents?

·         Generally show exemplars of past student work when assigning a task.  Students observe & discuss why it is high quality.

·         Only have shown/ communicated exemplars with parents if asked (ie. Often bring along for PT days or individual meetings)


Teaching English Language Learners


                  1)      How to support errors as a normal part of the language learning process?

a.       When marking writing, don’t focus on all errors, but rather a few key areas such as organization, sentence structure and quality of arguments.

b.      Early on in the semester, make it clear that errors will happen and are encouraged for growth.

c.       Private discussions with students post assessment to discuss areas for improvement to achieve students desired academic goals.

d.      Explaining the TACK rubric breakdown, and making it clear the Communication is only one area of assessment.


                     1)      How many students in my class have a home language other than English?

a.       About 80% of students do not speak English in the home.

                      2)      What strategies do I use to assess ELL students?

a.       Provide validation for the language they are proficient in via initial class questionnaire/surveys that asks what are their languages. PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

b.      Using the OSSLT as a writing diagnostic to get a sense of their vocabulary, sentence structure and organization and look for common errors to address in a timely fashion (a couple of days after marking) PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

c.       Using student exemplars to show the difference between the levels.

d.      Modelling and scaffolding the writing process and dissecting a text for understanding and analysis. Using prompt questions.

e.      Practice tests and assignments that are not worth marks, and more assessment as (self-reflection and peer editing) and for learning (rough drafts and comments).

                 PROGRAM PLANNING

                        3)      In what ways do I accommodate varying levels of English proficiency?

a.       Electronic and audio books can facilitate vocabulary and language development.

b.      Multiple ways to illustrate content: videos, images, audio, texts

c.       Provide a word bank/glossary of terms for reading assessments.

d.      Plan activities that allow students to make inferences about unknown vocabulary by looking at context and root words.



Science Safety Guidelines  

There was a meeting on lab safety and chemical handling at main campus. Here is meeting outcomes:

                1.       Please ensure all your students are adhering to safety rules and regulations. Students endangering their own safety or safety of others have to expelled                         from labs with serious discussion of safety in presence of Science head (Joel)

                2.       First lab MUST be on lab safety, reading all the points in the document attached here, followed by getting students to sign the document and finally we                         need to keep a copy of signed safety document in Joel’s office for our record keeping, in case something happens and we need to attend court!

                 3.       Each lab now MUST start with short briefing on lab safety talk, specific to the lab of the day.