In line with the celebration of Teacher’s Day 2022, the Corporate Communication Division of the Ministry of Education shared insights with the Bulletin from teachers who started their careers in the 1990s.
Three educators reflected on their teaching journeys and looked back at some notable memories as well as obstacles they had to overcome along the way.
Recalling the beginning of her career in 1998, “In the 1990’s, there were limitations in terms of teaching aids. The use of an overhead projector required more effort from the teacher and we needed to be more creative in terms of combining the elements of colours, drawing and writing materials so that it could attract students’ attention to the lesson,” said Pengiran Dr Hajah Norkhairiah binti Pengiran Haji Hashim, who began teaching in 1998.
She is now an assistant professor and Director of the Halalan Thayyiban Research Centre at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali.
“In terms of teaching and learning, the use of information and communications technology (ICT) tools was very minimal.
“We had to be more creative with our ideas and activities to maximise learning interactions,” she shared.
“We interacted with students from different backgrounds, levels of knowledge, attitude and personality as well as religious beliefs.
“As an educator, we need to keep abreast with the students’ generation and continuously improve teaching skills creatively and innovatively whether it is using up-to-date teaching aids or using appropriate strategies and techniques to ensure students can learn effectively.
“Students are also human. There might be times when they are dealing with difficulties in their personal lives. Hence, we need to be sensitive to these changes as this is part of their growth.”
Meanwhile, Hajah Zamratul Arpah binti Haji Hassan who teaches sciences at Sayyidina Abu Bakar Secondary School said, “It was a much simpler time when I started my career in 1995.”
“Back then, the teaching method we practised was ‘Chalk and Talk’. It was enough to just give notes to your students and teach them accordingly. Nowadays, with the development of ICT and the widespread use of computers, iPads and mobile phones, the new generation of students are more focussed on utilising these as teaching aids.”
Before the widespread use of mobile phones, one of the challenges was to be in contact with students’ parents, she said.
“When there was an emergency involving students such as when they fell ill, it was the responsibility of the teacher to send the student home. This shows that teachers had an enormous responsibility in ensuring the well-being of their students,” she said.
Brunei Darussalam Leadership and Teacher Academy’s (BDLTA) Hajah Nor Irniwati binti Haji Ismail is an educator whose teaching career began in 1998.
“When I started, teaching strategies focussed on the use of textbooks and the teaching devices that were commonly used were overhead projectors, blackboards and chalks. We also asked questions and students could volunteer to answer the questions,” she recalled.
“Nowadays, we need to provide differentiated learning tasks for different levels of students and there is a plethora of teaching materials available online that can be used as resources to support teaching and learning.”
Speaking on some of the obstacles back in the day, she said, “Challenges happened on a daily basis.
“Your daily tasks could be overwhelming, hence it was essential to communicate effectively with your school leaders and colleagues to share information and resources.”
She added, “We had to be aware of those around us as well as our own goals. It was also important to continuously grow and improve your competencies to deliver high-quality teaching.”