The humble journey to The Creator: After all, we are just a tiny bubble in the ocean





Saya meletakkan lesson untuk generasi Y/millenial ini memandangkan ramai pemuda-pemudi zaman sekarang iaitu di dalam generasi Y/millenial seperti saya, hatta yang terpelajar sekali pun, kurang ilmunya tentang adab berkomunikasi. Lahirnya generasi SMS & Internet yang hanya mahu mengejar masa tetapi terlupa tentang adab dan tatasusila berkomunikasi, semuanya dipukul sama rata, apatah lagi kalau kita mahu jadi pendokong Islam.

Lesson 1: Susah sebenarnya nak jadi orang tengah (messenger). Bukan main taram je sampaikan segala maklumat yang dipasskan oleh orang lain, tapi kena pandai-pandai tapis, kena fikir-fikirkan dulu sesuai atau tak sampaikan maklumat itu dan ini atau to the extent tak perlu ceritakan. Banyak adab dan tatasusila yang kita perlu fikirkan, cara menyampaikan dsb.

Lesson 2 : Pilihlah perkataan yang sesuai dalam semua situasi. Bukan semua tempat sesuai untuk cakap aku dan ko, walaupun dalam majlis itu ada kawan-kawan yang sebaya. Ada yang perlu cakap saya dan encik X, encik Y sebagai menghormati majlis/program.

Lesson 3: Apabila kita nak buat kawan dengan seorang yang baru kita kenal, talk about your and his/her background. This is what we call the art of blending the communication. Try to find similar interest, and talk more about it. Bila memilih perkataan ganti diri e.g. aku, ko, saya, awak, abang, kakak…look first at his/her acceptance.

Lesson 4: Pilihlah perkataan yang sesuai apabila anda ingin berbicara. Tak semua orang boleh menerima satu laras bahasa. Bila berbicara dengan orang tua, orang kaya, orang sederhana, budak kecil , semuanya perlu menggunakan laras bahasa yang sesuai. Nilai intelek itu bukannya pada IQ anda, tetapi sejauh mana anda mampu menyampaikan ilmu anda dalam bahasa yang mudah difahami oleh sesiapa sahaja.

Lesson 5 : Orang Melayu dahulu tinggi adabnya, manis budi bicaranya. Yang pentingnya, bijak menggunakan common sense. Kita jarang meletakkan diri kita dalam kasut orang lain. Adakalanya kita meletakkan kepentingan menyelesaikan kerja kita mengatasi keperluan orang lain, maka akhirnya aspek ‘common sense’ dikesampingkan. Remember to balance two things: people focused & task focused!

That’s all for now. 🙂

What is your practical life aim?

Somebody asked me, where do I find the passion to do what I’m doing now. I answered the query like this:

1. You have to look at the bigger picture what you’re doing. Ultimately, everything that we do is to please Allah Taala. May Allah forgive us with our wrongs and all the deeds that we put effort to strive will be piling up all the hole of sins that we made earlier.

2. My wife Putri Nurizatulshira had made me enlightened recently. When I was at my low point, she made me realised that what matters the most is we do things that Allah pleases with us. We have to remember that at our adult age, we spent large number of hours for working, that is where we want to get halal rizq to feed the family. Sometimes we have to be away from our family, is it worth it if we just do it for the sake of money, promotion or power? In addition, going over some shortcuts or backdoors to get the promotion or fulfilling our working KPI for example, is it worth it?

3. The same thing when we talked about our DNA. What is our values when it comes to our ibadah of hablum minannas? Should not we be doing work that contribute to help others be it in anyway, instead of just thinking about our own KPI? Instead of chasing things that we’re not sure whether it will be counted or not as part of the ibaadah.

4. That’s where my motivation and passion lies. I know that in Malaysia, good education is a critical area for us. Even for me, it is beyond the importance of improving the economies of the nation. Once we give wrong education direction, few generations will be ruined. As such we’re accountable when we make the necessary changes.

5. I found that our society is lack of critical thinking and ability to synthesise information due to the ability to acquire high order thinking skills. I found that we’re lack of good values in ourselves, not many of us learn the right values via formal education, perhaps it was the parents who put attention on it, but maybe it is still lacking at school and higher institutions because we’re very adamant on academic achievement

6. To fix this, I need to equip myself well with the right knowledge. I learn engineering not only for the technical competency but I learn the leadership

skill. And when I’m particularly concern about education, I have to make myself verse on the subject matter, hence the reasons i need to expand my knowledge further.

7. I believe that I cannot do this alone. I need support. I need more people to be part of the changes, marching together to go against all odds. Hence the reason why I passionately shared with others, especially the academia who are so comfortable on their own chairs to come down together and educate our students well. And I know that if I spread it out beyond my institution, we’ll see it become systemic in nature, and we’ll have more people who are equally passionate to change our future generation.

8. The job as the academic staff has to go beyond making its institution achieve the ranking and what not. We can be very strategic to achieve what we want on the paper, but are we really making an impact to the society out there? Or perhaps we’re just the ivory tower who’ll soon become irrelevant to the society? We must bring ourselves down to the people. We must educate, because as the academia, we’re educator first, our discipline second.

9. As such, getting promoted until I become a professor or meeting the KPI is just the intermediate for me. It is not my ultimate aim, I usually don’t give a look to that, but as best as I could work wholeheartedly to get His blessings by making the right transformation not only to this university, but with the hope that I made the right contribution to the society and nation.

10. Looking at that vision, made me never tire of doing my task passionately. Insha Allah, I know that if I’m persistent to what I’m doing, if I acquire the grit (the passion and the perseverance to do what I want to do), I am sure Insha Allah I’ll be there.

11. So here you go my life’s aim. Being a professor? Sure why not, but that’s not the end.

Tips for SCL Implementation

Over the past few years I had been holding CETaL’s Head, also becoming the practitioner of SCL in my own class, there are several things that I noticed that I learned over the experience I had. As such, I’d like to share with all of you prior to the start of the semester, so we can improve our classroom deliveries.

1. Start small, and gradually increase it over time. Don’t overkill it.

Some people observed that I have been doing things very fast, moving from active learning towards PBL etc. I have a reason for that. If I move slow, it is difficult for others to move because I’d not be able to share much examples. Thus, if I do it fast, I can try to enhance my experience doing it, share with all of you so you can start at natural pace. The key important point here is , increase gradually over time. Please don’t do at my speed unless you’re being trained well. If you just attended active learning training once, do not push yourself to do beyond the books end division model, such as doing JIGSAW for example. The Jigsaw activity is a formal cooperative learning technique, where you’ll learn the details in the second part of the training (cooperative learning). I notice that because of the lack of explanation or the way how the staff conduct jigsaw, students found it to be inefficient because they felt that they had to do the teaching and the lecturers are not teaching them at all. So the techniques such as think pair share, brainstorming or pair note taking are reasonable enough to be conducted as the intermediate activities in between 50 mins lecture.

Please do not conduct any kind of problem based learning (PBL) or project based learning adopting cooperative/collaborative learning or flipped classroom if you had not attended the training once, or at least your teaching partner has already attended them and able to coach you doing the facilitation. If you’re doing it alone, restrain yourself from doing it unless you’re trained. You can still achieve the stretch (I know that many want to achieve great, which is good!) of doing active learning, by simply adopting some simple tools in your class (such as padlet, kahoot, Socrative, mentimeter etc etc), and disseminating your practice either at the departmental level or CETaL COP.

2. Don’t simply do SCL- we need to reflect and measure its effectiveness 

One typical failure of SCL or any kind of intervention being done in the class is our failure to self-reflect the activities that we’ve done and how it has improved the students’ learning. Usually, we have a tendency to use this and that techniques and fail to see whether the students are really getting something out of it. Thus, it is important for us to gather some reflection from the students for example (1 minute paper for example), look at their performance be it in cognitive, psychomotor or affective domains and self-reflect ourselves, what could be done better or what goes wrong with what I’ve been using before. On the SCL implementation techniques, there’re more than 1000 scholarly papers out there that you could refer on their successful implementations and we can always learn from these scholars to improve our deliverables.

3. Collaborate among the instructors

I noticed that some of the courses divided the groups of students and two or three different lecturers will teach from week 1 until week 14 for different groups, and there are also practices where turn teaching is adopted i.e. split 14 weeks into two, the first half covered by one lecturer and the next half covered by other.

For the first practice, consistency is very important. If one class is doing AL, it is advisable for other classes to use similar practice too. Students will complain if they found that one lecturer do extensively compared to another lecturer.  Therefore, it is important for the instructors to collaborate in terms of the assignment given, type of activities etc etc. As we’re aiming for collaborative students, why in the first place that we’re not collaborating and be in SILO?

As for the second practice, it is not advisable to do so as the students will perceive the first 7 weeks and the last 7 weeks are totally disintegrated and they’ll see it as a different subject. How extensive the second part lecturer had to do depends on how good is the understanding of the students in part 1. At the same time, the lecturers failed to create a good relationship with the students within the short period, hence deteriorating the quality of the classroom management. This will create more resistant among the students if the second part use SCL while the first part is highly teacher centred.

Collaboration among the instructors be it for one single subject or to come out with integrated project for few courses, are advisable. For the past two years we had been working on integrated PBL/project based learning, and we had reduced tremendously the burden of a single lecturer preparing everything (rubric, assessment, case study, communication with students etc.)

4. Don’t be deceived by the complaints

We know that some of the students are highly resistant to SCL approaches, but there are only small numbers of vocal students. If and only if the complaints come from the majority of the students in the class (which perhaps indicating that we had been doing something not right in the class), we should realise that we cannot please everyone. There are students who will not like it in the first place or they are at a bottom part of the trauma cycle (you’ll learn more about this trauma cycle in cooperative learning training), therefore, we should always try to motivate them. Using some TED talk from the YouTube may help to boost their motivations in learning. Perhaps this link can be useful to you (check first with the class whether they’ve watched them or not)

Life is a marathon not a sprint 🙂

Remember that while 10% are angry at what you’re asking them to do, the remaining 90% will one day come to you and say Thank You.

5. Provide CLOSURE

There are reasons why sometimes you receive a large number of complains in the class for some type of activities that we conducted. Firstly is because the amount of work given is burdening and taxing the students, and we had not given them appropriate scaffolding. Assigning a huge chunk of project at week 1, leave the students to deal with it without proper scaffolding/guidelines, and expect them to submit in week 14, no one will like it. Hence a proper meeting to check their progress from time to time, to motivate them to complete it is very important. Peer rating is also important, there are ways to do it, and you’ll discover more in training part 2.

For any kind of SCL activities, please do a proper closure. The students need assurance of what they had learnt is correct. Otherwise they’ll be left hanged and unsure whether they’re learning correctly or not. Please allocate 10 minutes to recap back what they had done and what they had learnt before allowing them to leave the class.

I think that’s all for now. Will share more later! Thank you.


Assoc. Prof. Mohammad Tazli Azizan, PhD, DIC

Head, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS

Seri Iskandar 32610


05-3687611 / +60(0)-134355007


Semasa zaman undergraduate di UK dahulu, saya menyedari bahawa saya tidak mendapat kepuasan pembelajaran yang sebenar. Hampir keseluruhan pensyarah saya hanyalah pensyarah, dan mereka sangat ‘teacher-centred’ dalam pengajaran. Dengan berlatarbelakangkan pendidikan dari Malaysia yang sukar membuka mulut untuk bertanyakan soalan yang kita tidak fahami, I’ve been deprived from learning. Apa yang saya tidak faham di kelas, memang saya takut nak soal balik pensyarah. Belajar kejuruteraan kimia pada saya membosankan kerana saya tak dapat ‘clear picture’, apakah itu kejuruteraan kimia.

Saya hanya mampu mengatasi segala salah faham saya dan ketidakfahaman saya dalam kelas melalui study group. Mujur kami ada study group di kalangan kami pelajar Malaysia. We formed the group ourselves, we assigned each other a course that we must never ponteng throughout the semester. By the end of the semester, every member should prepare notes/mindmap to be photocopied and shared with others. So during the study group time (we’re fortunate to have one month study break before the exam), each of us take turn to teach the members. Tapi bila part yang sama-sama kami tak faham, kami hafal je pakai mnemonic LOL. Nak jumpa pensyarah pun segan.

After we taught each other, we did the tutorial given to emphasise our understanding. Then we divided an exam question each, try to do ourselves and show to each member how we did that and if we’re stuck, we discussed. Towards the end we came out with a compilation of answer scripts that we inherited to our juniors for their revision.

Cuma yang saya seronok lebih part chem eng ni bila masuk final year, buat plant design because my mind is activated. Hands on sendiri. Discussion among group members. Barulah nampak apakah kejuruteraan kimia yang sebenar. Subjek yang paling minat masa tu Process Safety sebab subjek tu la yang pensyarahnya pakai visual (video) untuk analyse case study pasal Bhopal 1984. Itulah pengalaman pembelajaran paling aktif yang saya pernah lalui dalam kelas masa zaman sarjana musa.

Afterall, masa belajar dulu kena banyak belajar sendiri. Untungnya kami, almost each time of the exam, markah exam kami yang duduk dalam study group ni memang dekat-dekat, kecuali kalau tiba-tiba blank dalam exam tu different story. Alhamdulillah saya berjaya dapat border line first class honours.

Nak dipendekkan cerita, chalk and talk learning pada saya menyebabkan saya rasa bodoh di dalam kelas and becoming superficial learner sebab masa tu saya hanya nak score untuk exam. Itu pun tak score jugak. Kalaulah dianjakkan masa dan pensyarah-pensyarah saya buat student centred learning, pastinya pengalaman saya di dalam kelas akan lebih bermakna kerana saya berpeluang kenal rakan-rakan lain seramai 60 orang itu dan get to learn together. As I said earlier, I was deprived from learning. Hasilnya cuma campur dengan kawan-kawan Melayu dan housemate je lah. Pensyarah saya pun saya rasa tak kenal saya pun.

Jadi pada asbab itu, apabila saya diperkenalkan dengan student centred learning (SCL)ini sebagai seorang pensyarah, saya tak berpatah balik semula ke belakang, kerana saya mahu menyediakan pembelajaran yang bermakna kepada pelajar saya. I told them why I did this and I told them that I care for them hence why I am doing this.

SCL here you go. I am all the believer. I’ll sell you out all way long.


When I was first appointed as the Head for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETaL) at my institution, I had zero knowledge about what are the things that I suppose to learn and what are the things that I suppose to do. CETaL in addition was a recently established center looking at improving the T&L at UTP and I had no idea how this particular center should be running.

You see, I just completed my PhD in Chemical Engineering in May 2014 and I was appointed to be the first Head of CETaL in September 2014.

However, I noticed that the management offered me this position because they saw that (and I admit too) I have a strong passion in teaching and learning and how badly I want to transform the teaching and learning experience at the university and how badly I want to shape my future generation. I want to make sure that the students are not spoonfed even they have been doing this for the past 12-13 years of their formal education. I want them to become human with humanities and values, and not just an intelligent robot. I clearly mentioned to the management about this during the interview session.

So I took up the challenge. Initially, I tried to garner important information such as who are the key important people in this area, something like well-renowned professors who are good at this area. I consulted them, I went to the trainings of modern pedagogy. I approached these experts to be my mentors. There is a professor who is good at engineering education and modern pedagogy like Prof Khairiyah from UTM, another few who are the expert in enabling technologies for T&L like my sifu Prof Abd Karim Alias and Dato Prof Amin Embi, another one who is excellent in Scholarships of Teaching and Learning like Prof Raja Maznah. These mentors are highly instrumental to me and to CETaL and now they are still our CETaL advisory panel members.

On top of that, I went to several trainings on technology for T&L. Then, before I imposed or preached others on how good is this and that pedagogy and technology etc, one important thing that I do is I tried it in my class. I ensure that I perfected my skills in T&L. Whenever I ventured into something new from the trainings that I attended, I must make I sure I tried and experienced it first before others. Only this I believe that, I can convince others to jump the train with me. I showed to my colleagues the evidence that I gathered when I made even small changes in my class.

I knew that there are other faculty members at my institution who are equally passionate to T&L. I seeked for help like from Subarna Sivapalan and Emy Elyanee Mustapha to be the cluster leaders of CETaL. Within the first few months, I roped almost 20 faculty members from different departments in and appointed them as the founding members of the center. They are also instrumental to the center to help me steering CETaL.

From time to time, we had more and more faculty members joining us. More numbers during the sharing session and community of practice. I called myself as Dora the Explorer. I have to wander around looking for the best practices in T&L, bring the speakers in and train us. I’ll be the one who must sit in that seminar room to listen for the first time from these speakers.

Once the management had decided to transform the T&L using a dedicated roadmap, I have my team ready to train others. From no one knows what is active learning all about, we have now 20 trainers who are actively training other lecturers, graduate assistants, lecturers from other universities and the teachers at schools because only that we can make change, not only at our institution but to the whole nations. We’re also now will be having additional 20-30 trainers in cooperative learning, problem based learning and flipped classroom, for which we are developing our own modules by next year, Insha Allah.

The journey is still long. From a tiny space that we have, now we have a dedicated building to conduct all the transformation plan needed to be done. Now, we received many submissions of SoTL grants proposal, and the lecturers are creative and innovative in their own classroom, Alhamdulillah.

Additionally, I have a strong support team consisting of my clerk and executives even they are not many, who ensure the planning will go on as planned. I want them to believe that they have their own strength that need to be nurtured, and I’ll make sure their strengths and passions are aligned with their job role.

If in the near future I would not hold this post anymore, I’ll still championing and advocating for the changes in T&L not only at the university, but also to the society to make then aware that our education has to change. This position makes it easier for me to advocate for changes, but it doesnt have to be perpetual for me.

As a career advice for a new hired manager, I can summarize my experience holding my managerial post as follows:

I. Take the post if you are passionate on it

Ii. Lead not manage- be the one to see the possible dangers before others.

Iii. Own it

Iv. Empower and nurture trust to others to make the changes with you, and dont do it alone.

V. Identify others strengths and leverage it

Vi. Seek help from the experts

Vii. Empathise others and listen to your colleagues

I still have more to learn, and more to improve. Please make do’a for me, to be successful in dunya and akhirat.

Thanks for reading this!

Making Your Flipped Classroom Succesful

Flipped Classroom seems to be the ‘in-thing’ and the buzz word right now among higher education educators. It looks like a good model where all the students and the teacher collaborate together to accomplish the learning tasks. However, there are many things that we as the educator need to do in ensuring the flipped classroom is successful. I’d like to advise my fellow colleagues to do/acquire the followings if you intend to conduct flipped classroom in the near future:
1. You are passionate enough to do it and driven intrinsically to do it rather than wanting to do it because of your KPI, social and peer pressure, or you feel you want to do it for fun, or for the sake of experimentation without putting the right soul. Many failed flipped classrooms are not due to unavailability of tools but due to lack of intrinsic motivation among the faculty members, hence making them being mechanistic rather than putting soul in doing it.
2. You have high degree of perseverance to do it and would not return back to your traditional teaching style whatever it turns out to be. Students who come from spoonfeeding culture will be complaining a lot to you when they have to watch and prepare before the class. They’d want you to repeat again whatever that you have put in the video. They’d demand you to explain all over again as if they have never watch the video. They’d claim they paid their tuition fees for you to teach them so they can sit back and relax at the back while listening to you. 
3. You acquire high motivational skills to motivate your students to watch the prepared videos prior to their class session. You need to constantly motivate your students to acquire self-learning skills. You need to show powerful motivational materials so they could acquire more grit and be perseverance in learning so they’ll be able to grab more skills throughout their learning journey. You need to be able to inspire them so they know and do what it takes to be somebody in the future. 
4. You undergoes several training before you intend to do it. At least a 2-day workshop that will train you how to prepare good videos, quizzes and activities in the class. You wouldn’t want to repeat the same thing over and over again because there’ll be no element of surprise in the class and you don’t want to be predictable. 
5. You inform the students and convinced them throughout the semester why you are doing this and why you believe flipped classroom will work for your students. You don’t want to end up putting so much effort but students see little values in what you are doing. So, activate them as early as possible. Prepare them to embrace the change.
6. You show to your students that you care for them and will be alongside with them to assist them in their learning. You dont want your students to drown in the sea without direction. After all, this is your new job scope, facilitating your students learning. Get to know each and everyone in your class. Get to know their names and it gives them big appreciation that you know them. Treat your students like the adults and tell them that you are going to treat them like adults. If they misbehave or rude, they are no longer an adult.  
7. You build the material together with your teaching partner or you build it slowly. Start small. Don’t overdo it too.
8. You reflect from time to time on how to improve your delivery rather than just doing it. 
9. You provide a collaborative environment in the class where the students are free to mingle with each other to solve your assigned problems. Here, you’ll need to be creative in coming out with the right activities. 
10. You do it for the sake of your students learning, not because you want to do it for your own fame and for writing a publication. 
11. You love what you do, and you take high ownership of the success and the failure of your flipped classrooms. 
12. You treat your students as the individuals, rather than numbers. When at least a student come to you and saying thank you for whatever that you did for him/her in shaping him/her, give a pat to yourself at the back. At least you have touched a soul. 
So, please don’t do it if you dont have passion to do it, because it will just bring a bad name in the pedagogy itself.

It requires a lot of works. But if you have started doing it, go on and enrich your students’ learning experience!



I read my students’ reflections on what they had learnt throughout the semester on my subject. One thing that I could relate is, when you are trying to implement student centred learning (SCL) approach, whether the students like it or not what you taught them (with all the activities that you did in the class), it CANNOT be correlated at all to their learning, because mainly their definition of ‘like’ is way too different than what we as the educator perceived. So, if you’re doing SCL, don’t be disheartened that your students pushed and resisted the change, or even mocked you out. Just persevere. If you want your students to have perseverance, we are the one to show our perseverance first.

In my final chapter that I taught my students, I purposely conducted it using conventional lecture (with short activities in between). From their reflections, some of them said they’re glad that they finally have a lecture and happy with my delivered lecture, BUT they could not relate what they’ve learnt and many of them still said that they need to study more and it is a difficult topic for them, when actually the difficulty is almost similar with other chapters.

Meanwhile, despite they didn’t like the activities that I conducted with them using flipped classroom and PBL approach for other previous chapters, surprisingly they managed to highlight all the key important points in the subject in their reflection. I realise that the way how they define ‘like’ probably means they would probably like when they just attending lecture, sit down and listen without contributing anything to their learning experience in the class. If you do anything that push them to think more, and collaborate more, they wouldn’t ‘like’ it and accused you are not teaching them, BUT actually they learnt. (Here, you are facilitating them to become a self-directed learner, and of course initially they’ll claim the glory that if they do good, it is because of themselves, and the lecturers are not helpful! – it is ok, they’ll realise it the semester after or maybe when they start working – or hunting for jobs later)

So my fellow educators, persistent and persevere! Don’t be scared of not being a popular teacher, just because you really want to ensure your students really learn!


I’ve two experiences that I’d like to share, as a participant/student myself with regards on how, a student can decide whether to be active learner or not.

Last month I attended a conference. Most of the sessions I attended, I questioned the speakers or gave some opinions. Other participants noticed my presence, just to show how active I was as the participant.

However, in one of the occasions, I was talking personally to one of the big speaker and asked his opinions on certain matters after his speech. I was a little bit feeling intimidated when he started to be condescending and cynical about what I’ve been doing and plan to do. When I asked him questions, he showed this kind of expression that made feel scared to approach him again in the future.

The next day, I attended a workshop and surprisingly he was actually there as the speaker. I arrived a bit late and got my seat at the back. At that time, I already felt unease and I did not participate at all in any of the discussion. I chose to be a laid back person and just followed the flow. I was scared to ask question because if I do so, I might get that kind of expression again. And yes, I didn’t learn as much as I want, because I felt scared to talk to my ‘teacher’.

The other participants only noticed my presence during the break. They said to me, “We didnt notice that you’re here. You’ve been quiet!”. I smiled to them anyway.

Two lessons that I can reflect from what I experienced last month

1. You choose who you want to be. Nobody will force you to be who you do not want to be. If you are an active learner, you can choose to be a passive learner. Even if you’re forced to be active, you can be passive among the active learners. You can stay at the back and not talking and end up you’re not learning anything because you’ve already a negative mindset or some bad experience.

So students, it is all up to you. We know that for all these years we’ve been practising active learning in the class and the students i.e. your senior, did very well because they persevere. If you keep saying that this is not for you, and it is difficult for you to adapt, it is just that you refuse to move yourself out of your comfort zone.

There are more than 1000 reputable research works had been conducted to test the effectiveness of active learning worldwide and it has been proven successful. It is a matter of embracing it and believe it.

2. During the workshop, I can actually choose to be active learner, as I used to be, but sadly I didn’t. According to the framework of How People Learn by Bransford, community centred is an important lens that the teacher must not forget. If you make the students feel intimidated to you or you make the students scared of you and you shouted angrily in the class for example (like I used to do maybe 7-8 years ago) or you scold them for their mistakes you’re just making the students felt unsafe in the class to ask questions or to participate or to make mistake as part of their learning curve.

So teachers, have more patience to deal with your students. Avoid sarcasm, avoid being cynical. Be direct to them. If you feel they are being ungrateful for now, they will learn to be one if you be patience and keep reminding them. They will be the one that you want them to be, maybe not in our class, but they’ll come back to you and say thank you for whatever you’ve been doing to nurture them.

Importantly, all this work that we’ve been doing is for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of getting praised by other human being. Gambatte students & teachers!



It has been quite sometimes I did not write anything in this blog, so I am sharing my thought here.


There are six main criteria, which are interconnected to each other as far as I could recall, which need to be overcame prior to ensuring we can do excellently well in our education system.

1. Pedagogy
2. Learning Space and Facilities
3. Curriculum
4. Skills of Instructor/Facilitator
5. Student’s Readiness
6. Instructor & Facilitator’s Motivation

All of these six criteria are important. However, all I can say that the most important criteria that we need to address here is number 6.

No matter how good the trainings are, how good the facilities are, how good the curriculum is, how ready the students are and how many types of pedagogies developed, if the instructor, the faculty members didn’t have the right motivation to do it, then we are definitely doomed. This is why it is very important for a teacher or a lecturer to have the right mindset and deeper motivation to teach.

If you really want to be a teacher or a lecturer, you must first have a strong and deep passion in teaching. It is like being a doctor, if you want to be a doctor, you must feel like there is no other career suit you, only to be a doctor. Similarly, this passion must be rooted among the teacher or lecturer. If one only decided to become a lecturer just for the sake of doing research, it is highly recommended for him/her to become a research scientist, not to become a lecturer. The role of a lecturer is changing now and apparently, teaching with a deep passion is a role that we have to play. Or if you want to be a teacher, it is not because you can’t get other job then you decide to become a teacher. You must want to become a teacher. Of course in certain cases we’ve tried to find other jobs but still landed to become an academia, but it is still not too late to become passionate with what we’re doing.

If one is highly motivated to make a change in the education system, come what may. He/she will make full use of whatever resources he/she had and whoever kind of students he/she encountered, as long as he can make significant impact, at least to his/her students. He will create a relationship with his students, because there’s no teaching without a relationship.

Teaching& learning activities is not about dealing with the number of students passing or failing our course, but it is about individual development, for them to grow not only in terms of knowledge capacity, but for the lecturers and teachers to assist in terms of the right attributes and skills that they wanted or should have.

Nonetheless, we’re the one who suppose to give the right example to our students. How come if we say something that we ourselves didn’t practice in the first place?

And that require our motivation. Our own self-motivation, to change to become a better person, so we can build another generation, who are better than us.

Teaching is a noble job. Let’s us maintain it as the way it is, despite any challenge we have, despite any changes that we have in our current generation. We have to do it with full of LOVE, even it is a TOUGH LOVE.

What is a tough love?

Well, it is like putting your students to persevere by giving them complex problems to be solved, you know they will hate you, you’ll end up not getting a good evaluation (as what you expect to get), but you know, it is for a good cause. They may not like it now, but in the future, they will really appreciate it, because we shaped them to become a better person. But you’ll be with them against the tide and fall, because you have to show to them that you CARE. You dont just give them problem to solve but let them surviving alone, you’re there to guide them. That is the strongest motivation that we have to develop in ourselves, because our students will grow up to become a change agent that will change the society in the future. That’s the strength of a TEACHER.

Let us build a strong motivation in ourselves as a teacher/lecturer for the sake of our future society.

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