Chan Wan Ling, 2002, 5Sc1
As an assistant lecturer in the Foundation Studies Centre at UTAR Kampar, I teach foundation students before they proceed to their degree course.
If someone has told you that lecturing is lucrative and ‘cosy’
(flexible work schedule with lots of free time)
THEY ARE either CRAZY or LYING!!!?
This job is demanding, but I have chosen it for a reason.
As someone who grew up without much guidance,
I know that a moment’s worth of education
can make a lifelong difference.
Basic pay for fresh graduates like myself (without much experience and qualifications) starts from RM 2,200. Lecturers do not have fixed working hours. Instead, we work under a flexi-hour structure. We can work lesser hours, but we can also work longer hours.
In addition to teaching, I set and mark exam papers and assignments, judge presentations and invigilate. Lecturers ada BANYAK and MACAM-MACAM punya administrative work; we record attendance, generate performance reports and review course structure to ensure teaching materials are up to date.
Often, I have to use my free time at night to prepare for the next day’s classes. Exam periods are worse, in addition to invigilating, I mark papers through the night, until I am filled with more coffee than blood. But I do what needs to be done… because the sense of joy I get from seeing my students succeed, is worth all the endless hours of work.♥
For those interested in joining me in this field, the basic requirements are a degree in any field with a CGPA of more than 3.0. As an academician, good results are paramount. For career advancement, besides accumulating teaching experience, we are required to continue our masters and publish journal papers.
I accidentally put down the wrong course during Uni applications.
The WORST mistake of my life,
turned out to be the GREATEST BLESSING…
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
– James Joyce
I am from 5S1, class of 2002. After SPM, not knowing my options, I continued my studies in F6 Biology as I was weak in Physics. It was during those two years in F6 that I decided to become a teacher.
When I applied for university, all my choices had to do with Education in Science or pure Biology, except for one: Pembangunan Manusia (Human Development) in UPM. I had always been interested in human psychology, physiology, so I included this course simply because I had extra columns. Till this day though, I don’t know why I placed it that high up on the list, the fourth choice. Perhaps it was because I was confident that I would qualify for the preceding choices.
Unfortunately, I did not do well in STPM.
When I received my offer letter, I was so disappointed. Human Development? – the course I put down simply because I had extra space – was the course I was assigned. I thought I had missed my only chance at becoming a teacher
Again, not knowing what other options I had, I went for it. After two weeks in UPM, I was shocked again! I realized that I had gone into the wrong course. Instead of Pembangunan Manusia (Human Development), I had actually filled in Pembangunan Sumber Manusia (Human Resource Development) during my application. One word made all the difference. Because transferring to a different course would cost me a year, I decided to carry on with the mistake. Thus, I became an arts student. I finished my three-year degree and graduated with rather good results.
My CGPA of 3.9 though, was not the greatest blessing…
In those three years,
I discovered a strong interest in the social sciences.
After graduation, I returned to Ipoh to take care of my parents. With limited job choices in Ipoh, I worked as an electronic purchaser in a manufacturing company. It was not a job I wanted. I found it hard to handle, my manager was not satisfied with me and I was one of the worst performers in my department. For 11 months, I simply could not relate to the job. That period was one of the darkest times in my life. When I found that I could teach in the private sector, everything changed for the better.
I sent my application to UTAR Kampar for the position of assistant lecturer. After six months of patient waiting, they finally replied. I got the job.
This job is challenging, but after working for more than two years, I find that I derive satisfaction from my students. The encounters with nasty students who confront me in public, who try to cause me trouble, who have an obstinate refusal to study are balanced by wonderful students who surprise me with a secret birthday party, who write me encouraging letters and also (ahem) occasional ♥ letters.
Seeing them strive to do better in their studies is the greatest reward. Seeing them achieve more in life gives me a great sense of purpose in what I am doing. I believe in education; I believe that learning is a life-long process.It does not only happen in a classroom. It can happen anywhere, even when you are day dreaming.
do not be discouraged when you make mistakes
because they can turn into opportunities.
I made a stupid mistake when I chose my degree course but I did not give up, believing that I could still make the best out of this mistake. Today, I am grateful for this mistake Three years of studying Human Resource Development built my foundation in basic educational theories and actually prepared me for this lecturing job and my future. I am currently pursuing my masters in Youth Development. I quote Steve Jobs’s Stanford speech:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward;
you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to
trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Looking back, I know that all things happened for a reason. My life and my mistakes were never a waste.