Berry Berry Easy is again pleased to be honouring excellent teachers who have left indelible mark on their students. For this, we will be featuring a figure definitely known to all SDJ students in the past two and a half decades. Many set of brothers have been taught by this teacher. This teacher is none other than Puan Hajah Foziah Zainal Abidin. It was once said that nobody who has studied 5 years in SDJ were not at least taught once by her. We have no idea on the accuracy of this statement, but we think it is close enough to the truth. So this interview will involve a teacher which is familiar to all ‘warga SDJ’ or Jaafarian from the past 28 years.
Berry Tokoh Guru #2 – Puan Hajah Foziah Zainal Abidin
We’ll start of with a brief biodata of Puan Hajah Foziah (as she is fondly known by students in school) before we start this light-hearted interview. This post is also the first of few post for the coming weeks as part of Teacher’s Day 2011 celebration tribute.
Biodata of Puan Hajah Foziah
- Courses: Sijil Perguruan / Diploma Pendidikan
- Major: English Language
- Minor: Pendidikan Seni Visual
- Subjects currently taught: English Language, Art and Craft (Pendidikan Seni Visual)
- Married to: Tn. Haji Jaafar Bin Ismail
The Interview with Puan Hajah Foziah Zainal Abidin
1) What do you like to do for your pastime?
2) How many years have you served as a teacher?
> 31 years
3) From it, how many years of your career have you served at SMK Dato’ Jaafar?
> 28 years
4) Why do you want to become a teacher?
> To serve the community especially children.
5) What are the most enjoyable things in teaching?
> The children – They make life colourful and keep me busy and alert. They keep me energetic.
6) Would you like to share some thought in teaching English Language in SMK Dato’ Jaafar from a normal school (1961 until 2005) to now premier school (since 2005)?
> The students are more aware and alert. Many can read and write in the English Language. They can anticipate a situation.
7) Do you use different pedagogy or techniques in teaching these groups of students?
> Yes, definitely.
8 ) How do the current students behave?
> Smart and intelligent but lack of the good moral values. (Not all of them of course)
9) Besides that, everybody in SMK Dato’ Jaafar see your effort in forming an English Corner at the old canteen of SMK Dato’ Jaafar? How much effort and who helped you in building this English Corner?
> A lot of effort, time and money has been put in. Besides that, the English Zone / Reading Corner has been monitored all the time. Credits go to my librarians. They are helped a lot in the project.
10) Coming to that, you have also held the important role in library as the most important teacher-in-charge, how many years that you have been holding this position?
> 26 years
11) What improvement have you and your librarians have done to the library? Although everyone can see the drastic changes in library, we would like to hear it from you.
- The library is bigger and has more space.
- The scanning of books for borrowing and returning purposes.
- The Internet.
12) As an arts teacher who teaches Fine Art in school, what is the most enjoyable experience?
> The students themselves – From not knowing anything about Fine Art to at least acquiring some knowledge about it. It is a great experience in life to they are so enthusiastic about art.
13) Do you face any problems especially students might not take seriously towards this subject as it is not a compulsory subject in PMR?
> Yes, but there are nothing that cannot be solved. At least, they can enjoy the lesson (to start with)
14) How would you solve this / these problems?
> Have various teaching techniques. Make it fun.
15) Last but not least, what do you want to say to our students, young teachers and Berry Reader?
- To the students – Enjoy life while still in school.
- To the young teachers – Be passionate about the teaching career (Have a passion for teaching).
- To the Berry Readers – Keep on reading and acquire quality time and knowledge.
— End of Interview —
In conjunction with Teacher’s Day 2011, one of our Berry Team Members, Jo-Han who were taught by Pn Hajah Foziah for two years between 1996-1997 would like to share his own personal experiences with her.
” Prior to 1996, Arts or Pendidikan Seni had been a lesson which I do not look forward to, not because it is uninteresting, but because I wasn’t good at it. you could consider me as a very non-artistic kind-of-student student. However, that all changed in 1996 when I was exposed to the proper techniques in learning how to write ‘huruf blok’, painting with poster colours, sketching (fruits and coca-cola cans, I still remembered), poster compositions and others arts elements. Arts became interesting and for once, I was picking up As in Arts theory and courseworks. Through the selection, encouragement and guidance of Pn Hajah Foziah, I managed to win second place in the poster drawing competition organised by Hong Leong Bank.
I must say that this played a big part in my development as a student and as a person. It made me believed that as long as you have proper guidance and the heart for it, even a non-artistic person can win arts prize. It might be nothing major, it might not even register with Pn Hajah Foziah, but this experience was something I treasured for life. (It remained the only arts ‘prize’ which I have won, which makes it all the sweeter) As such, I would like to thank my teacher for her guidance in those fun art classes.
Fast forward now to 2011, more than a decade after I left school. (I still visit the school once in a while) I am amazed that she could name me by my full name every time I see her in school. I must admit that during my school days, seeing her from morning to evening everyday (in the library and ‘sudut membaca’) did not leave any mark on my young mind. But now, I find it a source of inspiration as I realised that she virtually works from morning till late afternoons/evenings virtually everyday, since my time in the mid of nineties until present day. In fact, I believe she has been working more than the required hours since the start of her service as a teacher. That is indeed a sign of utmost dedication.
Finally, I want to thank Pn Hajah Foziah again for providing us with a nice reading environment via the library. Although I won’t go as far to say that the library got me interested in reading (I love to read), I must say that it helped a great deal in cultivating my reading habits and also saved me a lot of money from buying books as I get to read most of what I wanted in the school library. Happy Teacher’s Day 2011.”
So this is the end of the testimonial and teacher’s day dedication written by our Berry Team member. Anybody else who would like to share their sweet memories with Pn Hajah Foziah can also drop some words in the comment section. We believe that your teacher would love to hear from you.