Columnist

Tasneem

Tasneem teaches primary school English in a national school down south. She loves turtles, Bukowski and orchids.

The will to vote

MAY 3 — In recent articles, I wrote about how I applied to become a postal voter. It was done at the very last minute, on the day Parliament was... READ MORE

To (postal) vote or not? (Part 2)

APRIL 9 — Due to my husband’s work commitments, we had to change my travel plans to May. I was relieved. At least I now know for sure that I would... READ MORE

To (postal) vote or not? (Part 1)

APRIL 8 — Deciding if I wanted to vote was not a hard decision. I voted for the first time in 2008. Even though the candidates I voted for did not... READ MORE

‘Merdeka’ from fear

AUG 31 — Reading the news — especially the recent court ruling on the two statutory rape cases where the rapists were freed — I couldn’t help but... READ MORE

This IS our way

MAY 11 — As a student, I joined a few peaceful rallies to support various human rights causes during my few years in Australia. None was met with... READ MORE

Bad teacher

MAY 4 — 2011 was a tough year for me. I had a hard time trying to cram three years of English in less than nine months. The UPSR was in September.... READ MORE

Love thy children

APRIL 20 — I was on duty last week so as usual my colleague and I waited at the gate to supervise the kids going home. It was already 7pm and it... READ MORE

So who’s afraid of a little injection?

APRIL 8 — Last week was a pretty busy week for us at school. We had the nurses visiting us to administer immunisation shots to the children,... READ MORE

A bit of kiss (and kiss, and kiss) and tell

APRIL 1 — We have a serial kisser on our hands!  There is this eight-year-old boy who goes around kissing girls, his classmates usually. His... READ MORE

The ugly truth

MARCH 11 — Cici, a colleague of mine asked if there were any houses for rent in my area. She was looking to rent a house, preferably in an area... READ MORE

‘Hantu’ in the loo

MARCH 4 — My class is usually after recess so the kids would go to the toilet before we go start. This one particular girl, Nani, had refused to do... READ MORE

Reading opens up the mind and heart

FEB 24 — During my trip home last January, I managed to sneak away a trip to a very famous street in Penang called Chowrasta. Why? This is the... READ MORE

All in a day’s work

FEB 2 — I walked into the open hall and saw this black lumpy thing that looked like a Snicker’s bar that someone had trod on lying next to the... READ MORE

A day of surprises

JAN 10 — The first week of school is always a little bit intimidating, especially when it means dealing with Year One children. I was made Year One... READ MORE

First-day jitters

JAN 5 — I am writing this on the first day of school in the comfort of my own room. It is now eight in the morning and it feels a little strange... READ MORE

Keeping up with the digital kids

DEC 8 — Some time last year, I wrote something about how social networking websites allow us to communicate with each other with greater ease now... READ MORE

Playing Mummy

NOV 28 — This year, I was elected class teacher for the second last Year Six class. I must be honest and say that dealing with 12-year-olds wasn’t... READ MORE

SAPS: Boon or bane?

AUG 28 — If a teacher you know has been a little bit curt and short-tempered with you these past few weeks, don’t worry. It’s not you. It’s... READ MORE

Teachers are not machines

MARCH 13 — About a week before Chinese New Year, I found myself with a sore throat. Every attempt to talk would leave me rasping like I was on an... READ MORE

Licence to mistreat

FEB 27 — I noticed it was almost 2.30pm and so decided to call it a day. While I was at the office about to sign out, I noticed a couple sitting on... READ MORE

Flicking the M-switch on

FEB 18 — A couple weeks ago, I bumped into the mother of one of my ex-students. I used to teach her son a couple of years ago before transferring... READ MORE

Bringing the dictionary back

FEB 11 — Back when I was on the other side of the fence (as a student, not a teacher), I used to spend hours poring over the pages of my dad’s old... READ MORE

Growing pains

JAN 16 — Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur will always hold a special place in my heart because that is where my maternal grandparents’ houses are... READ MORE

2011: The year of possibilities

JAN 11 — The year 2010 was a year full of surprises. It started off a little wobbly but later became what I thought was a very good year for... READ MORE

Worked up over work ethics

NOV 23 — It will be the end of the school term soon. This also translates into... READ MORE

111110: D-Day

NOV 15 — When it was announced that the results for the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) were to be announced on November 11, some of my... READ MORE

Are we not native enough?

NOV 6 — The government’s decision to employ the services of 375 English teachers who are native speakers was met with mixed reaction among my... READ MORE

Not all children are born equal

OCT 19 — “Where’s your book?” I asked, eyes squinted at the little boy, a little peeved that he still didn’t have the exercise book I had asked him... READ MORE

Fighting germs, one song at a time

OCT 10 — Young kids are not hygienic at all. They put all sorts of things in their mouths and wipe their noses on their sleeves, school ties or... READ MORE

Share if you care

OCT 5 — This incident took place around five years ago but it bothered me so much that it stayed in my head. My friends and I were students then,... READ MORE

Torn between right and wrong

SEPT 4 — Yesterday, I confiscated some firecrackers from my students. Apparently, they had bought it from one of the school van operators who also... READ MORE

Working in Wonderland

AUG 25 — Reading can be the beginning of love. The beauty about reading is that two people reading the same book will come away with different... READ MORE

Craving for home

AUG 15 — Quite honestly, I have no problem living away from my parents. Although the trip back to Penang can be quite long and tiresome, but since... READ MORE

The joys of childhood

AUG 11 — Growing up, playtime for my siblings and I meant getting out of the house and actually doing something. Our father would insist that we go... READ MORE

A blessing in disguise

JULY 31 — It all began as a favour to my mother. I was just back from a camping trip and at the time, was at my friend’s house, waiting for my... READ MORE

The perils of marking

JULY 22 — Each day I have four English classes to teach. Each class can last between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the day’s timetable. So each... READ MORE

Finding a balance

JULY 13 — My boyfriend says I am neglecting him because I am either on the computer, typing away on various websites, or on my BlackBerry, sending... READ MORE

Not always a bed of roses

JULY 5 — My boyfriend arrived in town recently and I was of course more than happy to have him here. Being in a long-distance relationship, we try... READ MORE

‘Adult’ is anjing!

JUNE 5 — It was the last two periods of the day and was my last class to teach before we all head home when the last bell rings at 6.20pm. The kids... READ MORE

Couple troubles

JUNE 1 — If you are in a relationship, maybe you will agree with me that an argument once a while keeps a couple close to each other. When couples... READ MORE

All in a day’s work

MAY 23 — This year’s Teacher’s Day celebration was the third time I have participated as a teacher. Coming back to school but being on the other... READ MORE

Trouble in the night

MAY 14 — Living in a flat can be… interesting. I lived in one for two years, and if possible, I would not like to live in another ever again. Not... READ MORE

The last drive home

  MAY 9 — Reading through the news about the recent tragic death of young Aminulrashid Amzah in Shah Alam, I could understand why he kept driving... READ MORE

Homework woes

MAY 2 — When I was still in school year ago, I used to hate homework with a vengeance. It took away from my time to do fun stuff, like watching... READ MORE

Road bullies are rubbish

APRIL 24 — Littering on roads seems to be something of a common behaviour I see happening in Malaysia, and I must say I am appalled by such blatant... READ MORE

Menu minda

22 APRIL — Waktu rehat merupakan waktu kegemaran anak-anak murid saya, selepas subjek Pendidikan Jasmani. Sebagai anak-anak kecil yang masih dalam... READ MORE

The real truth about teaching

APRIL 5 — Young teachers make more today than they did before, so claimed an article entitled “Jealous of A Teacher’s Salary” published in Utusan... READ MORE

Driving home a point

MARCH 28 — Last week, I had Jason Derulo, David Guetta and Justin Bieber (in case you don’t know who they are, these men are Top 40 singers)... READ MORE

Lessons for our children?

MARCH 17 — So it has been two years on. Where do we go from here? What will happen in the next two years before the coming of the 13th General... READ MORE

Our 1 Malaysia

MARCH 14 — As an English teacher, I could not help but be in awe of our 6th Prime Minister’s spoken English. I was watching Dato’ Seri Najib’s... READ MORE

Love pillows and friendship

MARCH 10 — Do you have a Facebook account? If you don’t, then I’m sorry, you’re just not that cool. Facebook to the current society is like the air... READ MORE

Bitter spinster sister. Not.

MARCH 3 — So my sister is getting married in a few months. Yes, my younger sister. And no, I am not jealous at all about it. For some reason... READ MORE

Flat out!

FEB 17 — I used to live in a low-cost flat alone before I moved to live with friends earlier this year. I had been living alone since I moved to... READ MORE

The tuition dilemma

FEB 10 — A few weeks into the school term and I have already received quite a few phone calls from parents regarding after-school tuition. The last... READ MORE

Tidak kenal maka tidak cinta!

JAN 27 — Minggu ini minggu kedua sesi persekolahan tahun 2010 bermula namun terasa seperti sudah lama saya kembali bertugas sebagai seorang guru... READ MORE

Zombified no more!

JAN 13 — It is 8am and I am still at home, sipping my cup of Milo, watching Oprah on telly. Please don’t be jealous; I do not have to report for... READ MORE