Sticky Note - Malaysia

Education: BSc.H, BEd (I/S) at Queen's University

Year Teaching: 2

Subject and Grade: Science. Grade 7-8

My travel experience: I never really left North America before teaching here, other than being in Hong Kong on my alternative practicum. Now, I have travelled Malaysia extensively, visited the Philippines, Singapore, and even hopped over to Ireland for a friend’s wedding! This year, I have plans to go to Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, and Nepal. I think I’ve caught the travel bug…

I decided to teach in Malaysia because it is a technological hub in Southeast Asia, and hosts a very interesting blend of cultures.

My biggest fear about moving abroad was not being sure if I’m going to come back.

This year, I am most excited about teaching the course for the 2nd time through - getting to change around some material and improve on what I had before. Having this all planned gives me a little more time for extracurriculars within the school too!!

5 must have items I packed in my suitcase:
1. Deodorant
2. Hair elastics and clips
3. 220V adaptor plug
4. Some type of waterproof shoe to wear in the rain
5. NOT pants. No pants are needed here. I have worn pants once, and it was a bad decision.

Famous, must-eat delicacies from Malaysia:
- Nasi lemak, one of their favourite rice dishes all wrapped up in a banana leaf.
- Teh tarik, black tea with condensed milk (everything here has condensed milk in it… be careful!)
- Satay, delish.
- Roti canai, a flatbread sensation

Malaysian cuisine has many tasty Chinese and Indian influences in their food, as the culture has been made up of people coming from those countries. There is a wide range of food stalls and restaurants around that serve every kind of food from Southeast Asia! I’ve found that contrary to being a home, it is much cheaper to dine out - not necessarily healthier though!!

Most excited to explore Borneo (the island part of Malaysia). I realize there are 1000 places to go outside of the country, but I keep being brought back to Borneo! Huge jungles, lots of hikes, indigenous peoples to speak with and learn from.  

One word to sum up your first year teaching: Bonkers

Favourite Memory from First Year Teaching: Organizing and attending the grade 7 overnight trip to go White Water Rafting - for some students, it was their first time in the woods! Seeing their faces go from absolute FEAR to PRIDE from getting all the way down the river was fantastic.

Professional Goal This Year: Be more mindful about accommodating the special needs of students who require them, by reading up on them, conferencing with students and parents, and working with their homeroom teacher.