The theme of the Teacher Conference was Wesley Methodist Schools provide Education with Excellence. All the academic staff from all our Wesley Methodist Schools and trainers, around 176 persons gathered together for a time of learning, sharing and bonding together. There were 3 plenary speakers and 9 subject trainers. The speakers were Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik, Dr Esther Daniel, and Ms Jenny Qua. The trainers according to their subject options are Jenny Qua – Management to Principals and Vice Principals, Dr Cheah Ui Hock – Mathematics, Winston Kao – Science, Mr Sundarappadian – BM, Datin Caro- line Yong – English, Tan Teck Seng – Sejarah, Dr Esther – Creating Effective Learning Environment and Mdm Premi – Primary school and Ms Low Mai Keok – Physical Education.
Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik gave the Opening Address on ‘Above and Beyond’. His message emphasized how teachers impact the lives of the students they teach and that there will be times when they need to go Above & Beyond the normal call of duty. The teacher needs to be authentic on the inside, having integrity in moral character, principled in actions, trustworthy in dealings and accountable at all times. The teachers can do so if they are transformed on the inside. He encou- raged the teachers with this “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God”.
Dr Esther Daniel’s presentation was to help the teacher to discover himself/herself as a teacher and to develop his/her own teaching philosophy. She was able to lead the teachers to achieve her objectives by getting them to discuss and share in groups such questions like “Why do I love teaching?”, “What is the essence of the subjects that they teach?”
Ms Jenny Qua presented the closing talk on “Who are we?” She shared the history of Methodist schools in Malaysia and the significance, privilege and legacy of a teacher. She expounded on the identity of a teacher by using the acronym of TEACHER. In short, a Methodist teacher is one who is Trusted by MCOE and the school to touch the lives of students. He or she is to Educate a child to want to learn, he or she is Authorised to guide and to correct a child, to Challenge their appetite to do their best, to Help each child knowing that they are precious, and to Enlarge their dreams and ambitions and must know that he or she is Raised by God for such an honourable duty. In all these, a Methodist teacher must practise the four core values of God-centredness, respect for life, integrity and excellence with humility.
The trainers imparted their expertise by leading the teachers in their groups to improve their knowledge and skills to deliver an effective classroom teaching. Besides this, we had game time and a talent night where the teachers also showed their hidden talents in singing, dancing and drama. It was a time of fun and making friends. We also took a session to carry out a retirement service for Madam Chia Loy Tian as she ended her seven and half years’ service as principal of WMSKL International on the 30th June 2017. 29 teachers who have been serving in WMS for over 10 years, 20 years and even 25 years and above were each awarded a certificate of appreciation and a small gift.
We thank God for this WMS Teacher Conference where the teachers were able to come together for a time of learning, bonding and sharing. It was a meaningful and profitable time together and it was wonderful to see teachers - young and old, different ethnic groups bound together by the same desire to pursue excellence in their teaching for future generations.