KOTA KINABALU: Her passion to teach children in Sabah and ensure that they are not left behind in getting a good education has taken Sharin Aizrulidana Samsuri, 46, thousands of kilometres away from her hometown in Kota Tinggi, Johor, in the last 20 years.
The pre-school teacher at SK Bukit Padang here said she dedicated her time to working on new ideas for early childhood education to create efficient learning environment in line with current needs.
The mother of three said she was once offered to teach at her home state but decided to stay as she loved the Land Below the Wind.
Throughout her 21 years of experience in education, Sharin Aizrulidana served as a lecturer at several private institutions of higher learning in Sabah before pursuing her interest to be a preschool teacher in 2005.
“However, I still have a lot to learn as the challenges in educating children is enormous, especially when it comes to the Alpha generation which requires teachers to constantly change teaching and learning methods,” she told Bernama.
Sharing her experience as a pre-school teacher in Sabah, Sharin Aizrulidana said it began when she underwent industrial training in a rural school to fulfil the Diploma in Education (Postgraduate Management Course) Preschool Studies Option course requirements while she was at Keningau Teachers Training College.
Her passion for the teaching profession grew after experiencing the joy of seeing little children mastering the four language skills (reading, writing, counting, and reasoning) before they moved on to Year One.
Sharin Aizrulidana admitted that the online home teaching and learning method that teachers had to implement due to the Covid-19 pandemic was a daunting task as pre-schoolers needed hands-on and multisensory learning activities to facilitate understanding of the skills being taught.
Despite the challenge, she said she continued to commit herself to the online teaching and learning sessions, and she even held intensive reading classes via video calls, one of several learning method innovations that she created to help pre-schoolers to learn.
“Besides preparing a special corner in students’ homes to make it easier for them to use the innovative materials I created, I also created learning videos which were then uploaded to YouTube,” she added.
The Business Management (Finance) graduate from Universiti Putra Malaysia said by having a positive mindset and treating the challenges she encountered in the profession as a religious obligation and not a burden, she was able to win 48 awards throughout her career, including international recognition.
One of the awards she received was the Innovative Teacher award (pre-school category) in conjunction with this year’s national-level Teachers Day celebrations.
“This is the second time I have received an award at the national level.
“This award motivates me further to continue working to educate children,” she added.