These are testimonials for Ms Helen (founder and lead trainer of Optima Teacher) from the teachers and school administrators she worked with during the five years in the Native Speaker (Penutur Jati) Program in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
From Miss Helen, I learned how to create a pupil-centered classroom. I learned that pupil needs to be actively involved in learning and not just one the receiving part. By intergrating total physical response in class such as smacking games and acting the words out, pupils can understand the lesson better and also enjoy the lesson as well.
Ms Helen is a responsible and confident mentor. She get along well with her mentees in our school. She provided a lot of resources and teaching method in our p&p.
Helen was my mentor under the Native Speaker Programme for 2 years. She is a very hardworking person and has many new ideas to help teachers to carry out activities in the classroom. I had gain a lot of knowledge learning from her especially in teaching the lower primary school pupils. Even the pupils themselves enjoyed the lessons taught and were eager to learn from her. The activities are very interesting which include all the four skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing. The activities can be improvised and adapted to suit the need of our pupils.
You are very commited in your work and very professional and you manage to motivate teachers to make the class fun, and the English teachers learned a lot from you. Thank you for your contribution.
Madam Maznon (Guru Besar)
Before I knew Helen, I already taught English through songs and games. Students enjoy the learning process. Helen come and guide us teaching through these methods too, but she upgraded us to teach in more interesting, effective way and the most important is meaningful and relevant to the new KSSR syllabus. What I love the most working with Helen is that her lessons are realistic where only simple materials are need to be prepared. This is very practical and suitable for busy teachers nowadays.
S.K. La Salle 2 Jinjang is honored to be selected as one of the school in this Native Speaker Programme. The children and teachers of La Salle 2 Jinjang are very fortunate to have Ms Olena Benedyktova as our mentor in this program. She had shared all the best skills in classroom teaching and learning. It included the effective classroom management to my teachers. That is an essential skill for every teacher especially when you have big enrollment in a class. Besides, Ms Olena @ Helen helped the teachers by equipped them with the pedagogical and psychological knowledge. The teachers were exposed to the practical aspects which included demonstrations, peer teaching and observations. The workshops on preparing the teaching materials were also the best move to instill in the teachers to use and build their own teaching aids to suit their lessons. Ms Helen has been very helpful and cooperative with the La Salle 2 Jinjang. Her dedications towards improving the quality of teaching English as a second language is commendable. Thank you.
Madam Tan (Guru Besar)
Miss Helen was my mentor for more than 1 year. I have learned a lot from her. I never had any experience in teaching English when I got my posting. She taught me a lot in how to teach English with fun. I have learned variety of activities that can carried out in the class during lesson. She also taught me how to create good activities based on the topic that will be taught.
My major subject is mathematics and English is my minor. For someone who is not really expert in teaching English, it might be a difficult task for me to teach Year 1 and I know nothing about phonics. Special thanks to Miss Helen for mentoring me very well and I am now very confident to teach English. The best thing that I have learned from Miss Helen is how to manage the class. The LINUS result showed an improvement and the kids were very excited when I come to the class because they know I have many fun activities everytime I came into their class. Thanks a lot to Miss Helen for turning a mathematics teacher to love teaching English. :)
Through this programme I really learn a lot from my mentor Miss Helen. First and foremost I learn how to attract the pupils' attention in class. And lots more I grab from Helen to improve my teaching skill in class. The most valuable and precious time we spend together throughout 2 years, the most important she taught me how to make the lesson interesting.
Anom (English Panel Head)
Saying thanks will never be enough because working with Helen is simply an inspiration. Her effort in helping teachers and pupils are commended. For me and my colleagues, having Helen as our mentor during the Native Speaker Program is worthwhile experience.
A good mentor that helps English teachers bring 'life' to their lessons. Full of great ideas that we can emulate in our lessons. Pupils ' enthusiasm toward the lessons say it all.
Tham (English Panel Head)
I learnt a lot from Miss Helen when she was our mentor in SK Sri Delima. She shared many interesting teaching techniques and ideas especially for level 1 pupils. She patiently stayed with us for many hours in school preparing teaching aids and sharing her ideas and knowledge. The best part of this Penutur Jati program was when she did teaching demonstrations. We watched her teaching and later we did our team-teaching. Which I think was the most helpful way to make us understand and know how to implement the lesson well. Thank you Miss Helen!
I am proud and glad to have the opportunity to work with Miss Helen during Penutur Jati Program (2014 & 2015). During that period, she had shown great commitment guiding and coaching the teachers. She had imparted various marvellous teaching methods which teachers can use for various situations. Furthermore, teachers are guided to prepare interesting and useful resources to be used in the classroom at a minimal cost. Pupils were always looking forward to attend her classes and they have shown enthusiasm by being attentive during lessons and participated actively.
Goh (English Panel Head)
Helen was a very helpful and inspiring mentor. Shared good books for reading and gave a lot of ideas in preparing interesting and fun lesson plans and was also open to suggestions to improve the activities in the lesson plans. I learned various teaching methods that were useful for different group of pupils according to their abilities. Helen shared many useful ways in handling students for classroom management. It helped me to manage my students systematically and saved a lot of time. She was also handy and willing to help me in preparing my teaching and learning materials. We did a lot of reflection after every T&L activities to rectify and improve them for better understanding.
I learned how to sustain pupils' attention and Ms Helen introduced a lot of hands-on activities that I can carry out in my classroom. Pupils were excited during the lessons because they felt learning English is fun. The new arrangement of chairs and desks in the classroom that Ms Helen introduced had made learning more interesting where pupils can learn and show their talents freely.
Helen, I have learnt something meaningful from you. You taught me to use simple alphabet and A-Z phonics. This idea I carried to my new school. Not to forget, you helped me in Phonics part. Appreciate your extra time although I have transferred to another school. I appreciate your efforts. Thanks Helen.
I will like to thank you for facilitating and guiding me with your knowledge and unique skills of teaching. I really appreciate what you have done. You are a really good mentor in our Native Speaker Program. It was a pleasure to have you in SK Seri Bayu.
Helen is a very dilligent and hardworking mentor. Always willing to help and always provide us with useful and creative ideas, various teaching method and techniques, which helped us a lot, especially when teaching different levels of pupils ability. She's truly and inspiration. I had great time working with her.
I have learned an useful phonics from Helen. I can teach phonics in better way and my pupils enjoy it. Of course our school English performance was improved after the Penutur Jati course. Thanks Penutur Jati and Miss Helen. Miss you!
I learned how 1) to start a class with the action (to attract student attention); 2) make student a happy learning environment, make them love to learn, let them follow teacher instruction, let them understand the game's rules; 3) proper English, proper grammar; 4) I learned to do many teaching aid and interesting teaching method. I am very happy and enjoy to have you as my mentor. I am really appreciate that knowledge you pass to me. Your enthusiasm about teaching awakened my enthusiasm too.
I love, love, looovee working with Helen @ Olena (from 2011 till 2013). I've learned a lot from her. After I finished my study in Teachers Training College, I was quite unsure in planning / selecting suitable activities for my students (Level 1). Especially when the ministry introduced the new curricular, KSSR. She introduced, helped, guided, taught me variety of fun activities. She is a very committed mentor, organized, concentrate on details in lessons, always encourage us to have lesson study, full with new fresh ideas, supportive and enthusiastic. Till now, I am using her ideas, ways in planning a lesson, and of course the activities! and I shared them with the other teachers in my school. I feel lucky compared to the other English teachers. Wherever she is, whatever she does, she will has a special place in my heart because she played an important role in my career. Thank you, Helen.. Shukran.. Terima kasih. All the best!
I have learned that we need to give the children a fun and meaningful experience to give a good memory about the lesson. What I really enjoyed when working with her is that she give us a lot idea and inspire us to explore more and to enjoy doing our job.
Miss Helen is a very responsible person, positive thinker, very creative, because she has a lot of ideas in teaching to make the pupils learn English in fun. Besides that, she also very hardworking, because she study herself always and read a lot of book to get knowledge. As l know, she is a very discipline person in her life and her career too.
Hi Helen. Thank you for your sharing and guidance while you are in my school. I have learnt a lot of thing from you especially the activities I can carried out with level one students. I enjoyed your workshop and pair teaching with you. Happy to be with you while I was in Penutur Jati program.
I am happy with Helen, because I learn lot of teaching guide from her. She give me some ideas of make teaching aids.
I enjoyed working with you. I got to learn many interesting activities which could promote the pupils' involvement and enjoyment in learning English. In term of classroom management, I learnt a few methods which could help me to control the pupils' behaviour for example, applying the three rules before the lesson. (Turn your chair, zip the bag, put the bag on the floor). Not forgetting the chant - 123 look at me, 456 quiet please.
I have learnt a lot from Helen especially phonetics, making teaching aids and valuable teaching guides. She is a marvellous and energetic teacher.
Having a chance to learn from Helen was one of valuable learning for me as a teacher. Great ideas and knowledge gave by Helen help me to be a better teacher. Thank you for your effort and time.
You are one of my best mentor ever, you guides me the correct methods of teaching. You though me how to get ready for the class with the suitable materials based on the focesed skills. Pupils pay more attention and show intrest when ever I used the method you guided me Helen. The best thing I love from you is you thought me how to prepare the material depends on the topics we going to teach. You thought me the varieties of methods teaching pupils like games, songs, face reactions, way pupils have to sit, and so many. Even till now I'm using now all these methods on my other class as well not only for my English class. Even I feel confident when I teach. I'm really very gifted for get you as my mentor. Will never forget you in my life. I really thank god to get you as my mentor. Really appreciate all your guides. I promise you, I will use those methods you guides me to apply in my lesson. My pupils used to ask me, "Teacher when Teacher Helen is coming?" they love you as well. Thank you so much for everything. Your are BEST. :)
I was exposed to new methods and ideas of teaching English in a fun way instead of the old chalk and talk. The methods that you've demonstrated was suitable with the pupils' level and it is parallel with the curriculum. I love all the ideas that you have shared with me during the sessions. Wished to get to watch more demos of yours Miss Helen. Thanks again!
I had learnt many things when I was in Native Speaker program with my mentor Miss Helen. She thought me about class management, strategies, skills and various activities in the classroom. I felt so confident conducting my lesson using the activities that she thought us. She also showed and model us with her techniques and strategies in order to arouse pupils' interest towards the learning process. She also prepared us with various activities and ideas of teaching. I had learnt many kind of things when Helen was my mentor. I was so proud worked with her.
When I reflect back, you have helped me realize the importance of constructing a fun learning. And doing that spontaneously. Thank you very much again Helen.
It was awesome to work with an experienced mentor like Helen who I can always go to for questions or advices. She helped me to boost my confidence level in English generally and in teaching specifically. She pushed me to think creatively and out of box. I was lucky to have been chosen to work under someone with experince, passion, wisdom, flexibility and kindness. I really enjoyed her company throughout the three years. Thank you Helen! :)
I had a wonderful time working with Helen. She always come up with great and practical ideas on teaching methods and techniques. She involved actively in the lesson - telling stories, jumping, dancing, demonstrating etc. She also inspired teachers to continuously make an effort to read informative materials that can further enhance and improve our teaching profession.
H-elpful, E-nergetic, L-oyalty, E-xcellence, N-ice. Thank you for all the hard work you do in guiding and motivated me in teaching. It was a wonderful activities and hands-on that all teacher could experience. You are awesome and a great mentor!
Helen, you've done a very good job. I'm so thankful for your useful lessons, workshops and guides. I learnt a lot on classroom management and how to get pupils attention. I'm also very thankful for the helpful learning materials that you gave. Thank you! J
The experience with Miss Helen was a great one. Having her as my mentor and guide has been tremendously helpful in making me a more competent and creative teacher. Her methods are very focused towards children's learning and is very much helpful even for the lower academic achieved students. As a mentor, she is very friendly, open for discussion at any time and very understanding! Great memories and it is from her that I truly became a good English teacher! Thanks.
I learned a lot from Miss Helen when she was our mentor in SK Sri Delima. She shared many interesting teaching techniques and ideas especially for level 1 pupils. She also shared ideas on how to prepared teaching aids, and together we completed our mission. Miss Helen also corrected our mistakes and gave ideas to make our teaching interesting. The best part of this Penutur Jati program was when she did teaching demonstrations .We watched her teaching and later we did our team-teaching. Which I think was the most helpful way to make us understand and know how to implement the lesson well. Thank you Miss Helen!
Native speaker program helps me a lot. We may know the content but we still not good in delivery the content in the fun way. I learnt how to guide the weakest student to say words in English. I like the story telling section because we can have various of activity to tell and pupils enjoy the story very much. Even though the program ended, I still practise all the routines everyday with my students. A lot of work but the outcomes from the students make you smile and enjoy the teaching life.
I am so grateful in having Miss Helen as my mentor. She helped me to grow in more than one dimension with introducing new strategies and ideas to capture the mind of my pupils during English lessons. She also helped my team of English teachers to complete a full set of teaching aids based on level one textbook. I really appreciate her guidance and skills she taught me on being a more versatile and well versed teacher. Thank you.
I like the way you personally coach the teacher one by one and face to face. It is also really helpful when you do the demo teaching together with the teacher in real class. Also really helpful in providing and helping with the teaching aid materials for school. Keep it up and good luck Helen!
I felt confident and comfortable during the lesson. Thank you Helen.
We have gained a lot from you especially method of teaching. Teachers go into the classroom using teaching materials that prepared by you and teachers. Wonderful teaching aids whereby pupils were able to follow the lesson well and understood the lesson taught by the teachers.
Yong (English Panel Head)
It was a great experience for me, lots of beneficial and useful lesson that can be used in the future. Skills that she taught are mostly applicable to all level of students regardless of their IQ level.
Helen is efficient in her work. She is a helpful person who is willing to share her knowledge with us. Helen is a workaholic who’s work very hard without feeling tired.
I am thankful that I have Helen for my mentor. What a blessing you are to us. Your guidance has helped challenge me physically, mentally and spiritually the last few years. Thank you, Helen.
Thanks for your guidance. I really appreciate what you have done. Thanks a lot.
Working with Helen was very motivational. She guided me with new technics and approaches to capture the pupils’ attention. Helen is a very helpful person, who is willing to share her knowledge with us at any time.
Agnes (English Panel Head)
I am so unlucky because the oppurtunity to learn from the native speaker, Ms Helen, just for a short period. She is a wonderful person and elasticly kind of teacher.. she moves like a tiger... but soft like a bread .. calm like a cloud... pure like a honey... Tq Helen... I miss you...