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Excellent Teacher (ET) or Guru Cemerlang pronounced in Malay is an

award given to teachers who are regarded as experts in their field of teaching
and subject matter. This promotion scheme for teachers was introduced in 1993.
In the past, teachers who fitted the criteria were promoted to the post of
principals, vice principals or education officers. In getting promoted, the teacher
seemed to be moving away from teaching in the classroom to doing
administrative work. This means teachers who were dedicated and expert in their
subject matter were lost in the systems; their skills and talent were inaccessible
due to their promotion. ET award ensures that even if the teacher is promoted,
he/she will still be teaching and his/her knowledge and expertise can be used by
the local schools in the district. The Malaysian Ministry of Education has defined
ET as teachers with excellent personality, knowledge and skills, excellence work
performance, communications, and an excellent potential
The objectives of the Excellent Teacher Promotion Scheme are as follows:

To acknowledge teachers who are excellent in their field or subject

To improve the quality of teaching
To be a role model to other teacher
To enhance school excellence by utilizing the experience and expertise of

the Excellent Teacher

To expand horizon of promotion in educational services
To promote teachers without leaving teaching behind or changing to

administrative duties
To give promoted teachers opportunity to get promoted to a higher grade
In order to know more about the development of an Excellent Teacher (ET)

my group members and I did interview with one of the Excellent Teacher which is
now a music lecturer in IPG Tawau Campus. He is Mr. Mohd Rozlan Bin Ismail.
He has been in education field since 1989. Now he is 50 years old with
qualification in DG 48. Mr. Rozlan received his Outstanding Service Award in
2006 and Outstanding Teacher Appointment in 2008.

Trotter (1986) has put forward the theory of the five stages of development
for a person to be an expert in his field of work. The five stages of development

The novice level

The advanced novice level
The efficient / competent level
The skilled level
The expert level
Trotter (1986) argues that teachers need many years of experience and

shift to the skilled and only a handful of them will achieve progress at the expert
level. Pre-service teachers in Teaching Degree Program may be moved from the
novice to the advanced novice and start heading to the efficient level when they
become teachers in school.
Advanced Novice Level or Competent Level begin when the teacher get
the exposure to the actual situation of the school. Experience and exposure to
the realities of school can help further deepen understanding of novice teachers
about the needs and demands of the teaching profession.
The next stage is competent or efficient level. This is the stage when the
teacher achieved the skills in their respective fields and the teacher had a
certificate or a degree in teaching to meet the eligibility requirement. Competent
level begins when the teacher accept an offer of appointment as a teacher.
Besides that, to get to this stage the teachers require between two and five years
of teaching experience and at the same time being open to new learning or ready
to receive additional training in service. At this level, teachers begin to recognize
more and more the principles and concepts out of context and elements with
respect to specific situations. They also begin to have the ability to solve teaching
and learning problems they face. Besides, competent teacher can investigate
their own practice through reflection that may sound, I have tried this, but the
result is not what I want. What should I do now?

From the interview we did with Mr. Rozlan, he has the characteristics of a
competent teacher in terms of the personal, pedagogical techniques and its
intellectual. At the beginning of his career as a teacher, he was given the
responsibility to teach Form 1 to Form 3 for subject Music at Sekolah Menengah
Kebangsaan Sultan Yahya Petra I, Kuala Kerai. Throughout his teaching practice
at the school, the characteristics of effective teachers we can see is his
management style in conducting any activities related to the field of music.
Among the activities carried out by Mr. Rozlan is on Sunday, he will be
conducting a nasyid. On Monday, he will be conducting a gamelan. On Tuesday,
he will be conducting the choir. On Wednesday, he will be conducting the band.
Meanwhile on Thursday, he had song poetry activities. The students who are
participating in these activities are those who do not have basic in music.
However, this is not an obstacle for Mr. Rozlan. With a strong interest and effort,
students are able to follow all of the activities carried out by Mr Rozlan well until
they could play a musical instrument and know how to throw a voice or sing
properly. In this case, we can see that the characteristics of an effective teacher
in the person of Mr. Rozan proven. He knows on how to use his time wisely and
manage it properly.
Trotter theory also states that effective teachers must have high intellectual
competence. From the management of time, Mr. Rozlan has successfully
managed student performance reports with updates and all teaching plan and
strategies documented well in his document and portfolio. Although Mr. Rozlan
active in the field of music, he never neglected his duties in the classroom. Mr.
Rozlan is a teacher who can trace learning problems facing by students. He also
plans variety of tools and teaching aids as well as variety of methods and
techniques of teaching and learning process for students of various abilities. He
constantly improves himself as an educator.
At this stage, he made many improvements in its teaching and learning
through reflective thinking. For example, if he finds his students with learning
difficulties are hard to overcome, he did not give up instead he will work hard to
find the suitable strategies and teaching methods for his students. The process

of evaluation and re-evaluation of the teaching and learning process is important

to identify the weaknesses and strengths of the teaching. Through the practice of
reflection, he was more efficient in pedagogy to avoid the same mistakes to be
repeated again.
What is an expert teacher? According to Garmston's article, "Becoming
Expert Teachers", there is a process in professional development as educators.
He notes that a school's support can be implemented. "The question is how can
schools best support and accelerate this journey for more teachers", (Journal of
Staff Development, 1998, p 1). Malcolm Gladwell claims it takes 10 000 hours of
sustained and deliberate practice to become an expert in a particular skill
whether it be chess, playing the violin or basketball. For teachers, this would
amount to 10 years of classroom practice. What is pretty clear though, is that
teachers get better and better through practicing and refining their repertoire of
teaching strategies over the years. And the better teachers do this with greater
focus and determination it is not left to chance. These teachers are self
motivated and engage in constant and relentless deliberate practice. Hence,
People become expert teachers by reflective thinking and always try and develop
a lift of important qualities that represent expert teaching. They are not the
product of sudden insight.
Expert teachers have expert knowledge. There are 3 types of expert
knowledge, contents knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and pedagogicalcontent knowledge. When organising the expert knowledge, expert teacher tend
to have deep structure while novices only on surface structure. The lesson plans
of an expert teacher are more interconnected and can provide more developed
content based examples. Expert teacher can advocate effectively for their
teaching approach, can compete effectively for limited school resources and can
work the system to obtain needed services for their children. Expert teachers
are efficient. They expert well-learned skills and this allows them to handle more
information per unit time than novices and can handle the information with less
effort. Besides, expert teachers have creative insight. They experts frequently
redefine a problem, providing insightful solutions. Hence, by teaching overtime,

teachers become expert by learning from experience, teachers become export by

growing in efficiency and teachers become export by developing their insight.
Below is the characteristic of an expert teacher:
1. Interesting - varied approaches.
2. Keeps students focused.
3. Organised lessons - Well planned
4. Able to present info in varied ways
5. Understanding and empathetic
6. Confidence in student
7. Enthusiasm
8. Content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge
9. Availability
10. Good public speaking
11. Confidence
12. Patience
13. Non-judgemental
14. Gives feedback and allows for improvement
15. Reflective teaching
Overall, expert teachers have a broad base of knowledge and experience,
they can motivate students, they can manage behaviour, they are creative and
most importantly, they can do reflective thinking.
In the step of becoming a skilful teacher, a teacher must have reached the
best level in the field of work in various aspects. Through our interview results,
Mr. Rozlan have high skills in the filed of Music. This skill was acquired through
experience during his teaching in the University of Sultan Idris and during his
tenure at the school. Although the subject of music is not the core subject in
school and do not require students to pass the exam but Mr. Rozlan successfully
guide his students to comply with the rules and maintain the level of learning.
Activities that were carried out by Mr. Rozlan to discipline his students to perform
routine effectively to facilitate learning. He also regularly check on his students'
work thoroughly, accurately and give positive comments to his students to

encourage further learning. He also gives guidance lessons to his students

beside his working hours. Activities that were designed by him for his students
always stimulate students thinking skills; plan their lessons well and ultimately
improved students learning outcomes. It shows that Mr. Rozlan successfully
carried out his activities of curriculum that related to the subjects were well
planned and implemented with full of commitment. He was able to increase
participation, interests and performance of students.
He is also good in his communication skill. He has a good communication
skill which makes him able to understand his students need and can adapt to the
needs of the current situation for his students. Students do not have any fear of
shy when facing with him as his relationship with his students just like friendship.
This is the kind of relationship that he want so that he can make his students
learning to become more dynamic and comfortable. In addition, he has the skills
of using various musical instruments. Using musical instruments in his teaching
and learning process is not something strange for him and his students. Although
he is good in his musical skill but he also attended various workshop courses at
different levels. Thus through the skills, he was able to improve his presentation
skills, assessment and classroom management.
Besides that, he is also heavily involved with activities outside of school.
His skills are not focuses on music alone. Among his involvement as a music
teacher, he was able to success the program like Perarakan Citra warna Perak
(2000), Persembahan Konsert Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (2005), involve
in the success of BPG Music Concert (1997), held Performing Arts between
Ministries in conjunction with the National Day (1995), and more. However,
among his accomplishments, he is proud to receive the Outstanding Service
Award (2006), won the choir competition at the national level (2007) and many
more. In addition, he also served as national coach for takraw for ten years
starting from 1990 until 2010.As an educator, Mr. Rozlan has demonstrated
himself as an excellence individual with self-confidence, moral, trustworthy and
responsible. He was able to manage himself tidily, ready to share and
collaborate, and always be open and positive thinking.

The next stage based on the stages of mastery is the master. William
Buskist, a distinguished professor who studies teaching and learning at Auburn
University, and his students have codified some of the attributes of a master
teacher. The qualities of a master teacher in Mr. Rozlan are such as being
enthusiastic, high standards, and caring. He is very enthusiastic about his
subjects in school which is music education. He said that to be a master teacher,
one need to love or at least care about the material he or she is teaching. In
addition, he also talked about the differences of a professor and a master
teacher. According to him, in music field, a professor only master one musical
instrument like piano but a master teacher is proficient in all instruments such as
piano, guitar, violin, and so on. Thus, he claimed that it was difficult to be a
master teacher, but once you are one of it, you will be proud and passion in your
teaching. Next, a master teacher needs to have high standards. Master teachers
are friendly to all but friends with none; an invisible line of evaluation exists that
cannot be crossed. Mr. Rozlan did touch about being friendly and also the
boundary between a teacher and students. This proved his characteristic as a
master teacher because he is able to set a high standard between his students
and at the same time, being friendly with them.
Furthermore, he is also a caring teacher. He shows concern for student
welfare and learning during his teaching time in school. Master teachers make
clear that they care about what and how well students learn. Even though he had
to attend many outside of school activities and programmes, he always ensures
that his students can master the teaching and learning session. He also made an
effort to have extra music class during the weekend or in the evening session. He
knows that being a master teacher takes time, effort, drive, and attention to detail
but he never complaint because he appreciates the title of master given to him.
Master teachers are not born, they become. They become primarily by
developing a habit of mind, a way of looking critically at the work they do; by
developing the courage to recognize faults, and by struggling to improve. (Kane,
The journey from being novice to master is not just a matter of learning
new intervention strategies. According to Mr. Rozlan, he never stops to learn
even though he had reached the master level. He added that once you have

reached mastery, you have got to keep practicing to stay sharp. Even thought he
already in his fifties and not teaching in school anymore, he always find ways to
improve his knowledge and skills by involving himself in many courses.
Therefore, it is important to remember that we all learn by doing. A famous quote
by Confucius, says, I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I
understand. Research agrees, and shows that we retain in memory 10% of
what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we hear
and see, 70% of what we say, 90% of what we say and do (Grinnel D., 2014).
So, in order to be a master, it is important to keep improving our own ability by
doing and practicing on what we had planned.