Teaching: On Troublemakers In Class

teaching is equal to learning - friend taken photography

I was quite shocked when I entered a classroom full of laughing and noisy students for the first time. My shared teacher told me to “beware of the boys”. I thought it was going to be just a regular noisy class and she was just exaggerating. But to be honest, the class was a disaster! It wasn’t just some noisy class.

Being in the class was quite irritating. But I’m a pacifist. I didn’t want to make a direct rude encounter. So I patiently taught, and noticed that among the boys, there was one kid played the role of the leader of the pack 😛

Among the commotion, I thought, what would Wahyu did if he was in the exact particular classroom facing kids like them. Wahyu is one of my best friend, an educator, a project manager for an NGO, a therapist, and a writer. By putting myself in his shoes, suddenly I knew what to do. I kept teaching, trying to get the sympathy from them, not feeling mad, ignoring tolerable bad conduct they’re doing, trying to understand that they might have done that because of exhaustion from school, praising them if they made a good work, and encouraging them to do their best. I also tried to gain support from the pack leader. By doing that, I slowly understand that teaching is not only about transferring knowledge. Often, it’s not only about knowledge, but it’s about attitude. Our attitude as a teacher. Teaching isn’t only about being the most knowledgeable in the class, but being the best facilitator to bring out the potentials in our students.

Happy teaching 🙂

The Quad Squad

It was on November 25, 2011 that all of us was officially accepted as an English teacher in ELTI. Even though we became acquainted with each other before we signed the contract, it was when we got accepted and are undergoing training sessions (which will last until next week), we became closer. And now, I have found 3 new great friends. This post is dedicated for them.

Tinus Eska

He was born in Kupang, and has lived in many places in Indonesia, including the U.S. for around 8 years, that’s why he developed his pronunciation well. We nicknamed him “the serious one”, but even though he might looked quite serious, actually he often shows himself as an open and funny person. He is also very creative when it comes to class activities, and quite resourceful. I often feel emotionally closer with him because, among the four of us, we both came from non-English majors. He loves public transportation, and that’s why I bumped him often on my way to ELTI.

Wahyu Riyadi Herjito

He has never left Jogja (province) all his life. He was born in Bantul, and has lived almost his entire life there. Wahyu is a helpful and funny friend. Tinus described him as someone whom you’ll look for if you arrived in a room full of strangers, referring to his friendly appearance and easy-going personality. Well, I have to agree with Tinus. Wahyu is also the only one who shares unusual interests with me, except for Dangdut, which I don’t quite like, yet apparently he enjoys very much.

Andita Rahmaliliana Ekaputri

Andita was born in Lampung, but actually she is of Javanese descent. She’s the only woman in our group, while also the only women in our batch. Considering that ELTI seems to need more male teachers, we hit the right composition. Andita looks very mature, calm, and patient, which might be resulted from her new marriage (among us, she’s “the married one”). She is also very resourceful. We ask her questions regarding English grammar, especially when I and Tinus have questions about it (since we both didn’t come from English major). She went to the same college with Wahyu.

On the other hand, they describe me as a cheerful, patient, funny, passionate, energetic, and playful guy. Hmm… 🙂

One surprising fact is that all of us are of the same age!

Life issues

Life has provided humans with abundant amazement and plenty options. You can live it with your own ways, in accordance with your own personal uniqueness.

But life also offers us issues to deal with…

Everyone has their own issues. I dealt with what profession should I choose, considering that I don’t want to be a doctor and I’ve always liked language up to now, and that working or pursuing a career in linguistics/language is a very hard turn for me.

Some of my friends deal with their sexuality. Some others deal with having the right partner/lover.

What would be your issue? And how do you plan to overcome it?

Why I don’t want to be a doctor.

doing a clerkship in pediatrics in a district hospital

It is satisfying enough for me to say to my friends and family that medicine has never been my passion. But it is a long life process that took me years to answer that.

I went to med school without any expectation of what I was going to be. It was my naivete that by being an MD, I’ll get job easier compared to other profession or career. As I took a sip of academic life, I found that medicine is indeed interesting. I love basic sciences. It makes me think, it forces me to think. I also love the clinical science; pediatrics and tropical infections being the most interesting subjects.

But the problem is, I realized that I do not like the system. I do not like what is happening in the medical system right now. I met poor patients that can not afford to pay for medical treatment and they have to collect money (at the same time, “collecting their disease”) to get medical treatment. And by the time they went to the doctor, they thought that the disease would automatically cured. If it’s just a mere common cold or uncomplicated infections, I don’t mind bearing that kind of expectation. But the problem is, it’s not. Sometimes it’s liver cirrhosis, next time it’s breast cancer. And when they can not accept the reality of their disease, they said that the doctors are incompetent or the doctors are being inconsiderate because they have prepared a significant amount money.

On the other hand, the facade medicine has been influenced by expensively elaborate technologies, profit-oriented pharmaceutical companies, and the VIP rooms in hospitals. Health has become business. The poor are getting poorer, while the rich ones are getting richer. In my perspective, doctors are supposed to be able to bear this somewhat unjust reality (on a daily basis). Isn’t health are meant to be human rights? Isn’t medicine’s purpose of existence is to reduce suffering for the sake of humanity?

I’ve relinquished myself from medicine. I know now what I really want.

What do you do for a living?

Sometimes we identify ourselves with what job we have. Some would flaunt their jobs as having the most salary or prestige. Some would find a career that could suit their lifestyle.

Jobs define what you are. But instead of defining passively (by accepting the attribute attached to certain profession), we have the power to define what profession we’d like to have. We define the jobs hence ourselves.

We do jobs for a living. So choose jobs that make us live.