Photo illustration: Tony Liong
My name is Imas. I work as a teacher in one of the public elementary schools in Tulungagung Regency, East Java Province.
As a child, I never dreamed of becoming a teacher. I just trust the flow of life. I still clearly remember the advice from a Muslim scholar: Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. Because of that, I have always been passionate about going to school and studying.
I did not come from a family of teachers. My father and mother were farmers who did not have their own rice paddy—commonly called farmworker. My brothers worked as a trader, a farmer, and a mechanic. Yet, I have always enjoyed learning and going to school, and my family was always supportive of that. They wanted me to study hard to get a better job.
Admiring my elementary school teacher
When I was in fifth grade, I admired a teacher named Ms Susi (not her real name). She was very patient and smart. I remember Ms Susi once told us about the trick to solve math problems if we forgot the formula; to use logical reasoning. She also advised us to genuinely study because we’d never know which knowledge would be more useful. It occurred to me to be like Ms Susi.
Every time I learn and understand something new, the more I feel unintelligent and become even thirstier for new lessons. Also, whenever I can answer someone’s question, I would be pleased. It means that people can understand the information that I convey.
I find that being able to get people to understand the information that we convey is an exceptionally pleasant challenge. The feeling prompted me to choose the Department of Primary School Teacher Education (PGSD) in college. I wanted to have the opportunity to teach children. I think teaching children is more fun because they are amusing and have high curiosity.
After completing my undergraduate study, I joined the Pre-Service Teacher Professional Education (PPG) programme to develop my teaching skills. Along with a series of exams at PPG, I participated in the selection for civil servant candidates (CPNS) and thank God I passed.
For me, being a teacher is a very noble profession and is a gift from God Almighty.
* This note was written by SM, an elementary teacher from East Java Province.
** All writings published in the Teacher's Notes are the views of the author, have gone through editing process for popular writing purposes, and do not represent the views of the RISE Programme in Indonesia or its RISE funders.