Photo illustration: Novita Eka Syaputri
This article is part of the Teacher's Note series on teaching experience as a beginning teacher.
I currently teach at a public primary school in Pagedangan, Malang City.
When I started working at this school, the first thing I noticed was its Islamic environment. Near the school, there is a mosque the locals call “miracle mosque”.
Meanwhile, the school’s facility is adequate; classrooms, a library with a vast collection of books completed with three liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. The teachers are friendly, communicative, and helpful in completing the school’s administrative tasks.
Challenges as a Grade 2 Teacher
I was assigned as a Grade 2 teacher. I took the assignment as a challenge. I have teaching experience during college and when I underwent the Teacher Professional Education (PPG) programme, although they were part of my courses.
Working as a teacher opened my eyes to the actual meaning of this profession. What I saw in the field was completely different from what I had learned in the university. The reality was that a teacher must be able to shape students’ characters and become an example for them. A teacher must also guide students to study well so they can get the best grades.
I strongly emphasise strengthening character education in teaching Grade 2. [In doing so], I use various learning media, from LCD monitors, speakers, and other media available. When teaching numeracy, I use number cards.
I also do ice-breaking activities when students are bored. I would ask them to perform some creative clapping, shouting, and singing.
Teaching Two Classes
Besides teaching Grade 2, I got an additional task to teach Grade 1, replacing its teacher who was on Hajj pilgrimage.
I faced a little bit of a hurdle when first teaching Grade 1 because the students were new to formal education. I felt I was less prepared to handle the classroom even though I had tried ice-breaking activities. The students kept running around in the classroom despite my repeated warnings.
After two weeks, the [Grade 1] students began to follow the lesson well.
Based on my experience as a primary teacher in the past two months, I believe I still have much to learn to become a good teacher. I need to collect my hours to reach the destination.
*This Note was written by EW, a primary school teacher in East Java.
**All articles published in the Teachers' Notes are the views of the authors. They have been edited for popular writing purposes and do not represent the views of RISE Programme in Indonesia or RISE's funders.