Monday, 30 March 2020

All Thanks to English

Photo illustration: Novita Eka Syaputri


This article is part of the Teacher's Note series on memorable moments of teaching.


Every experience leaves an impression; some are good, some are bad.

I was very happy when I finished the Teacher Professional Education (PPG) programme. I’d been waiting for the time to use the knowledge I gained from the Programme. From Bogor, I went home to Semarang to become a teacher in my hometown.

Living and working in the city where my family lived was indeed convenient. However, after teaching for one semester in Atlas City, I found it impossible to apply my knowledge in the school where I worked. I was looking for another opportunity, and my destination was Jakarta.


Must Speak English

My experience as a professional beginning teacher in Jakarta, from the selection process to teaching the class, has been impressive. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the school where I work holds English Day where teachers, staff, and students wear an “I Speak English” pin and interact in English. I think it is a great programme as it is my first time giving instruction in English.

I had mixed feelings when I started teaching at this school. I had never taught in English before, but in this school, about 75% of the subject matter has to be delivered in English. I was upset thinking how I never liked English as a child. However, I set aside that feeling and started to learn again.

I once thought about giving up but then remembered that being a professional means having the courage to take risks and keep learning. Fortunately, I received plenty of support from fellow teachers and the principal. They opened my eyes to keep on learning English. Furthermore, I found ideas and motivations to continue learning and mustered up the courage to speak in English in front of the students.


Corrected by a Student

Since I just started learning to speak English, I often make mistakes, and my pronunciation is stiff. I usually just laugh when a student corrects my pronunciation. I continue to practice speaking in English at school. I always study English before class starts. I also learn English with students, fellow teachers, and other people at school.

Having to speak in English at school changes my life and affects my career. I have to modify my habits to apply my English skills in my personal life as well as when giving instruction in the class. In addition to instructing students, I can also learn from them. I couldn’t and didn’t like English in the past, but now I’m starting to enjoy and master it.

I will keep my passion for reaching my dreams and turning my inability into new knowledge, and I will master it. I will not stop at one ability. I will step out of the comfort zone and take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Because every phase in our lives can bear fruits in the afterlife.



*This Note was written by TBS, a primary school teacher in Central 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.

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