Photo illustration: Tony Liong
This article is part of the Teachers' Notes series on lessons learned from one year of teaching.
People say experience is the best teacher. My teaching experience for the past year has become the best teacher that encourages me to do better in years to come. I have had a lot of experiences from being a teacher over the past year.
When I was first assigned as a Grade 5 teacher, I was hesitant about whether I could do the role well. I had to learn about the subject matter and teaching method suitable for Grade 5 students. The experience of preparing students for various competitions was also an extraordinary learning opportunity.
Everything I've been through has a positive effect on my journey as a teacher. I realized that being a teacher was more than teaching a class and then going home. A primary school teacher is an educator who has to assume many roles for the students, from being a friend, mentor, counsellor, to others.
Apart from teaching a class, communicating and collaborating with parents are also valuable experience. I made a forum to ease communication with parents. Without it, teachers will have a hard time monitoring their students' progress. The parent-teacher forum pushes teachers and parents to work together.
Just like students, teachers also have a study group known as teachers working group. Members of the working group can share learning methods or other information related to learning activities. Joining a teachers working group makes my job easier because I work together with other teachers. In the working group, we make learning plans, quizzes, and other things.
Keeping up with the Times
I can have new ideas on learning and innovate thanks to a forum of fellow teachers I went to college with and other teacher colleagues. As a teacher, I realize that knowledge, methods, and learning models have to be updated constantly. Teachers must keep up with the latest developments to match the character of students at the time.
During a pandemic like this, teachers have to adapt quickly instead of waiting for instructions. Teachers have to innovate to ensure student learning continues.
*This Note was written by DP, 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.