Photo illustration: Novita Eka Syaputri
This article is part of the Teachers' Notes series on lessons learned from one year of teaching.
Seasons have passed and now the dry season has returned, reminding me of my journey as a teacher for more than a year. I encountered plenty of situations during my tenure that shaped me into a better teacher.
It's Not Easy Being a Teacher
Working as a teacher is not as easy as it appears to be. This job stays with me anytime and anywhere. I always have to reflect the best of character, attitude, and behaviour as a teacher, even outside my working hours. This is a challenge that I must conquer consistently anywhere I go.
Being a teacher is more than understanding pedagogy; it’s also about having a good personality. I learned to be a teacher not only from college but also from working with fellow teachers, school principals, and from the teachers working group.
Learning from Colleagues
My fellow teachers at school, whom I see every day, have a great impact on my development as an educator. They affect my character, knowledge, creativity, discipline, ability to work together, and leadership skills.
The school often holds student-centred activities. During preparation meetings, teachers are required to contribute ideas and to step up and lead.
Although I have never done any of that, I can learn from observing my colleagues. I can learn how to carry myself around senior teachers, motivate fellow teachers to work together, and be responsible and discipline in completing my tasks.
Learning So Much from the Teachers Working Group
Besides learning from my colleagues at work, I also learned so much from the teachers working group, a forum where teachers plan learning activities collaboratively. The working group is a place me to learn, a reminder of my duty as a teacher and getting to know more fellow teachers outside of my workplace.
From the working group, I often receive support to stay motivated and pursue achievements by signing up for competitions for teachers in Surabaya. The group gives me updates on policy changes as well as tips on making learning tools and other knowledge I did not previously know.
I realise beginning teachers are not necessarily better than senior teachers, despite their aptitude to use technology. Senior teachers have more teaching experience and the ability to face the public.
Learning has no limits. I will keep on learning while I can.
*This Note was written by BR, 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.