Photo illustration: Novita Eka Syaputri
This article is part of the Teacher's Note series on the key moments of becoming a beginning teacher.
Teachers will always have problems to deal with, from trivial everyday problems to unexpected larger issues. Therefore, in my opinion, teachers must have the ability to deal with problems.
Examples of problems related to students that teachers encounter every day: students who like to annoy their friends, students who lost their money, students who ask for tutoring, and other student complaints. There are also problems related to the parents, such as parents who constantly ask about their child’s progress or report about how their child is doing at home.
Sometimes big problems arise and must be dealt with by the teacher. This big problem often appears at unexpected times; for example, the school building collapses, hence requires renovation; a teacher is suddenly transferred to another school; or issues related to school accreditation.
Of course, there are also other problems related to fellow teachers, such as at least one teacher asking for advice about their professional or personal lives. After all, teachers are human too; they have problems in their personal lives, whether related to family, parents, finance, health, and others.
While working as a teacher, I have dealt with quite some problems. I’ve dealt with student problems the most during my tenure as a public primary school teacher. Meanwhile, most of the problems with students' parents occurred when I worked in a private school.
I once had a student told me about his friend cheating. I then went to the student in question to verify if he really did what his friend told me. If he said he did not cheat, I would praise him for being honest. However, if he admitted to cheating, then I would tell him that his action was wrong and unfair, both to him and his friend whom he cheated on.
It’s hard to imagine a teacher not being able to deal with problems. The problems will surely pile up more and more. Therefore, a teacher must have the ability to deal with problems, both small and big ones.
*This Note was written by RY, a primary school teacher in West 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.