Photo illustration: Novita Eka Syaputri
This article is part of the Teacher's Note series on memorable moments of teaching.
Life at the university and work are very different. As a new teacher, I have a lot to learn, from managing the class, understanding each student's character, dealing with parents, and other things. I was a non-permanent teacher before joining the Teacher Professional Education (PPG) programme, so I'd learned a thing or two from that experience. However, working in a different school forced me to adapt to a new environment. I had to start over again to understand the characters of my colleagues, parents, and students.
The Many Memorable Experiences
To be honest, I've had many memorable experiences over the last eight months of teaching. Due to various limitations and shortcomings at the school, I have always been determined to do my best. I do all my tasks sincerely. If they get appreciated, are viewed positively, or otherwise, I take it as a bonus.
At the school where I currently work, some programmes have yet to be implemented, for example, applying the “smile, greetings, polite, and courteous” slogans. I then took the initiative to make posters themed the slogans, child-friendly school, strengthening character education, and other motivational posters. I created a reading corner in the classroom and searched for book donors. Every day before the class starts, I would ask the students to read a book and sing the Indonesian national anthem “Indonesia Raya”. My initiative made a positive impact on other students and teachers. I received support and even became an inspiration to other teachers.
Talk Less, Do More
All of that made me realise that everything starts with what we do. Talk less, do more. We don't need to talk much and spend a lot of energy asking people to follow our good deeds. We just have to do what we do and let others follow in our footsteps. Do what we know sincerely and with the best effort. Being an example is better than merely telling and commenting. Also, don't be boastful just because we did it first.
What makes me happy is that now there is a competitive attitude for learning among my students. They also compete with each other to make their respective classes comfortable. This change has made me enjoy this job even more, and I have become more excited to do my best for my school.
I am more thoughtful in my actions, words, and behaviour with fellow teachers, the principal, parents, and students. Needless to say, I am more excited about competing to mould champions among students. Better to work more than talk more.
*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.