Teacher as a Life Shaper

The Epitome of My Teaching Experience

“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.”

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

A life shaper is not a simple title to live to. I must be a role model that the students will look up to. I must show immense passion for everything I do. I must be effectual towards my goal. Being an effective and efficient teacher is not an easy task,  it requires great responsibility, patience and passion for learning, and teaching. In my journey as an amateur teacher, I noticed how the experienced teachers used a variety of strategies and principles in teaching that caters to students’ intellectual and physical growth. I also observed that every principle that the teacher used he also considers every individual’s uniqueness and capabilities. It is important to relate it to every student’s multiple intelligences. Motivation is also vital to capture learners’ attention and interest. Learning is truly an unending process.

I was honored that the teachers that I was assigned to wanted me in their classroom. They wanted me to be better. The passion I’ve seen from these teachers moved me. The love they have for their pupils had me thinking about the change I could also impart to these students. The first time I stand in front of the class, I saw the eyes of the students light up. I was so glad seeing the students who were so eager to learn. From there I was more motivated to continue and do well in my course. There was a spectacular joy inside my heart. I really enjoyed what I was doing. 

In my short teaching experience I have learned the great value to the teaching profession. There can’t be too great a reward for a teacher in a student’s life. To become a teacher gives all the learners unlimited opportunities to comprehend and to realize their complete capacity. Teaching is not only a job with strict norms, but also a call to help other people. If I wonder that have made a small difference in my short teaching experience. I do know, somehow, I have left a little impact on my students. But I think the big part it made a difference was to myself.

SMAN Model Terpadu Madani Faculty

This isn’t the end of my journey as an educator. To get to the goal that I have to go to, I have to build my path through something. That is why it is called a journey because I continue to grow and learn. I believe in the journey, not the end.

Bringing Life to International Education

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.”

Solomon Ortiz

I wonder whether I have an influence on my students in the schools that I went to as a Practice Teacher. There is often a stronger doubt of that possibility when I speak about the learning problems of my students. There are times teachers shared also some of their experiences in teaching as a battle with the students. I think it’s a little bit hypocritical where I as a teacher demands success to students but then highlight their failures.

In my short teaching experience, I have learned the great value to the teaching profession. We young educators we don’t just make lasting impact to students but also we are life shapers. As a future educator, I must show great effort in appreciating the strengths of the students and share more with others how they achieve. School must be an environment in which students are observed by their strengths rather than their weaknesses. We must believe that education has the power to change lives, then we may have what it takes to become an exemplary teacher.

I started my international teaching practice journey last August 19, 2019, at Madani Senior High School. We were welcomed by the school like we are part of the faculty. The faculty were so hospitable and prepared a short welcoming ceremony for us. We were also introduced by the head of the school to the students right after the flag ceremony. Students and teachers in this school have a good relationship. Students and teachers in this school have a good relationship. They are like family sharing and caring for each other. The bond of the community is like no other.

I. SMA Negeri Model Terpadu Madani Palu (Senior High State School “Madani” Palu)

Madani Senior High School is named after “Madani,” Indonesian, meaning “civil society” or community that obeys the law and lives peacefully and prosperously. “SMA or Sekolah Menenga Atas” means Senior High School in Indonesian, it is the full name of the school. “Negeri” means state or government. The term “Terpadu” means the school is in the same location as Madani High State Junior School and Madani State Kindergarten.

1.1 School Profile:

Madani Senior High School is situated at the Soekarno-Hatta Bumi Roviega Street, Talise Village, Palu City, Province of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The school was established in 2005 by the Government of Central Sulawesi. Established through the policy of the past Governor of Central Sulawesi, Mr. Prof. Em. H.Aminuddin Ponulele, M.D and the past head of Education Regional Office of Central Sulawesi, Mrs. Dra. Hj. Uhra L. Lamarauna, M.Si. At the same time and location with Madani Junior High School, Elementary School and Kindergarten. There are very few schools under the governance of the provincial government. Madani Senior High School is one of the model school projected to become an international standardized school.

The school logo displays the symbol of the students’ holding hand in hand represents cooperation and living together peacefully in harmony. The multipurpose and useful human resources is symbolized by the coconut in the middle of the logo.

1.2 Academic Support System

Madani Senior High School has its library and an internet connection. It has also an English Laboratory and a Science Laboratory. Students can easily access the facilities and teachers can conduct lessons and discussions.

English Laboratory

1.3 Teaching System

Teachers in Madani Senior High School are thinking about the possibility of meeting learners at their present stage of acquisition of learning by implementing the “Scientific Approach.” This Approach in teaching promotes teachers to improve their prospects that learners persist in  difficult lessons, learn and succeed. This can be achieved by observing, questioning, exploring, associating, and communicating.

1.4 Materials and other Learning Sources

The materials that the Madani Senior High school is using, such as books and other learning materials are published by the National Education Ministry and Accredited Private Publisher.

1.5 Measurement and Evaluation System

SMA Negeri Model Terpadu Madani is using a Paper-and-pencil assessment that refers to traditional student assessment. The paper and pencil tools contain a general set of tools for evaluating the readings of issues and written replies to students. This involves tests such as understanding and skill tests and inventories, such as inventories of character and interest. 

1.6 Curriculum

SMA Negeri Model Terpadu Madani is following the Competence-Based Curriculum of 2016. It is a curriculum that promotes the dynamic outcomes of the teaching method rather than concentrating on what students are required to know in aspects of traditional subject material. This curriculum is essentially geared towards learners and adapted to alter the requirements of the learners, educators, and society.

1.7 Teaching Plan

In teaching English the Madani school is following the British Council. The lessons are intended for secondary learners and can be used to supplement your college curriculum, offering the students a chance to motivate and enjoy their English language and abilities. It is composed of learning tasks that help the students engage in the learning process.

2. Pedagogical Contents

2.1 Teaching Methods

Most of the Indonesian schools have quite complex language circumstances. In Indonesia, there are several communities, as more than hundreds of different dialects of multiple ethnic groups have served as communications media throughout the nation. Which makes Bahasa Indonesia as their means of language in teaching. English is only taught at the secondary level and as their foreign language that makes it hard for the English teachers to develop the English skills of the learners.

2.2 Learning Materials and Innovation

Most of the books and learning materials that SMAN Madani is using are published by the National Education Ministry. The school has its library, however, because of the earthquake that struck last year, they are having major renovations and improvements. Currently, the library is accessible yet books need to be reorganized.

SMAN Madani has also an English laboratory, where teachers can conduct the lesson and make use of the projector and other learning media. The room is well lit and air-conditioned, which makes the learning experience more comfortable. English books are also accessible for the students arranged neatly on the shelves.

English Laboratory

2.3 Authentic Assessment Used by the Teachers

SMA Madani uses a computer-based test of the National Based Examination System. This approach to assessment makes the test faster to be delivered in district-wide assessments. It is also a great platform for students with special needs. Also, the school has its own assessment system.

3. Teaching Plan

3.1 Curriculum

In Indonesia, the curriculum is referred to as the school-based curriculum, or “Tingat Kurikulum Satuan Pendidikan.” This is an organizational plan which each instructional department carries out and implements. Schools are urged to create their curriculum and equipment, provided that the design is referred to in the Content Standard as an official competence requirement. The schools are therefore able to handle the curriculum development. Hence the achievement of the implementation relies on the school’s curriculum committee in preparing the curricula and courses.

3.2 English Teaching Plan

The English teaching plan in SMAN Madani is detailed and precise. It aims to guide the teachers step by step. The English plan is divided into three major steps, first, ‘Pre-activity,’ second, ‘Whilst or During Activity,’ and ‘Post-activity.’ These activities supplement the whole teaching plan. The overall learning activities must also be expressed in four ways: reading, speaking, writing and listening. These macro skills are important to be exercised to maximize language learning. In teaching language, the best way to do so is by engaging in a balance of each of these areas, as they are all interconnected.

English Lesson Plan Sample

4. Teaching Practice

4.1 Procedures of Teaching

Mainly when teaching English as a foreign language I think it would be better to teach the basics first. In my teaching practice period, I often use the deductive method. Where I introduce simple topics first. Then I provide simple tasks that guide the students to the main topic. Of course, as the class proceeds, the tasks also become more complex. I find it applicable and effective when I use the ”Think, Pair, Share”  procedure. On the initial task, I give questions to the students to reflect individually. Then have the students work in pairs to share their thoughts. On the last task, I let the students share the information that they have reflected and share their thoughts with the class. Also, on every task or lesson, I introduce new vocabulary. Sometimes I extract the vocabularies from the text that is used in the tasks. With this procedure of teaching the students are engaged to learn and cooperatively, the teacher and students make the learning process active. 

Students are working in pairs

4.2 Time Management and Organizing Activities

Time management is essential in teaching and daily life. If the time is well managed it allows you to work in a smart way, not the harder way. So even when time is tight and pressures are high, you get the work done in less time. In my first week of teaching practice, I often prepare my materials the night before my teaching practice. Then I go to class early to make time for preparation for my activities to my students. During my class, I also divide time into each task that I give to my students. Although I have ninety minutes in one session, I make sure that I maximize my time for teaching all that needs to be addressed in my lesson plan. Good time management needs a major change from activity to the outcome: being busy is not the same as being efficient. I aim to hit the goals of the day with no pressure.

4.3 Problem Solving

Even though how much you organize, planned and prepared, problems may occur. The first week that I started my teaching practicum I have difficulty in adjusting my lesson appropriate to my students. It was hard to craft a lesson plan for the students because I don’t know about their level of knowledge and different backgrounds. Since I was new to them, gaining respect from them was also a thing that I had to work on. Even though it was a rough and nerve-racking start, I managed to gain my students’ trust. With good intentions and my eagerness to be part of their learning experience, I conquered my minor struggles in teaching. Of course, being a teacher I want to be a positive life shaper.

XI- IPS Class with their English teachers

4.4 Classroom Management

An ideal classroom is a positive place where students and teachers work cooperatively to attain a certain goal, to learn. But we can’t avoid the fact that it can never a tranquil and quiet place for it is a learner’s workplace to broaden their knowledge. Having a positively active class is my preferred classroom. Because it shows that they enjoy learning rather than agonizing quietly. I manage the classroom climate by giving my students ample time to be prepared for the lesson. Having their confirmation that they are ready to learn is a signal that I can start my class. Also to have proper classroom management, I have everything set and prepared. I prepare myself, my students, my materials and my activities for the lesson. Being prepared sets the tone for the entire classroom. The idea of the classroom is to nurture positivity and productivity. Overall I did not have any difficulties in managing my class. A classroom climate must be set first to maximize time and learning experience.

The Central Sulawesi

The Music of Palu

Palu City is the capital province of Central Sulawesi. As the province’s capital, Palu offers a gateway to all the wonders of central Sulawesi. It sits on a long narrow bay. The weather is generally humid because it has been protected from the mountain ridges.

The City that once the center of progress and prosperity, Palu City was shook by a huge earthquake and a tsunami that destroyed some part of the city. Despite the natural disasters that happened, Palu people remained resilient and kept their faith strong. They are working hand in hand like a family to rebuilt the city that once known in the Central Sulawesi.

Arrival at Palu City

August 17, 2019 Palu City, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

After a long sleepless flight, and a total of four transit flights from Davao City. Philippines to Palu City, Indonesia, on August 17, 2019 around 11:20 in the morning we have finally arrived in the city. The weather is indeed warmer compared to the Philippines. But the thing that I noticed the most is that the people in this city is really welcoming and hospitable. The weather may have shaped the personalities of the people who live in Palu City. We felt the warmest welcome by the UNISMUH Palu students and the coordinator of the university.

With the student buddies of UNISMUH Palu and the University coordinator

The hospitality and warm welcome of the people who waited for our arrival stripped away all the tiring experiences during the trip. They have welcomed us with their big smiles. A ‘welcome’ banner signifies their friendship and hospitality. In an instant it felt like I’m home and being part of the family.

Lunch time with the student buddy and the coordinator of UNIDMUH Palu

Since it was lunch time when we arrived, we indulged the taste of Indonesian Cuisine. The food was mostly spicy and full of flavors. We enjoyed our first Indonesian lunch. Heart was filled with their hospitality and stomach filled with food and joy.

“If there is someone who ever touched the core of your heart, those who come after touches possibility.”

‘Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 movie’

Travel, Learn, and Share

”A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Lao Tzu

(Francisco Bangoy International Airport Departure area- August 17, 2019)

Experience is by far the most essential for a lifelong learning. We learn through books and it enriches our perception towards reality. Using knowledge in a real setting and experiencing the knowledge learned from books is also essential.

As a student, I have this mindset that learning only happens in the four corners of the classroom. On this day I will deviate from my personal point of view. I will travel overseas to learn and imbibe new ideas through experiences.

August 17, 2019, early in the morning I packed my things to begin my journey. I went to the Francisco Bangoy International Airport to travel to Indonesia as being part of the SEAMEO- Sea-teacher journey. I traveled from Davao to Manila, Philippines. From Manila, the Philippines going to Jakarta, Indonesia. Around 12 midnight, I and my colleague arrived in Jakarta. We had to wait for five hours for our next flight to Palu, Central Sulawesi.

(Jakarta to Palu flight transit to Makassar)

Around 5:30 we left from Jakarta International Airport to Palu, Central Sulawesi. We had a short transit at Makassar Airport before arriving to pur destination. Approximately 11:30 we finally arrived at Palu, Mutiara Airport.

With Mariel (left), my SEATECHER colleague

Adventure awaits for us in Palu City, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. New experiences mean new learnings and new learnings means better understandings. What is important is to keep learning and sharing the knowledge that you acquired.