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Friday, May 23, 2014 | 10:17 PM | 2 comments (+)
So maybe not many of you know that I am so into teaching lately. Well, I haven't told anyone about this unless to the closests, and I guess it is also my first time mentioning it here too. About teaching, I ever heard this from somewhere on how comprehending and teaching are two different worlds apart. I bet we all know which one is harder. But then again, knowing and experiencing are another different matters.
My mom was ever a teacher. Mom went around as a private teacher while pursuing her diploma degree back then. She quit teaching soon after marrying my father though. Then it all started again when I was in highschool. During those days, I was pretty familiar with elementary kids as mom was teaching at home. I remember on having a chat with mom on why she decided to start teaching. She told me it was because of the financial matters that forced her to have extra pennies during her college days. Both my grandparents were so sick that time and as the oldest daughter she somehow had the responsibility to support the family. So my mom was a teacher, wasn’t because she wanted to, but more because the condition forced her to do so.
For me, it was all started when I was in the first semester in the university, where we had this small initiative organization called CaSh – Care and Share. The organization was only consisted of tiny group of people where we all had this passion to share a bit of what we have to our not-so-lucky-friends living near our university. So you can call the teaching I did here as a volunteer.
It was lots of hardship teaching elementary kids who barely knew how to count on their third grade. Not to mention the tight university schedules I had, and all the assignments and deadlines. On top of those, I had to prepare the lesson plans before going to the field teaching (literally, we were teaching in an open space field at the front yard of a mosque, and when it rained we had no option but to call the day off). I could actually be uncommitted to quit CaSh whenever I wanted to. But I did not. Not after seeing my kids passed their exams and bragged to me on how they got their ranks increased. I still remember on how a group of kids begged me to teach their group instead of others. I remember on how they always forgot my name because they told me Vania was unfamiliar in their ears, so I had to slur it and told them to call me Vanilla instead. I remember on going back dorm on Sunday morning and had those kids run after me though Sunday wasn't our teaching day just to tell me they looked forward for next week’s lessons. Their smiles, their laughter, their enthusiasm to learn, they were that kind of happiness you would like to remember your entire life.
Then I had this another phase of life – working. I quit teaching at CaSh on my third year at uni because I had to be away for my internship. I graduated soon after, and got myself steady jobs with steady income. Then just recently at my current office, my colleagues were thinking to set up an English Club. I was asked to be one of the facilitators on my third month in the company. I did think twice on accepting the offer though. I wouldn’t be in doubt if my students were bunches of kids; this time they are grown up adults, where even some of them have been in the company for more than 5 years. But I could totally feel the eagerness kicked in. I wanted to share. Well, to be frank, I’m not proud of my English as it’s still so far from perfection. But with my lacking English, I realized I wanted to share. How could (only because of) my lacking English prevent me from sharing to the others who are keen to learn?
The concept we embodied to the English Club is not teaching; we are facilitating. I could totally relate myself to this, realizing my still lacking English, and knowing how the participants only need facilitators to polish their English. Well, I don’t see myself utterly teaching here anyway too. As facilitator, I have learned a lot too and have gained so many precious experiences from the feedback. Well anyway, the other contrast of teaching at CaSh and facilitating here is that I need better preparation in facilitating adults. Adults would read you so easily if you are unprepared. And that sucks, not to mention again on how I am a hardcore perfectionist even when it comes to facilitating and teaching. In the first week, I was so ashamed of myself because I was so nervous and I stuttered a lot. But I think I get better each week, as my relationship with the participants also get deepened. I still feel lacking here and there, I couldn’t help it, but each week I get more and more energized. You know, that kind of feeling when you anticipated your lover to come and pick you up for a date. English Club day is the kind of day I look forward to every week.
And now, about me on future professional facilitating and/or teaching, I don’t know where it might bring me yet. I actually have this tiny dream to improve Indonesian education, on how we could actually fix this nation from the core by shaping it through education to the poverty and the people’s mentality. I used to have a lecturer I admired and looked up to during my university days. He was that kind of lecturer you could have coffee together in the canteen after the class and chatted about anything without having the fright of being judged for knowing nothing. He was very objective on our results and did care about his students’ progress. Well, I just recently have the dream to be that kind of lecturer. I still don’t know what future might bring me to, but to live that dream of mine seems the most decent stuff I could think of right now. Well, I realize if I choose this path, it won't be easy, and I have to let go some other things. But to actually be able to contribute and help others to achieve their dreams, how beautiful that can be.