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    Published On: Sun, Apr 21st, 2013

    Teaching English at Tidar

    Ferry ParyasaProfessor asked the participants in an international conference to raise their hands if they spoke more than two languages. They all raised their hands. And the professor asked the same thing if they spoke more than three languages. Less than a half raised their hands. And he asked it again if they spoke more than four languages….. Surprisingly it was me the only participant to raise hand, unintentionally. I felt everyone took a look at me. Then the professor asked me what languages I spoke. Feeling not sure I said “I speak English, Indonesian, Sundanese, Javanese, and ……. Bangkanese….! They spontaneously clapped their hands, but I felt a little embarrassed.

    That is the story I tell the students to encourage them to master other languages, not only English. And by doing this, I give myself more confidence. It is very important especially when I assume the students to be at a higher level than those I have taught before. I tell a story in English before I start a class because I’m sure that a teacher must be a role model and must be somewhere beyond the students’ expectation. For me it’s not always that easy.

    It was in 2005, the first time I taught English in a class when Mr. John gave me a chance to teach. And it was the day that I asked him to teach me how to teach English. He said, “If you want me to teach you how to teach English, I will give you a class.” I was struck to hear that! But he was true, he taught me while I was teaching. I taught an abandoned class that had been taught by other teacher before. It took me some time to get along with the students. It’s never easy at the first time to teach an abandoned class. That’s why some teacher avoided this assignment.

    Sudjono Adi or Mr. John is my best English teacher. Back in 1996 he taught English for us (Bangka Island Outdoors instructors), and also taught Bahasa Indonesia for some expatriates working at my workplace.

    Unlike other teachers, I don’t have any formal background in teaching. But fortunately, I had been trained to teach teens and adults participants in my previous job. I worked in Bangka Island Outdoors, an HRD division of PT Timah Tbk. which conducted programs based on experiential learning (outbound).

    After some time I found that I could not have such a feeling of satisfaction or gladness after teaching. I told it to Mr. John as my mentor and he only said that it was true. He told me to find or create something to make me feel those kinds of feelings. In other words, I have to be creative. And finally one day I came up with a conclusion, if I may call it “conclusion”, that a good teaching not only employs experiences and good mastering the subjects, but also good behavior and attitude towards the students, and towards the lessons. If you often ask yourself “What will the students bring home after class?”, then you will have a good behavior and good attitude in teaching. If you are a good teacher you have to be sure that your students are going to have:

    • new ‘doing’
    • new ‘thinking’
    • new ‘feeling’

    Beside the actual material, students are taught how they are going to do with it (new doing); how to perceive and treat the new information (new thinking); and how to live with it (new feeling). Be sure of those things conveyed to them, so they can apply them somewhere else, after class. Although we only have two meetings a week, 75 minutes each, I think it would be enough for us. For the rest, they will develop themselves in everywhere.

    Pangkalpinang, March 25, 2013

    Ferry Paryasa

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    Dartika Erlanti“Bergabung dgn TIDAR adalah pilihan tepat, berkat keprofesionalan TEC selama ini dlm mengembangkan skill Bhs Inggris saya sejak SD, Alhamdulillah saya mendapatkan scholarship program di Arizona State University USA, terimakasih untuk TIDAR…”
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