When I Tell Stories

Nisa Permatasari 17 Februari 2011
I sometime read stories for my students. Usually for the younger ones like the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. I’m an English teacher so I’m trying to read them English language books like Winnie The Pooh, or Peter Rabbit, or some dragon stories. Of course I translate it for them and I open the book wide in front of the class so they can look at the pictures and understand the story more. I repeat short sentences or important words like daily live verbs and nouns. This Tuesday was holiday. I asked my students to come to the house at 10 in the morning to study science. We’re having science competition this Saturday. Big day. I’m nervous. Anyway, back to the story. We were tired from studying and not understanding anything on electricity subject, so they asked me to tell stories instead. I didn’t know what’s coming to me but I decided to tell them the story of Cinderella. Go figure. So I told them the story. I’m not the best storyteller, and definitely not what you consider a good drama player. But of course I was using voices, the cinderella cry, the romantic drama scene (hand gestures), and all that. Come on, It’s Cinderella. I had to make it fun. My students were laughing and amazed; I supposed because they couldn’t believe that me, as a teacher, could go THAT silly. They said I’m funny, even when I did the Cinderella cry quite wholeheartedly. Yes, I consider that as my biggest achievement for the day, both the funny response and the cry. I realized one thing. No one has ever been this honest to them. They live inside a conservative world where feelings and expressions are not explored. Maybe it simply because no one knows how to do it. Maybe because adults think that kids don’t need to elaborate so many feelings; but then they don’t realize that the same kids are growing up ashamed and unconfident of what they are if they’re so much like standing in front of the class reading, or asking questions in front of people. So they watch sinetron. Because they see a different world there. They see that feelings are elaborated and said there, and it’s exciting. What they don’t know is that it’s the same repetitive feelings in sinetron: unreal-romantic-unreasonably stupid-eventually happily ever after-feeling. But even the adults can’t explain that because that’s how they grew up as well. So for those of you with kids around you, read them stories as honestly as you can. Don’t be afraid looking silly. They’re kids. It’s good for them to have adults sometime act like them; therefore, they’ll know that they’re growing up ok.

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