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Patrya Pratama 30 November 2010
As 25th of November came, the national office of the Indonesia Mengajar ask all pengajar muda to tell stories of how the supposedly-monumental day for teachers nation-wide was celebrated. So here is my story. It was Wednesday, 24th of November 2010. I arrived at school 7.30. School usually starts around 8 or 8.30. There were only 3 teachers for 5 classes. I was told to take care of grade 5 at the time. So i decided to take the theme of Teachers Day for the Bahasa Indonesia lesson for the day. The school started around 8. I ask the students to write a poem about our teachers at Labuangkalo using the method taught by the I-Teach trainer, asking each student to write one line of poem started by certain alphabet. Then I ask them again to write a postcard for their teachers. So it was Bahasa Indonesia lesson (writing poem and letter). I dont think it work well because the students can’t seem to be able to write properly in general. Sentences are hard to understand, vocabulary is limited, and their hand-writing needed to be much improved. I think this grade 5 is equal to grade 2-3 Jakarta school. At the end of the class, i ask students to shake hand with other teachers while saying Happy Teachers Day and Thank You. Class ended around 11.30, all other classes had ended around 10.30 or 11.00, so other teachers and the headmasters were already relaxing (one was drying his shrimp, one was already dozing off, one was making drinks, and the headmaster already took of his shirt. I was not quite sure what they had in mind when their students shook their hand well after they even remembered that there were still students at school. So that’s it. The Teachers Day at Labuangkalo.But it is not entirely my point. I was kind of annoyed during the next day to read people’s tweet or stories romanticizing about their childhood teachers. I was mad that why my school runs so unlike school. I feel like people should do more to help schools, like mines. I remember when Pak Udin, Labuangkalo Mosque keeper told me how annoyed he is to see that people dont seem to care about their Masjid. Well, I guess the school is abandoned as well. Teachers are of the low quality (2 are PNS out of 7), they have not been properly taken care of by the government, resulting in spending time more often at Lori or Grogot (inland). Parents dont seem to care either about their kids’ performance at school as they seldom come when semester report is to be handed out. Villagers have a grim opinion about teachers. There are no dicipline at school as they start, end the school, have a break as the teachers’ wish. There are no lesson schedule either as everytime i teach, i was told to teach anything I want. Books are scarce (if not non-existant). I was quickly getting out the school at the day as I was embarrased to the photograph of Kartini, Diponegoro, and Sudirman hung on the classroom wall. I know that this writing may sound as mere whinning for most of you. I know that I need to spend more time strategizing to fix the school a bit. I am aware of this. I am simply thinking that YOU can participate in making this SDN 002 Labuangkalo a SCHOOL as it should be.

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