WHAT TEACHERS CAN DO TO MAKE OUR EDUCATION GET BETTER
The education of this country, this nation, Indonesia (or naughtily we call “The United Islands”), is getting worse and worse time by time. The education law is awful. Ujian Nasional (National Examination) is the worst thing of the education of this country. Many school-buildings are not good enough to be used. The school-fee is so expensive, even in state-school. How can poor people (who are the majority) send their children to school in order to get good education? The government is so busy taking care of pornography-law that they forget the poverty and the education of this nation. Unfortunately, going to school does not always mean getting good education. That is too bad!
We, teachers, realize those facts well. As we know, without education, this country will never seize its dreams. And, we have the main role. Without teacher(s), there will not almost be another occupation. Thus, we are the pillars of this education system; practically we run this system. As teachers, we can do something to make the education of our beloved Indonesia get better. We do not have to do a peace rally in Senayan. It wastes energy. Thing globally, act locally. We can start it from our-self.
First, we have to realize who we are. As teachers, we have great role to build the world. We show our students the door(s) they may get through. Maybe through that door they would be the next Newton, the next Shakespeare, the next Hegel, the next Armstrong, the next Michelangelo, the next Ignatius Loyola, and so on. Our duty is not just the matter of payment –how to get money–, but a vocation to take part to build our beloved world, to make it better world to live.
Second, we have to improve our ability to teach. Although what we will teach is good, if we cannot explain well, it is useless. Your students will call you ‘Mr./Mrs. Uninteresting’. We have our own capability and our own method. We can imitate other’s method. However, to be a good teacher, we do not have to be other-self. Just be ourselves, our-true-selves, because the self, the true self, is the best image of what good teacher is. Make sure that we have the talent. We stand on it bravely. We show our students the way we teach without a doubt. And, pupils will remember us, our way of teaching, and finally (as we aim to) they remember (and do) what we (try to) teach.
Third, we teach not only what we know, but also what we live. Remember that as teachers we show them door(s) they may get through. Non scholae sed vitae discimus (we study not for the mark, but for the life). That is how we give them a living example. Students (as teenagers) still do not realize who they really are. They’re still identifying their identity. Thus, we teach them what life is as we live that at least they would have one way of life to be identified.
Fourth, we openly accept advices in order to make us better teachers. If it is needed, ask our students what kind of teachers we are. Pupils would give us good advices to improve ourselves. We let them correct us whether we are good enough or not. And, we do what they demand as far as we could.
Fifth, if we still have extra-energy, let us be the agent of change. Let us change our education system. We keep what has been good, and we dare to change what is getting worse and worse. We run the education system practically, so we understand well what happens in it.
Finally I say, we, teachers, are fundamental part of the education. We realize our education is getting worse. If we want our education good and if we want our whole children of Indonesia get well educated, we need good teachers. Being a good teacher does not mean being another person. We just need to realize the essential of our vocation and try to be a good teacher as we truly are (for our-true-selves are only good). And, if we have more energy, tell the truth we face to the government so that they finds a better system.