My First Day of Lecturing

Yes, today is my first day of teaching at the Nursing Academy. I’ve been waiting for this day to come. First thought in my mind was: ‘Would I be able to do it? Will I love it?’

Formally, this is my first time of teaching in higher educational level and I think, I just fell in love. The class was scheduled for 3 hours and I have two classes in a row. Because today is the first week, I just gave them short introduction about Psychology and the rules applied in my class. It took me 1.5 hours for each class, so it wasn’t a full session yet. But, my voice is now almost gone! I can’t imagine how I will work through those 2 full sessions…

Patient, nurse and doctor

I learned a lot of things today. First was about the image of lecturer in Indonesia. I believe the students think that lecturer at higher educational level must be in middle age with scary face, heavy voice tone and bold glasses. Today, I was wearing a white casual shirt, black pants and colorful necklace. What surprise me was the look in my students eyes! They were like, ‘Is she the lecturer?‘ Well, I am definitely not a fortune teller or a mind reader, but their gaze at me could tell.

Second, I learned that the students are coming from many different cities, big and small. They are bundling together in my class and they help each other. I saw the after-class process in both classes. They handed out some papers which have been photocopied for the whole class. In one class, the leader of the class organized the students to pay such amount of money to make them easier when it comes into photocopy the materials. They tried their best to catch up. I hope this effort would last …

Third, I also learned that through teaching, I would have the opportunity of re-learning the previous materials and also keep on learning new perspective from my students.

Keep it up, guys!

Learning from My Niece

This is another post that inspired by my beloved niece, Ellicia. She is now 2 years and 3 months old. She has more than 100 vocabularies and able to answer why or how questions. Sometimes I am amazed by how fast she can learn new things at a time. She is having a great time learning from her surroundings. The latest development is when she becomes a teacher for her 2 barbie dolls.

She used my flash cards as a tool and ask her barbies about the picture. At one picture, she showed a picture of bird. She asked the barbie, ‘What is this?’, she answered, ‘Bird’ (=burung). Then she asked, ‘Apa Inggrisnya?’ (what is the English of burung?). She answered, ‘Sama yah’ (it’s the same!). I was laughing out loud on how she teach her barbies. It was great to see her learning so quick (see the video).

I used to teach her on how to name the things that she can see around her. Started by common things, such as: table, spoon, plate, or chair. Then I went to teach her with animals, such as: birds, doggie, cats or fly. And the list went on. Now, she can understand my questions or sentences that I ask her in  contexts. She might not understand the meaning of every word, but she understand what I ask her and how to answer to that question.

I am learning new things too, everytime I teach my niece new things. One of it is, how to keep on learning, despite how old my age is and how fast the time travels. I can understand the meaning of learning at all time, in every different situation and through every season. My niece always asks questions on what, how or why things happened. She also asks where to buy certain stuff, who buy that or how much is the price! She learns to asks certain questions depend on the situation or context. Awesome development, isn’t it!

She is now a fans of paper-and-pencil activities. She loves to scribble on her paper and then tell stories regarding that picture. Even though she couldn’t draw as much as the things look like, but she could pour out her thought on certain things. She is at the right stage of fine motor development, scribbling stage.

I will write more on her development…

The Effectiveness of Rewards in the Classroom

Teaching process is very complicated. I can say this because I am a teacher myself. I’ve been teaching young children for almost 4 years, for I might known a bit on this topic: effectiveness of giving rewards.

stickers2

The latest research has shown that rewards has no positive impact on students’ motivation and performances. It is surely has an impact, but not in a positive way. Reward can be an extrinsic motivation for students, especially those who are avoiding tasks and only wants to get the rewards. They might finish their tasks in time in order to get the rewards. And that’s all. They can’t find the fun of learning and they won’t be bother to master the knowledge. On the other hand, students who are intrinsically motivated will find a fun of learning. They won’t be bothered by the rewards given, because that’s not their primary goal of learning. The important thing for them is to master the knowledge.

The debate is still on. Some teachers agree that rewards can motivate students to do better in their performances. While others are saying that rewards devalue the meaning of learning and giving their efforts to the tasks given. For me, I will give rewards to my students when they can perform well in their performances. Rewards given not always in gifts or presents, but also in appreciations or appraisal in front of the class. This rewards board is such a cool idea!

rewards-board

It is our job to define the balances.

What A Teacher Can Do?

I’ve been teaching for these past 3 years. At first, it never crossed my mind that I would end up teaching and dealing with children in everyday life. It turned out that I Like this job. I love the times when I can laugh together with my students. Or the times when I have to be discipline in order to complete the responsibility in the class, for their good.

Monday Class (missed 3 students)

Monday Class (missed 3 students)

My background was not in education, but psychology. I started to love teaching when we held a project called PROJECT KIDS in UWA – Perth, Western Australia. It was part of my thesis project. I had to administer some programs to school age children. In that program, I have to talk to them, give instructions, play with them during break and laugh with them (we had dancing times every day!).

What I want to write here is the many things that we can do as a teacher… (not from books, but from class experiences):

1. We can a good role model – students tend to idolize us in many ways. – Ms. Cicil says that we have to raise our hands and say excuse me before we are talking in the class- Therefore, as a teacher we need to behave positively in front of our students. Be careful before saying any words and be aware that children are looking at you all the time.

2. Respect others – when we respect them, then they can learn to respect us, and most of all, to others.

3. Learning life lessons – children need a lot more reality programs in everyday life. I love to watch movies that are based on true story, so my students can understand the other side of living a life. Children tend to use their own understanding to view things (as in their list of developmental tasks). By giving them broader knowledge and understanding, it will help them to understand more about life…

4. Laugh and Laugh – it’s not breaking the laws to laugh with them! They can sense the feeling of laughing from the heart. Children can tell when we are faking our laugh.

5. Share the love – When I told my students that I will do my masters, he said, “I wish you are not accepted in your interview and tests. So, you will back to teach me”. I was flattered and touched. It seems that I had left such a big impact on my students’ lives. How I love them…

Best Teacher

Best Teacher

The list can go on forever, so I won’t go any longer. I wish all teachers out there always remind themselves on how important they are for their students!