Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teaching Teens

having worked as a pre-school teacher for more than two years, made me feel so confident to apply for a position in a primary school where i moved to.

well, i have ever taught several primary school students also -if that makes my teaching experience even greater :p

i mean, i could handle kids aged 2 until 11, back then in Jogja.

okay, back to the story. so, i got accepted as a 4th grade teacher. hmmm, great. i kinda liked it at first, cuz it means i don't have to deal with pee and puke :D and i like to discuss with kids- and i can do it with 4th graders for sure.

but the reality was harder.

one thing i didn;t realize was that they're in a transition phase from kids to teens. it makes them unpredictable.

i didn't get any admiration like those cute little toddlers i taught.

wait long as i remember, i always become a substitute teacher! it makes everything even challenging for me. and if i'm not mistaken, it took me a while to get into it. to be accepted and to heartfully accept the new condition.

well, it was actually 3-5 months. quite long, eh?

for these transteens students (note it, i made this term, copyrighted), i had to know their character first. and of course, their learning style.

thank God, i ONLY taught 25 students  -accompanied by a teaching partner.
this is way too easy, compared with my primary school teacher at that time: 54 students special for him.

the problem was, i had to substitute an experienced teacher, she's older than me, and she was an assertive yet funny one.

it was a struggle, really. i am confident enough if we talk about creative teaching. or knowledge i have known. but when it comes to be firm and assertive, i'm not sure.
it doesn't mean i don't have that, i just unsure that it will come naturally.

at first, they were really nice -when i had my introduction session. they looked interested. when the break time came, the girls showered me with questions.i feel accepted.

but it didn't last long.

teens are rebel. they know how to make a mess and being stubborn at the same time. and when they need to be calmed down, we have to be firm of course. since i was a newbie there, some of them felt uncomfortable to be told- or even warned. maybe they thought: who are you?

at that time, i thought that i should win their heart first, but it's not that easy since there were 25 heads 25 characters, style, and habits. and i didn't have enough time.what i thought i could do was: do my best in creative teaching.

and hell ya, i got 4 subjects to teach and my partner got 2. viewed from the hours of teaching, it was balance. but from the materials, i don't think that social+science+civics+english was balance compared with bahasa+math. but it was blessing in disguise, since those subjects allowed me to have more ways to teach.

i know they like games. A LOT. i suppose they are in an phase where competition matters. so i started to give competitive games more than they used to have.

for some of them, it worked. for the rest who didn't really good at the subject, it failed. they had fun, but they didn't really remember what they studied. even for they who felt discouraged already, they looked withdrawn.

so i made more worksheets, more often, in order to know their real capacity personally. though it led to some protests of how often i gave them tasks lol.

out of the class, when we didn;t have lesson, i like to do small talks with them. and i also used the friend-like talking style, more or less inspired by my partner.

at the same time, i still try to be assertive, learned when to say "no means no".

and i don't know how it went, because when i left the job for my pregnancy leave, i was appreciated differently.

some of the girls who seemed reluctant to share something to me were in tears.others were asking whether i will be back. and surprisingly, the parents were even more friendly and close to me.


although i didn't have tasty appetizer here, a "mouth watering chocolate cake" dessert made my journey thousand times better than what i expected before.

something easy never brings you to the top.


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