Thursday, October 4, 2018

Positive Teacher’s Camp Batch IV

This year was the fourth time that Initiatives of Change (IofC) Indonesia supported the Positive Teachers’ Camp organized by GCI (Generasi Cerdas Indonesia). This two day-camp was attended by teachers of SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta. It was conducted on 29 – 30 September 2018 in Bogor and the theme of the camp was Effective Leadership. Muhammad Ramadhona, founder of GCI delivered his opening remarks and said, “We are enthusiastic to welcome all of you and are looking forward to sharing and learning together in this prestigious camp.” It is an honor for us to collaborate with SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta, one of the most popular schools with many competent teachers and outstanding students.” Agusman, the principal of SMAN Negeri 8 Jakarta encouraged all teachers to take lessons from this camp. “Nowadays technology is shaping more the future of education. As teachers, we should adjust with the development of technology. Finally, let us pray for the success of this camp and that we are inspired to be a better person.”

The first session was Active Listening led by Teguh Khaerudin, a lecturer of UIN Jakarta. Nowadays, people can easily express and update their personal lives through social medias. Yet, we tend to be ignorant and not to listen. As a matter of fact, listening skill is one of the most important skills we should have. Listening skill is needed so that we could interact with our colleagues and students well. Expressing our care to students can be shown by listening to them because being listened to is so close to being cared for. The components in listening skill are (1) empathy, which means the listener’s desire to understand the speaker’s feeling, (2) acceptance means having respect for a person for simply being a person, (3) congruence means in touch with ourselves, and (4) concreteness means focusing on the specifics rather than generalities.

The participants were then divided into two groups. Aditya Iman, a personal development trainer, led a session on Communication in Work Ethics. Work ethics includes how someone carries out his or her responsibilities and it involves characteristics such as honesty and accountability. The participants were asked to share when they feel excited, proud, satisfied with their work and to define the work values. Andra Hanindyo, a professional trainer, facilitated the session for school staff with the topic Excellent Services. They were given a space to share about their experiences as school staff and talked what needs to be improved at school. The participants discussed ways to provide excellent services to teachers and students in order to improve the quality of education. The responsibilities of school staff have been so vital to support teachers and students in the teaching and learning process.

The next session was Reflective Thinking in Leadership led by Teguh Khaerudin. A question was raised to understand what the criteria of a good leader is. One of them is being a reflective leader. John Dewey, an American philosopher, said we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience. Having lots of experiences does not always make us wiser, however reflecting on the experiences will give us lessons. Reflection can be applied through self-reflection and also by sharing with other colleagues.

Afterwards, Nenden Mutiara, from IofC Indonesia, led the session of Inner Reflection. During this session, the participants were introduced to, and guided to have, inner reflection. In the moment of inner reflection, we learn to listen quietly to our inner voice. “Inner reflection plays an essential role in bringing more awareness to practicing gratitude.” The participants were given space to have a quiet time with the inputs: What are you grateful for today?; What’s your highlight in today’s camp? One staff member shared, “I am grateful for being here that I can gather with my colleagues and reflect on what I need to improve.” A teacher said, “What I am grateful for most is that I stay healthy and can do my activities well.”

On the second day, we started with morning reflection. Nenden shared about how she lived her life as a mother and the chairperson of Sekolah Rekonsiliasi. “I learnt lots of things from my past. Having inner reflection made me realize there are many things I need to correct from my life. Now I am grateful with my life, having a  kind husband, a smart child, and being surrounded by people who support me.” We had a quiet time session and today’s quiet time inputs was: Why do I want to I live my life as a teacher or a school staff?. One teacher said, “I have been working at SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta for years and I am grateful to have friendly colleagues and great students.” After morning reflection, the participants had team building activities and were divided into groups. The outdoor activity was aimed at building an awareness of team spirit and cooperation.

At the end of this camp, we had a session on decision making and goal setting. During this session, the highlights of the camp were reviewed in order to reflect on what had happened. All participants were encouraged to have self-reflection on the questions: What can I do in accordance with my competence as a teacher or school staff? Self-reflection guides us to have a moment of silence, to practice introspection, and to think about the next steps to be taken.  A teacher shared, “I will listen to my students to understand more about them and help them to grow.” A school staff shared that he was grateful with his life and thanked God that he could join this program.

In the closing speech, Dinnie H. Firdausi, from GCI appreciated all teachers and staff for their contribution and participation. The participants were encouraged to apply what they learnt during the camp in their school, such as having inner reflection with other colleagues and students at school. We were grateful for the success of the camp and appreciated IofC volunteers for their work, contribution, and cheerfulness. 


Reported by Yofrina Octika Gultom