Thursday, May 3, 2018

Positive Teachers’ Camp


Generasi Cerdas Indonesia (GCI) collaborated with Initiatives of Change (IofC) to run a Teachers’ Camp on 27 – 28 April 2018 in Bogor. The theme of this two-day camp was Reflective Teaching: Let’s Learn from our Reflected Experience.

This program was attended by 28 professional teachers from different schools. They were divided into groups together with a facilitator in each group. During the camp, the participants learnt about reflective teaching. Reflective teaching is related to a process of self-observation and self-evaluation. Teachers observe, evaluate, and think about the way they behave and teach in the classroom. Ramadhona, co-founder of GCI delivered his welcoming remarks and thanked all participants who took part in this camp. “Teachers play big roles in the lives of the students. I hope that each of us gain lots of learning in this camp.”

Teguh Khaerudin, a lecturer of UIN Jakarta led the session on reflective teaching. A question was raised to interpret a quote that said that experience is the best teacher. One participant said, “I believe that experience could be a tool for self-introspection.” From the discussion, we found out experience would not be wasted when we learnt from it. John Dewey, an American philosopher said we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience. A teacher experiences different things from each class that he or she teaches. Our first evening session was about methods of reflective teaching. A teacher can also develop his or her skills in reflecting by having self-reporting, journaling, recording the learning process.

On the second day, we started by having inner reflection and a sharing session. Miftahul Huda, one of the facilitators shared about the essence of self-reflection in our life. “We tend to be busy doing our daily routines, but we forget to reflect on what we are doing. Many times we complain about what is happening. We forget to have moments of silence to recall things that happen in our life. In this session, Irna Yugaswatie shared about her experience in having quiet times. “As a trainer, I meet various teachers in training them about google for education. I used to complain about some teachers who did not respond to the materials well for some reasons. Once I had a quiet time and realized that instead of complaining, I learnt to be more patient and figure out what method I should apply in training teachers. I could feel how quiet time helps me focus on doing my activities.” To end the session, the participants were asked to have a quiet time with the inputs: (1) What am I grateful for as a teacher?, (2) How do I play my role as a teacher? We shared in our groups and listened to one another.

Tanenji, a lecturer of UIN Jakarta, led a session about Creative Problem Solving. The participants were divided into groups and each group discussed questions what they wanted to ask and other groups would think of other groups’ questions. Some questions were: (1) How could a teacher be a good writer?, (2) How to create creative teaching process?, (3) How to be consistent in inspiring students? Having had discussions, the participants read what other groups had responded to their questions and concluded the answers. This session emphasized on having discussions and that the importance of discussion is to listen to others’ points of view. Through discussions, the participants shared their thoughts on how to be an inspiring teacher and listened to others’ thought sharing. In the end, each group presented on the conclusions they made. During the presentation, the participants delivered the presentation by implementing 3 elements of communication which was identified by Albert Mehrabian, professor of Emeritus Psychology: (1) Visual (body languages, including facial expressions), (2) Verbal (the words themselves), and (3) Vocal (tones of voice).

We also had a chance to learn about teaching with technology led by Irna Yugaswatie, a google educator. A teacher should be aware of the development of technology. We learnt about technology literacy that as an educator, teachers should be able to effectively use technology in order to enhance the learning process.

During the decision making session, I welcomed all participants to have self-reflection. The quote was from Stephen Covey, being proactive means taking initiatives. I started the session by encouraging all participants to reflect on what happened in these two days.  As Tanenji stated in his session, “we do not have authorities to change the education system but we can create our own teaching method in order to approach the students and to create a comfortable learning environment”, I encouraged all participants to reflected on: (1) As a teacher, what change can I create?, (2) What can I do in accordance to my competence as a teacher?

At the end of the session, we had an appreciation session. Committee and participants gave appreciation in turn that we believe each of us played a role in making this conference happen. Participants expressed their appreciation to all the committee who had worked wholeheartedly. Some said, “The young energetic facilitators were amazing. Thank you for organizing this inspiring program.” We finally reflected on how we put knowledge into practice. The participants were ready to apply what they have learnt during the camp in each school. We hope that GCI and IofC keep the partnership by collaborating to create a better education.


Reported by Yofrina Octika Gultom