Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Positive Teacher’s Camp 2019

A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches the heart. The influence of a teacher can never be erased. Being a teacher needs space to reflect on their teaching experience to assess self, to develop knowledge and to gain new ideas. Generasi Cerdas Indonesia (GCI), in collaboration with Initiatives of Change (IofC) Indonesia, ran the 5th Positive Teacher’s Camp with the theme of “Learning from Reflected Experience”. This 2 day-camp was conducted in Bogor and attended by school principals and teachers from some schools in Jakarta.

The participants were welcomed with tea; beyond just serving and receiving tea, this activity was aimed to introduce the process of tea making. The message was that we sometimes take things for granted. Through this session, we were encouraged to embrace the process and appreciate what we have. 

Dr.Saryono, from Curriculum Department officially opened the camp and said, “My appreciation to Mohamad Ramadhona and all faculty members for running this camp. I personally learned, through the tea welcoming, that we should appreciate life’s journey.” 

Dik Doank, the founder of Kandank Jurang Doank, a learning community, led a session on being a reflective teacher. “Teaching is a noble job that serves humanity. The teacher’s sincerity in teaching will be a blessing for teacher and students.”

During the morning reflection, Barbara Lawler, from IofC Australia, shared about her experience in having quiet times. She is committed to live the values of inner reflection and becoming the caregiver for the young IofC team in Asia Pacific. She said, “Lots of thoughts come to my mind through quiet time. It takes practice to be quiet and inner listening can be practiced daily.”

Mohamad Ramadhona, an education reformist, presented a session on “Being a Happy Teacher.”  “A happy teacher is someone who can feel and respond to his or her emotions. We learn how to prevent negative emotions and induce positive ones”. The participants were divided into groups to share and discuss issues happening in their schools. One teacher shared, “I will learn to control my emotions and keep calm when handling students’ behaviour.”

Rekha Shahani, from IofC India, presented a powerful session on “Listening to the Inner Voice: Take time every day to listen.”  She also talked about her personal experiences as the head of a school in Mumbai and also shared a program called Education Today Society Tomorrow (ETST) hosted by IofC India. Miftahul Huda, from IofC Indonesia, said that it is essential to have reflection with students so that we could share thoughts and create changes together. As a closing statement, we were given a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Silence is both a physical and spiritual necessity for me. In the attitude of silence my soul finds the path in a clearer light.”

In decision making and goal setting, the participants were given a space to share on what actions they will take as individuals and groups. A principal shared that she is inspired with the Quiet Time session and will apply it daily with teachers at school. One teacher shared, “This camp recharged my energy and I am ready to serve better as a teacher.” Another teacher said, “This is what I need as a teacher, having space to reflect, sharing thoughts with teachers, and refreshing my mind by attending this camp.” 

We are so thankful that the participants learnt and were inspired by the camp.

Yofrina Octika Gultom

This was a trip worth cherishing and remembering. IofC Indonesia always makes me think. What inspires these youngsters to do what they do. They have a strong conviction somewhere that inspires them to do things for the community. Knowing many of them on a personal level, I must say that each one of them sets its own goals and dreams and shares it with the team. May this group of youngsters keep inspiring not only the youth but all age groups. My visit to Indonesia to participate in the International Conference on Communication Development (ICCD) and later on the International Positive Teacher’s Camp has inspired me to do more and be a source of inspiration to these youngsters. My deep gratitude to Yofrina, Huda, Irna, Rama, and the entire team of GCI. I wish all the very best to the Indonesian team of IofC. It has been indeed understood to meet all of them on their homeland as I always met them in my homeland, India. Stay blessed and safe till we meet again.

Rekha Shahani