I’d like to call myself a future education practitioner. Yes, in six months, I’m going to be a teacher. a teacher with her own classroom, her own students, and her new stage of life to be encountered. In only six more months, I’ll be dealing with my first year of teaching. I heard some experiences from some friends, and yeah, they all sound so overwhelming.
I am now studying Biology education in one of private universities in Indonesia, and I am now in my senior year. One more semester to go, and around 3 more months away from my thesis submission due date.
Been studying this field for three and half years, but I have never been thinking about what I’m actually doing and what should I be doing with this field until around five months ago, when I started my 4-month-internship (student-teaching). Yeah, as a student, I have been equipped and taught about many theories about education, how to deal with the students, how to get prepared, how to do teacher’s paperwork and administration, etc. but surely, what is in the theories, are not all the same with what I see in the reality. I, then, started thinking about the reason why I am even here, doing all these things. I think, we should firstly know why we do what we are doing before we go further with it, right? I don’t wanna be a working machine that goes back and forth from home to work only to fulfill a routine and gets salary at the end of every month. We were all created for more than that, right? We were all created for more than just being a working machine, working day and night, and then… feels nothing.
I really believe that we were all called to be part of this community and have our contribution to make this world a better place. Have you even thought about that? I think that life is far, far more than just going to good schools, making good grades, getting good job with big amount of salary, and then what? We end up as the kids of the consumerists world. We pursue good schools and good grade in order to get good job with good salary then with that big salary, we end up buying more stuff, because that is what this world is offering and alluring us with. Here, I’m not saying that we don’t need money, we do, but that is not our ultimate goal. We are really created to be more than just doing such thing.
All these things keep running around my head, tickling my very thinking to even think deeper and deeper. Like what I posted earlier about a quote that has been in my mind… sometimes, the simplest question can really strike us the most because we are too busy finding out big things and forgetting other little things that are actually the very basis of everything else. Yeah, we keep thinking on changing the world, making this world a better place, and etc. but have we even ever thought of this very simple question: “Why are we even here?” “Why in the world am I doing this right now?”
Simple questions that ask for the very reason of our existence. These very questions, lead us to our view of the meaning of our life, also, the purpose of our life.
Who doesn’t agree that education is an important thing? I believe we all do agree that education plays a very important role in the society. Nelson Mandela once said:
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Yes, more than what most of us can see, education has bigger impacts to our society. Education itself, for me, is more than just a process of transferring knowledge to the students. It is about touching lives, teaching hearts, and helping the young lives to figure out who they really are, why they are here. It sounds so profoundly said, doesn’t it? but what that really means in real life? Even more, what does that mean to me, as a future education practitioner?
I realize that becoming a teacher needs more than just wide and broad knowledge of my subject. But it also takes obedience, discipline, and total dependence to my Maker. The one who gives me my identity, the purpose of my life, and the one I am doing all these things for.
I believe that our world now needs more than just smart people. Look around us now, we’ve got so many smart people. But how many of them do really care about doing something for others? How many of them use their knowledge, ability and smartness for the good of others?
“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”
― C.S. Lewis
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
What we believe impacts our actions, decisions, and views to many things around us. There is no neutral belief, I believe. Everyone has their own worldview. Their own perspective on how they see the world, how they approach things in their life, how they react on things that happened to them. There is no such thing as neutrality.
The same thing as education. There is no such neutral curriculum. The curriculum has to be influenced or affected by the worldview of the maker. How the curriculum view the roles of the teacher and school, how the curriculum approach the students, they all must be affected by certain worldview or perspective.
Education itself, once again, is more than just a process of imparting knowledge, it is about humanizing human beings. We seek out to helping the students to be able to take part in the society, and even more to function at their best to contribute to the world. The question then arises, what kind of education that we, Indonesian people, need? Indonesia has been a very complex country with all of the complicated problems and things happened within itself. What do we need? Where things seem too difficult to be fixed? What kind of education that we really need to help Indonesia to grow and be a better country?
We need more than just people who know everything. We need people who can at least do one thing to make Indonesia, and even bigger this world, a better place. Curriculum that only seeks out the students to excel in academic thing and urges the students to compete for straight A’s is not what we need. We don’t need people that can recite everything written on the textbooks. We need people that can apply what they read on textbook to real life. Real world. Real situation.
Too many smart people, again, like I’ve explained earlier, they are too busy collecting cash, buying more stuff, being too consumptive.
But look at some other people…
Ricardo Hutahaean. A social activist that has been devoting his life fighting for civilian rights for the people in Jakarta’s suburban. Fighting for something that has never been fought by so-called care people who actually only care about themselves.
Butet Manurung. An educational activist that has been spending years living and teaching the kids of remote tribes, Suku Anak Dalam, in Jambi. She has experienced living in a jungle, doing what other smart people think as, maybe, something stupid.
I believe that there are more people out there doing something greater like these people. Some other people that we might never know, because the do live far away from the spotlight of this world. But they do make the difference and give their best contribution for this country. See? We need more than just smart people. We need people with the heart for the good of others.
The questions are ours to answer..
Why even are we here?
What is the reason of our very existence?
Unless you see from the right angle, you’ll find yourself in a wrong reflection.