Before I share my experience teaching at Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) Al Battani, let me introduce myself. There is a saying in Indonesian, “Tak kenal maka tak sayang,” meaning that you can’t love what you don’t know. My name is Norman, I am from Delta Pawan District, Ketapang Regency, West Kalimantan. I am 25 years old. I work as a waiter at a café and as a tour guide in Ketapang.
In the beginning, I received an information about the English tutoring activity in Muara Pawang from the Ketapang English Community group. After asking for further details, I found out that the program is created by TBI to improve human resources quality in remote areas. I was very interested in the program and applied to become one of the volunteers. Thank God I was finally accepted after passing a long discussion.
In November 2018, I visited SDN 11 Muara Pawan elementary school. It was not very far from my house, as it took around 30 minutes to reach the school by motorcycle. I visited the school with my colleague, Elisa Apriani, an English teacher in MAN 1 Ketapang, who would also teach the students at TBI Al Battani with me.
What amazed me when I arrived at this school was the warm welcome we got from the students and teachers. Then they gathered, shook and kissed our hands. It was something that I have rarely encountered lately. After that, we were led to a library where we introduced ourselves and started the teaching and learning activities. The atmosphere at the TBI was initially so quiet but we eventually broke it with jokes and laughter. In total, there were 52 students from grade 3 to grade 6 that participated in the lesson that morning. Since it was only the first day, we learned English alphabets and played games.
Seeing the students’ intention and enthusiasm to learn was a very memorable experience for me. That day was supposed to be their holiday, but they went to school instead and even arrived earlier than the schedule informed by TBI staff. I was getting more and more excited and happy to share my knowledge after seeing their enthusiasm. My challenge then was to maintain their enthusiasm to learn and prevent it from decreasing.
Tawa & Senyum Mereka Adalah Semangat Ku
Jangan Hapus Mimpi Mereka Dengan Kepalsuan Dunia
Genggam Erat & Jangan Kau Lepas Tanganya
Karena Mereka Adalah Harapan Kita Untuk Masa Depan
Their Laughter & Smile Is my Zest
Don’t Erase Their Dreams with the Falsehood of the World
Hold Tight & Don’t Let Go of Your Hand
Because They Are Our Hope for the Future
(Norman, A Committee Member of Ketapang English Community).