In my last reflection, I said that I only have a chance to teach in the second week, right? That was because the school is having mid term test during the first week.
As usual, before going to teach, I consulted to my master teacher about my lesson plan. He said that the lesson plan was OK and asked me to prepare the concept delivery. At that time I was going to teach “Composite function” topic in the second grade of social science class. I realized that this topic was quite difficult to be understood but maybe knowing the students’ characteristic might help me to make them understand the concept. Then, I asked my master teacher about my students-to-be. Dialogue between us was like this,
Master teacher : Kelas ini yang paling ribut di antara yang lainnya. Mereka berisik sekali (This class is the noisiest class compared to others. They are very noisy)
Me : Mereka biasanya ribut kenapa, pak? (Why are they usually noisy, sir?)
Master teacher : Ya, ribut aja. Kalau diterangkan tidak memperhatikan, ngobrol sendiri sama temennya. Kalau mengerjakan tugas juga seperti itu. Mereka ngobrol saja, tidak mengerjakan (Just the way they are. If I’m explaining the lesson, they do not pay attention, having chit-cat with their friends. They act the same if I gave them task. They just have chit-chat and ignore the task given).
I have heard lots of teachers complained their students being noisy. But somehow, they implied that the students should be extremely silent. It is appropriate if they should not talk while the teacher is explaining but while they were doing the task, I don’t think they should not talk. They should talk and chit-chat with their friends. That is called discussion. From this conversation, I assumed that my class did not get enough chance to have discussion so that they were noisy.
I changed the plan. First, I concern more on the concept delivery. I should make the concept easy to be understood and relate it to real life because when these students felt it was hard, they would felt demotivated, rather than challenged, and reluctant to continue learning. Second, I changed the plan from only having exercise from book into a game. The game asked students to match the initial functions to their composite function. I chose game because it has a power to escalate the feeling of challenge without making the content scary.
So, what’s the result? Lesson delivery by lecturing was quite helpful when it was blended with real-life situation. Students felt attracted. They kept asking why if I told them something new. They were still noisy, but they still paid attention to me because they used their “noise” to ask and respond my explanation.
The game session was used by them to talk, talk, and talk. I just needed to confirm what they were talking, Mathematics or other things. Surprisingly, they were serious in doing the matching game! I even questioned why they were so serious even when I did not give any extrinsic motivation such as; reward, score, points, etc.
At last, I interviewed some of them about the lesson that day. All of them said that the lesson was attractive because it was different than another lesson they usually got. They did not get bored easily because they had enough time to talk.
However, my weakness was always about class management. My master teacher said that I took more time in checking some group’s work, compared to others. He said it was not good because another group would be like being put aside.
This school experience is very meaningful. It makes me realize that indeed a teacher needs to always learn and improve his/herself. More importantly, it makes me learn that make a fun learning is easy, but does it help learning process? It is good to make students happy in class, but do they get something else to improve their learning? It is so pity if it is only fun but give nothing to students to improve learning 😦