The continuation of Pioneer Conversation Club
The foreigner’s name was Lidy. I vaguely remembered that she was an exchange student from Belgium, or was it Hungary? Honestly speaking, my fear of losing my hierarchy standing in the class faded as I got to know Lidy better. She was a very joyful and likable person who knew her way around the class. She immediately bounded with each class member through her ice-breaking game. I then realized she was not a mere student, but also a very capable educator.
“I will write some words on the board. Each word represents something which is important to me. Your job is to guess what those words possibly mean. You can ask me for clues for each word I’ve written. Is that clear?” Lidy gave a brief explanation of the game.
“Yes!” the students yelled excitedly.
The game went on for sixty minutes or so. Everybody seemed to be having fun. I could not help but feel the excitement Lidy had created. Teaching a class with a bunch of students you just met was certainly not easy, one wrong move and your whole period would fall into the bottomless pit of boredom. However, the exchange student triumphantly beat the trial and managed to control the whole class population as if she knew each one of them like the back of her hand. Even I did not have what it took to be able to present such fun and interactive teaching strategy. Haha, I guessed I just lacked the experience.
Even though I was fascinated by Lidy flawless method and no longer concerned about my importance in the class, I had no idea how I should react among those high-schoolers. It was one of the most awkward moments I had ever faced. I was too old to act as if I was their kin, but Lidy’s presence would outshone mine if I decided to take my part as the class guest. Besides, who would listen to some, unknown domestic student if you got a gorgeous foreign teacher who had traveled the globe?
Refusing to be the most silent person, I decided to do what I do best, playing a class clown. Most people might get an impression I was a serious, humor lacking man, but actually I was quite keen on making other people laugh. My attempt was nothing but fortuitous. Although the spotlight refused to shine except for Lidy, I somehow managed to make several headlights of my own. The class roared with laughter as I gave some comical answers to Lidy’s open questions. I then furthered my funny act by speaking in heavy Javanese accent which, in return, made the class even more uproarious.
The PCC session ended with a lot of smiles. Everyone was happy and left the classroom in such high spirit. After bidding our farewell to Lidy, Hida and I went to a nearby cafe to get an early dinner.
“So, how was it?” Hida started a conversation with a question I had expected she would ask me.
“I enjoyed the class. The students were attentive, Lidy was remarkably skilled at teaching, I had a lot of fun today”. I answered. “Will Lidy join us again next week?”
“Nah, it was just a one-time show. We will be on our own next week. Get prepared, okay?”
“Okay.” I replied.
Shortly after finishing our dinners, we filled our heads with various teaching plans. We began to brainstorm ideas for our next meeting with PCC members and it was not a walk in the park. We felt obliged to provide our students with something more than their previous teacher and Lidy had given them. Was it burdensome? It certainly was. Was it tiring? It definitely was. Was it fun? It surely was!
Constructing an effective lesson plan is not a piece of cake. It requires a deep understanding of each student’s characteristic and cognitive level. In spite of the headache we had after two hours of rigorous brainstorming, making a thorough lesson plan was always pleasurable. It was like playing with Lego blocks and let your creativity decided whatever shape the blocks would take.
More importantly, a well-planned class agenda is essential to ensure the most favorable outcome of a teaching-learning activity. Without preparing a well-thought-out strategy, a teacher can not hope to take full control of a class, let alone receive attentive behaviors from students.
I and Hida realize that we still have a long way to go before we can reach where Lidy and Mr. B – PCC’s former instructor – stand on. However, it does not necessarily mean that we are unable to produce a decent lesson plan for our students to enjoy. We are a couple of spirited, young teachers who are willing to go all out for our beloved students. We will not stop improving ourselves trough any mean possible so Mr. B will not regret his decision to take us as his successors. Waja sampai kaputing!