Hello 2015! this is my very first post in this year, yeah i know i’ve been slow updating this blog in previous years. Hopefully not anymore! So, one of many memorable events in 2014 (not that i have a lot of events anyway) is becoming a volunteer in Kelas Inspirasi.
What is this Kelas Inspirasi? Kelas Inspirasi is a volunteer activity from Yayasan Indonesia Mengajar where professionals teach in an elementary school for a day, sharing about their profession and motivate the children in achieving their dreams. (I took and translared this definition literally from their official site kelasinspirasi.org)
But wait, an elementary school? so you are teaching elementary school kid? Yes! Yeah i know handling even one kid in elementary school is hard, and we are talking about a class full of kids! that’ll multiply the problem even more. But hey, it turned out was not that bad! 😀
Disclaimer, all photos credit goes to: Ana Fitriyani, Eva Ali, myself, and others in Group 9 of Kelas Inspirasi Depok 2
It was last year, around the month of August suddenly i got interested in applying for Kelas Inspirasi. It was after a friend of mine (if you read this, you know who you are :p) who was one of the committee in Kelas Inspirasi Depok 2, shoved down the idea of how interesting it could be to be an elementary school teacher for a day, moreover you can share to them about your profession, of what you do everyday for a living. In the spirit of opening up children’s mind of what profession available out there so that they don’t get stuck only in idea of “normal” jobs (for example: a doctor, a policeman, a pilot, etc), this activity give me an idea to introduce them to the world of programming *evilsmirk*.
And so i applied, filling out the registration form was the easy part, i applied for the role of an inspirator (there were three roles: inspirator, photographer, videographer), you only need to fill out your name, your profession, your motivation, etc. They seemed to be making the registration form as simple as possible so that they could get as many applicants as possible. I also chose Depok as the location of my choice, since i still live in Depok.
And thus i waited, until one day, just two weeks before the actual D-day i received an email saying that i got accepted as one of the inspirator, yay!. They also informed me that they would held a briefing session a week before the D-day, it was in October 11th last year at a place called BJB in Margonda, Depok. I was in group 9, along with other 20 people, they came from different field of jobs, some were writers, some other worked in a bank, some worked in governmental office and non-government organization, there was also a physiotherapist, someone who worked in advertising agency, and also someone who worked in oil and gas equipment company.
The briefing session was exciting. There were no less than a hundred volunteers gathered in BJB. We were grouped by school location where we were going to teach at. Mine was SD Negeri Depok 2, an elementary school just next to the Depok Lama Station (you should know that if you ever took a Commuter Line in Jabodetabek). In our small group, we introduced ourself to each other, it is always fun to meet a new people, there were also two teachers from SD Negeri Depok 2 who joined our group discussion, they told us about the condition and facilities of their school, the social background of the families of their students, the curriculum that they currently teach their students. There was also a sharing session with one of the volunteer of Indonesia Mengajar, He shared his experience when he became a teacher for a year in a remote village. It was inspiring, he once quoted a saying from Anies Baswedan (the initiator of Indonesia Mengajar and currently Minister of Culture and Primary & Secondary Education): “each of us have a debt to make people of this country educated, participating in Indonesia Mengajar (and Kelas Inspirasi) is one way to pay that debt”.
Just two days before the D-day, our group visited SD Negeri Depok 2 to see the school’s condition and to introduce ourselves to the school headmaster and teachers (and also the students, because apparently they attend school on Saturday). We did also find out the number of class that available there so that we can assign each person with number of class there. It turned out that each of us would teach 3 classes and would teach for maximum two hours per class. Can you imagine that?. The school facility was not the best of all, it only had two toilets and their condition was bad, the door couldn’t be locked and had holes in it. They only had one library yet it seems that it never been opened, because there were stacks of chairs in front of its door, and they were dusty.
And so the actual Kelas Inspirasi day came, it was Monday, 20th of October. We agreed to come to the school as early as 6 in the morning, because they had Upacara Bendera every Monday. It’s been a long time since i attended Upacara Bendera, i couldn’t imagine myself actually missing that activity :p. We introduced ourselves, and what we do for a living to the students after Upacara.
We then started or first session of class. For me, i got 5th grader as my first class session. I did what i know best, i taught them about the basic of computer programming. Yes I know what you are thinking, but no, it’s not that geek. I took the material from Code.org, in there they have a nice tutorial that can be used to teach elementary student kid programming. I told them that the game that they played in their smartphones or tablets are indeed programmable, and I told them that don’t just play a game in there, but create one (i quoted Obama for this).
After the noon, we decided to close the event. It turned out that teaching two sessions of two hours of class was tiring enough for most of us. We bought balloons and filled them with student future goals and hopes, and then we flew them into the air. After that suddenly the kids asked us to sign their books and papers. It seems that we became artist in that day. Personally I asked them what their goals are, and write it along with my signature. Not less than a hundred students asked our signatures at that time.
If you ask me will I volunteer again in the next Kelas Inspirasi event, I think i’ll say yes, definitely. For sure that day was tiring, but it was also fun at the same time. I remembered correctly one kid said to me that he is going to be a Computer Programmer just like myself, hearing that made me realize that this profession that I have is one of the cool profession out there.