This was my experience when I became a teacher for the first time.
It was my graduation from my high school. I was confused, whether I would continue my study to university or not. Because my mother was single parent, and was out of my city, Bogor city. At the time my mother had been in Borneo island for months. She had been visiting her siblings there because they never went home to Bogor. Although actually I got a scholarship to Japan university, I decided to follow my mother to Borneo island. Why I followed my mother? Because since going to Borneo island I never got an issue from her. I worried about her if something had been happened to her. My mother could not contact me because there was no public telephone service in the village where she used to live. She must go to Pangkalan Bun city to find public telephone service. Meanwhile the distance from the village to the city was very far away and needed much cost.
So I crossed the Java Sea by ship to Borneo island. It was my first cruise leaving Java island. FYI the distance between Java island to Borneo island is approximately more than 800 km. It took 18-22 hours on ship. No longer after that, to my surprise Borneo island was still an underdeveloped urea. There were still many jungles, big rivers, and wild life. I couldn’t see many buildings like in the cities. The roads were still ground. There’s so rare of inhabitants. The houses were mostly made of woods. People especially the Dayak tribe were going everywhere barefoot and on foot. They brought a basket tied on their heads. I said to myself, “It must be heavy, bringing things in the wicked basket on the head. Don’t they feel dizzy?” But the fact they never felt what I thought should be the risk.
I was so upset knowing that I could not enjoy electrics during morning to evening. The electric facilities were available only on evening until the midnight. It started from 5 pm until 12 am. How sad I was! I could not watch tv in the midday. There were also no daily newspapers, no public transportation, no pub, no cinemas, no stadium, so boring for me as I was a citizen who liked enjoying many facilities completely.
Added my sadness, I could not eat my favorite foods. Because here difficult to get. As there were no public transportation. People could travel to the cities as if they had personal vehicles such as motorcycles. So what our family ate just tofu, tempe, fish, and cassava leaves. Don’t hope can eat sausage, beef, cheese, hamburger, pizza here. They were difficult to find!
What made me sadder was the prices of things were so expensive, 2 or 3 times more expensive than the prices in Java island. But, it’s suitable with the lower cost of labors salary. Jobs easily obtained. We can work everything along we like it.
One day, when my little cousin received his school report, I saw that there was no English subject. I asked my cousin, “Do you learn English at school?” Then he replied “There’s no English teacher in our school! Nobody can speak English here, so who will teach us English?”
Listen to his answer, my heart felt kind like injured. How lucky I was! Since toddler I had been living in the city. I got all I needed. I enjoyed all the facilities in the city. But here in Borneo island, I realized if I were luckier than the people. I know English-Japanese-Korean-Italian, but they don’t. I had tasted hamburger, sausage, pizza, but they never! I had got on bus and train but they hadn’t. Lastly I had visited such tourism objects in Java Island and they hadn’t any yet!
My heart was called out, a whisper said to my mind “I should help them, they are Indonesian young generation, they are national asset!” So, I came to the headmaster house to purpose a job as an English teacher. He welcomed me with a warm. Since then I became a teacher of primary school. My age was just 18 years old, and I didn’t have a scholar because I just graduated from senior high school. But because of my heart, I wanted to help my cousins, I didn’t care if my education was not qualified. Luckily the government didn’t think about it.
Being a teacher was my dream when I was a second grade of primary school student. At the moment my teacher asked each her students one by one about their aim. When it turned on me, actually I was confused, I hadn’t decided what I wanted to be! Unthought I answered if I wanted to be a teacher like her. She smiled familiarly and said to me gave a spirit, “Reach what you want!”
I felt very glad when everybody called me as ‘teacher’ and I didn’t realize at all if I was very young and my age was just 18 years old.
Besides teaching at school I also opened a course at home. It was my first business and project. I thought that education for children could be my prosperous business.
Since my coming the students became happier than before because they learned new things in their life. Even they learned the world out of Borneo island and abroad. Their knowledge increase.
In Java island there are many people become jobless in the city. Whereas they have been graduated from university. I wonder if only they would like to leave Java island for Borneo island, surely they would have a better life for their future. They will get jobs, and the children in Borneo will get more knowledges completely. So they can develop our country to be more developed country!
Up until now I have been still a teacher. I love my profession as my heart can not leave it. Without my realizing now eleven years have passed.Some of my students now have become teachers too. And I proud of them. When I saw them that they have been succeed, I realized one thing again that : “Oh, actually I’m getting older! Why I always felt that I was still young?”
Love my schools where I had worked in :
1. Bangun Jaya Primary School (since 2004-present)
2. Natai Kondang Primary School (2004-2005)
3. Balai Riam Senior High School (since 2005-2013)
4. PGRI Balai Riam Junior High School (2010-2012)
5. Balai Riam Junior Boarding School (2010)
6. Pelita Cemerlang Primary School (2010)