Teaching in a Remote Island : a Reflection

It has been nearly a month since I first stepped on the Kasu Island, one of thousands islands in Kepri Province. I was so excited because I thought this would be my new adventure and experience for me. Boat riding is a daily routine now, and as a person who is used to have trip on land, it’s sometimes quite scary but exciting for me. I meet a bunch of new people who are friendly and helpful. It is not much surprising that the culture in the island is still similar to the culture in the villages in Java, friendly and intimate, but on the other side, it has something like ‘social radar’ that monitors every movement and changes in the society.The excitement of the new experience I will have dwindles as I realize after entering the classroom that teaching in a remote island has a particular challenge. I list the problems that teachers generally have when teaching in the classroom.

  1. The students are overtly hyperactive : Teachers who usually teach in the mainland schools will be shocked by the way the students behave in the classroom. They are very hyperactive. Some students cannot sit still and concentrate on the lesson.
  2. The lack of facility : The electricity is available at night, from evening until early morning. So teachers cannot use media such as LCD Projector etc in the classroom. There is a generator in the school but it is often used when something which is really important has to be done. In other words, it needs more money to buy the gasoline so the school doesn’t want to use it very often.
  3. The learning motivation and ability of the students are generally low : Really, I mean it is the core problem of all. They are mostly lazy to think. Few students  show a good attitude towards the lesson but it is not enough -to build a good learning atmosphere- compare to the students who are low motivated.

Those are some problems that teachers in the island face. It seems quite simple and classic and there are always options and ways to cope with that. But again, it is easier to be said than done.

Batam, August 29, 2015

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