Day One

“Teaching in the school, we cannot pay you a proper salary. Maybe the money you will earn here only can afford your petrol”, said the principal.

Talking with the principal about what things that would be going on, I didn’t mind about the salary. Somehow I knew that I should be teaching at here. It was a small school, run by a Christian foundation which is based in my city. The school’s location, however, is far from the city. It’s in the border, where we can find big truck, big bus on our way to get there. Border….

I have 12 hours (1 hour lesson is 40 minutes) in a week to teach. Though we will teach for a whole month (it means 4 weeks and sometimes more), we will only be paid according to how many hours we teach in a week. For example, if we have 12 hours in a week, and for one hour we are paid -let’s say- 16,000 rupiahs (it’s around $1.25), so count it yourself how much you will get in a month. Demand? Cannot. That’s the system. Just take it or leave it.

I took it.

It is a small school belongs to a Christian education foundation. There are only one class in each grade, whereas each class only consists of 17 to 30 students. Sometimes the number is less because many students skip the class. There are only around 10 teachers, 3 staffs, and two old couples who live at school’s area and sell food in the school canteen during the break time. The teachers sometimes only come when they have schedule to teach because some of them also have schedule in other schools.

It is a school which accepts those who are dropped out from their previous schools. It is a secondary education institution that becomes the last choice for mostly students. It is a place which simple and homely. It is a home for those who seek love and affection.

And I was there. I am still here. Writing.

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You Deserve!

This morning I received message on my LINE from my former student.

“Miss, I am accepted”.

Suddenly, I felt so happy to hear the news from her.

She was my student for English conversation. She was the junior of my little brother when they worked together in a theatre club of their Senior High School. Since that time, I felt so connected to her cause we both could talk about art performing and of course, did some information about my brother.

She applied for immigration academy. I had just heard from her about immigration academy. Before, I had no idea if the people who work in immigration office should have education degree in academy of immigration.

In the previous year, she also applied. After some tests she was announced failed, which was almost the final test. She was sad, but didn’t give up. She tried it again this year.

She told me about the tests, which were a lot. Be it, academically, physically, interview, medical check up, and even virginity. Yes, I am not kidding. Virginity test was included for the test and the candidate (female) should be virgin. It’s interesting topic, isn’t it? Lets talk about it later.

I witnessed how hard she tried, how much money she had spent since the tests were held in Jakarta. Even she exercise a lot; running, swimming, to meet the body goal and prepare for sports tests.

There were no any words to respond from me but “Alhamdulilah, Praise The Lord”.

She said thanks to me for guiding her and supporting her during her hard times facing the tests. I was so flattered then my heart was touched for such kind of her gratitude, but still… “It’s because your hard work, dear! You deserve it”.

I finally feel the feelings of being a teacher. We watch one’s process of reaching their dream. We even don’t feel that we do something special, but for our students, it may means a lot for their life. We are happy, we are proud when we see our students achieve their goals, their dreams.

And one thing I learn very precious things from her: WORK HARD PAID OFF.

Hasil tidak akan pernah menghianati proses.  –unknown

Congratulation, my dear student! May your heart, your steps, are always blessed to lead you becoming a person who can give good vibes for the world. Your dream has just started.