Philiphines, 1 September 2019
Dyantie Nur Azizah from IPSE 2016 is crossing borders to Philippines for one-month practice teaching under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization’s SEA Teacher Project. She is one of IPSE students’ representative that embarked on her journey last August until September. Dyantie was hosted by Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in North La Union Campus and was deployed in DMMMSU Secondary School to share her expertise in teaching Science in Grade 8.
However, during the stay besides having a practice teaching she also got a chance to immerse herself in Philippines culture through the provincial tour and eating several local foods such as chicken adobo, pinakbet, halo-halo, bangus (milkfish), and many more. For looking forward to her complete journey during the stay, you can read through her blog in ruangfrasa.wordpress.com.
Details of her blog:
One month is totally too short! I get a lot of valuable experiences and new insights from this program so I would just conclude it in this post.
Purposes of practicum
Is the purposes of practicum meets or not meets my needed?
- To enable pre-service student teachers to develop their teaching skills and pedagogy: Obviously! It’s truly beyond what I expected.
- To encourage the pre-service student teachers to practice their English skills: Yes, it does motivate me to practice my English skills to be more fluent!
- To allow the pre-service student teachers to gain a broader regional and world view: Yes, this program does offer me gazillion broader and even global knowledge related to education.
- To expose future teachers to diverse teaching and learning situations and opportunities, and the value of flexibility: Absolutely! I am more confident and ready to teach in much varied classes!
Procedures of practicum
The procedures of practicum are adjusted with what’s been used in DMMMSU Secondary School. Luckily, the whole curriculum and teaching materials are not totally different with the one being used in Indonesia, so not a big deal!
Outcomes of practicum
After doing the whole program, I feel more confident in dealing with technical things and dealing with diverse students. Besides, I also unlock many skills such as communication skill and creativity.
The challenges of practicum
In teaching, we need a support of teaching media or teaching model to make the learning process easier moreover in teaching science. Unfortunately, the laboratory equipment here is not complete and the supplies are also hard to find, we need to go to the city’s market to buy the supplies for teaching media.
This program is really recommended for all teachers wannabe! Because we will gain a lot of new experiences, new friends, new family and networking across a country. Besides, the whole journey would also act as a self-discovery journey since we maximize our capabilities for surviving in another country and getting out of our comfort zone.
Suggestion for future improvement
- The sending university must prepare the orientation program as detailed as possible so that the student teacher would be more ready in dealing with the culture shock both in socializing and teaching.
- The receiving university must give detail information and agenda of the whole month so that the student teacher can prepare everything well. However, if the class or the subject that’s been chosen in the application form is not available, the receiving university must directly inform the student teacher because teaching requires well prepared preparedness even before landed there.
- The receiving university should give a space for the delegates to introduce the traditional culture to be presented in certain momentous agenda rather than being asked to practice the receiving culture’s new culture because it will take up much time and the cultural exchange will not run smoothly.
- Good internet connection is seriously a mandatory thing since in preparing teaching materials require the availability of downloaded templates, pictures and video to be presented. On the other hand, we also required to submit the daily/weekly blog posts.
Let’s say it’s a wrap! Thank you for the unforgettable experiences.
SEA Teacher program is actually my very first teaching experience that has direct contact with students. Even though I have already done my peer teaching for several times with different types of topics and methods, but of course dealing with the real students would be really distinctive since their respond to what we delivered would be really genuine and organic. No wonder there are some problems I found during the teaching practicum such as feeling nervous, language barrier, and mostly time and classroom management.
In dealing with my own nervous, I will surely prepare everything in detail at least the night before teaching. I will take notes of important takeaways of the teaching steps, important points of the lesson, and the activity stages.
In terms of language barrier, actually I don’t feel pressure in teaching with English since in my daily campus life I always use English. But the thing is when I talked with the students, I learned that not all of them understand English well which means they still need a little bit help of Tagalog to link their understanding. At first, I was really worried but luckily after interacting more with them and with the faculty members of the school I’m able to use the daily words or the key word in Tagalog to help students understanding the lesson.
Then, in terms of time and classroom management would be my biggest issues since it’s my first time teaching in real class! But I overcome this obstacle by setting up the timer and writing the steps in a sticky note on my laptop. Those tricks are giving a positive impact and I can teach the class more properly.
So, teaching might not always be easy sometimes but as long as we keep practicing we’ll get used to it and become an expert!
Classroom management is really important in learning process because it will affect how the students learn. After three days of teaching grade 8, I now know the characteristics of students. There are those who don’t really care about what’s happening in class and those who are really active in every segment of the activities. In this case, my cooperating teacher gave me a constructive suggestion that we should put more care to those who are not usually actively participated in class by asking them questions related to the lesson to regain their attention.
However, when teaching we should regard our class as our own stage which means we don’t necessarily need to stand in one place. We should move around and make an interaction with the students. Other than that, there is one thing that should be remembered in doing student activity: we should mix everything! What I mean here, if we plan to have a group activity, make sure that the members in one group are consisting of students with various intelligence skills so that the learning process would be more meaningful and consciously conditioned all of the students to be able to work collaboratively.
In teaching however, we must also control our voice, articulation and intonation so that what our saying would be clearly heard by all of the students. Furthermore, understanding student’s uniqueness and reflecting our both weakness and strength in teaching are also significant points to be considered.
In my very first time of teaching, time and activities management become my major issues. Even I got a full 60 minutes for teaching, but still the execution felt like a blink of an eye. But, after my first teaching session and getting my suggestion from Ma’am Joan I finally be able to conclude and divide the proper management as followed:
- 15% for introduction/initiation
- 30% for theory (presentation, video, etc)
- 45% for student activity
- 10% for closure
Even in certain topics, sometimes I overlapped but somehow that time management is really effective. However, from my learning practicum I learned that I really need to be strict with my own time management with certain adjustment to the students’ condition because if our time management in class is not well, the whole concept and topics would not be delivered optimally.
After teaching the class, I also acquired that if we start the class with student activity first, the students will be more enthusiastic and doing a great performance but the disadvantage is that it will take up much time and the worst case is the concept will not be delivered completely. However, if we start the class with theory delivery first, students will not be giving the same interests, but they will surely understand the concept.
So, in that case we can mix up which one should be prioritized according to the content of the lesson in each meeting. That is why planning our lesson well before teaching is really urgent. Well, teaching is really challenging and exciting so far. I want to keep exploring more about teaching!
After creating the lesson plans, it’s time to teach! Evidently this moment made my heart pounding fast but also excited. In executing the lesson plan, I used to practice and divide the teaching segments in detail.
In this stage, I usually greet the students and check the attendance. After that, I usually hook my students’ attention by watching an interactive video from YouTube or doing a class game such as “Satu dua tiga”. So, in this game students are asked to count and those get numbers which can be divided by three has to tell the class their prior knowledge about a concept and not allowed to repeat the same word. Usually, by having a good opening the students will be more paying attention and participate in class more active.
This stage is the most challenging part because we need to transfer the knowledge and make sure the students understand the concept well. So, to realize that I use presentation slides since it will be easier for students to understand with the note that we need to insert a lot of supporting pictures. But however, if there is an actual obcect that we can use to demonstrate, it’s much better.
After few slides, I used to give question slides to be answered together and enable us as a student teacher to check student’s understanding or misconception of a lesson. Then, we get directly to the student activity with various developments for each meeting such as:
- Cultural approach
- Running experiment
- Study case: A sight-seeing to Vigan City
- Snacks give and take
- Jeopardy game
In this stage, I usually give students time to ask few questions and ask them to conclude today’s lesson. After that, I used to strengthen the conclusion and give them the reinforcement of the concept. Then, in certain meeting I will also give students post-test to make sure the students understand the concept.
Before closing the lesson, I will inform students about the next meeting such as the homework or several things that must be prepared. And lastly, I usually give an appreciation to those being actively participated by giving them Indonesian traditional souvenir: angklung key chain and they do like it!
DMMMSU Secondary School has an inspirational slogan that immediately enamored my mind: molding lives beyond borders. According my perspective, it has a really good meaning to provoke us to keep creating works and grasping every moment as well as experiences beyond our comfort zone. And with that, I tried to modify the slogan became “molding lessons beyond borders” since during my pre-service teaching program here I was placed to teach Physics – a subject that I used to avoid the most because of its content complexity, well even though I’m a science student and learn all of the things but I would preferably choose Biology over Physics. But, why not trying something new?
After getting the clarity of the subject, learning sources, the chapters as well as the most suitable approaches I straightly composed the lesson plans with certain considerations so that every meeting would be meaningful. By the way the type of lesson plan being used here is semi-detailed. I set up five lesson plans including the one for final demo with various kind of activities, because this is my teaching formula:
happy activities = happy students = happy teacher
In case you want to see my lesson plans you can visit this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1_Seai0Dl0LyeLSqe5OcffRCmDUdWKcAY For the first meeting, I would be teaching about motion by firstly showing a video about “Wonderful Indonesia” chapter West Java, since I’m from Cimahi – Bandung and then relate every clip of the video with the concept of motion.
Then, for the second meeting the topic would be Newton’s first law of motion. I would go from context to the content by opening the class through a simple experiment to find out law of inertia which is running away and being stopped immediately.
For the topic about Newton’s second law of motion, I planned to build students’ understanding by solving a problem in a study case and ended by doing a cross number sheet. Then, for Newton’s third law of motion I asked each student to bring snacks that would be given to each pair as real life example of law of action-reaction. And lastly, for work topic as my final demo I planned to demonstrate the example and give the evaluation through “Jeopardy” game to improve the class’ excitement about the lesson.
So that’s it! Hopefully I’m able to execute the lessons well and make students’ having more interest in learning science through the meaningful process.
“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” – Marilyn vos Savant
In the first week of SEA Teacher program, we got to observe many activities in school such as induction of officers in class and the school clubs. Besides, I also got an opportunity to directly observe grade 8, the class that I’ll be staying in during my teaching practicum.
During the observation, I learned that basically the teachers here in Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) Secondary School use student centered learning approach since it is the best approach to engage with students and create a well-conditioned environment for a meaningful learning process. However, my cooperating teacher, Ma’am Joan S. Valdez usually breakdown her agenda in the class into three main parts such as:
In this part, the class is opened by saying greeting and attendance checking. Then, Ma’am Joan will ask students’ representative to lead the prayer. After that, she usually explained the mechanics of today’s activity to the students.
b. Main Activity
The teacher usually let the students to do the class activity individually then compare the result with their friends.
The closure would be initiated by asking students to conditioned theirselves then end the class with prayer.
So actually, teachers will have different teaching methods regarding the situation, learning sources and even the availability of technology support.
Materials, innovation, sources of learning and technology
The teacher here usually uses textbook as reference to teach. The textbooks are the same since it is uniformly given by the government and it is also available in the school library. However, from my observation I also learned that that Filipino’s teacher tends to use book rather than using power point slides or worksheet since when it’s compared with Indonesian teachers, we usually use interactive power point slides and giving various handouts to support the learning process. In terms of innovation, I found that a teacher ever tried to use Kahoot!, one of game-based platform that makes learning more fun.
In teaching students, we’re not only transferring the knowledge and testing out how far our concept mastery is but also developing student’s understanding towards certain topics. To get to know how student’s understanding is, we can use assessment. Assessment might seem terrifying for some students, so the teacher’s goal here, especially in Ma’am Joan’s class is to create the assessment as fun as possible with determined percentage such as (1) written output in form of project or quiz : 40%, (2) Performance: 40%, and (3) Exam: 20%
Anyway, it’s really necessary for us to assess the students and followed by constructive feedback. Because, there is also a learning process in the feedback giving. Well, after observing the class I become more excited to finally be able to teach the class. So, see you soon in another post!
Time flew like an arrow. After three days of hollow, I finally got my luggage! The airport sent it directly to the hostel and I couldn’t be happier. During that time, luckily my new friends are so kind for lending me the daily needs. However, I’m not the only one Indonesian delegates in the Philippines, there are total 36 students from various islands across Indonesia for different programs such as SEA Teacher, SEA Tvet and transfer program in our receiving university which is Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University or let’s say DMMMSU for a cool term.
Today is counted as the first week of the program, and our agenda would be orientation and class observation. Then, in the second until fourth week would be the internship, English Proficiency Training, and Provincial Tour.
After having an opening ceremony in the administration office this morning, we headed to our own campuses. There are total three campuses of DMMMSU, those are North La Union Campus (NLUC), South La Union Campus (SLUC), and Mid La Union Campus (MLUC). Luckily, I’m placed in NLUC for its Secondary School in grade 8 which has 39 students. Before doing an observation in a class, I was first introduced to the chairperson, Ma’am Mirasol Bangug and my cooperating teacher, Ma’am Joan S. Valdez. Through their warm welcoming and a glimpse of conversation I learned that Filipinos are having similar value with Indonesian such as respecting all of people especially the elders, and to always be kind.
Later on, I also tried to mingle with other faculty members and learned various things related to the education system in the Philippines especially in DMMMSU Secondary School. So, for the academic supports here there are several terms called Education Service Contracting (EDC) and Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP) which will give an access to improve the quality of education by facilitating students to study in their next study level.
Then, to fulfill my curiosity and deepen about the characteristic of the class Ma’am Joan directly asked me to have a casual tour and a first hello to grade 8. During my class observation I acquired that the teaching system being used is student centered – which is really suitable to create a conducive learning environment, with various measurement and evaluation system such as formal and non-formal evaluation to improve the hype of studying process and progress. After having an observation, I directly consult about my teaching plan and discuss what kind of adjustment I should do since here they use different curriculum which is K to 12 that’s expected to make the learning process meaningful. Besides that, Ma’am Joan also lend me various books as learning sources. It’s getting more exciting since the school’s library provided tons of resourceful books that helped me a lot to upgrade my teaching plan activities. And this is truly a blessed since I also love reading and really keen on looking for different kinds of book as references. With this, I could say I literally am super ready to start my teaching activities and plus saying is that I’m a proud NLUCian!
“Jangan sampai hati kita lupa: kalau memohon untuk mendapatkan, berarti harus mau dan siap berusaha.” –
The glimpse of words is my favorite go-to during the preparation for my first abroad journey. It was taken from my favorite poet which similarly means to: “If we pray to achieve something, don’t ever forget to be ready to do your struggle.”
I was really eager in achieving my dream to go abroad. The motives might be various for some people, but specifically for me is because I want to expand my global knowledge and capabilities. I personally concerned that, being only in one place will not affect our growth in terms of mental, even self-discovery as a foundation within us. So, as I heard the news according to the selection of being the participant of SEA Teacher (Pre-service and Teaching Practice for ASEAN countries), I do welcome the challenges.
This year would be the 8th batch for my campus to send the students off abroad for this program. It’s getting wonderstruck, moreover when I got the information to be placed in the Philippines – Pearl in The Orient. All I know that the Philippines is also well known for its rich cultures and its graphic situation with its thousand islands.
However, my flight preparation was really rush, hectic yet ecstatically exciting because at that time I was doing my community service program (an academic mandatory agenda for 40 days) and I was also in charge in preparing the orientation for new students in my campus. And the news me going abroad was like a bombshell for my friends around, but at the end of the day they do support me a lot.
As I reached the plane, I was consciously aware of this one word: Mabuhay! I heard and read that word everywhere without even knowing the meaning. But, later on I will surely know though. So, I decided to be chill and enjoy my three hours flight by watching my favorite movie: Captain Marvel.
As soon as I arrived in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, I felt something was not totally okay. My weight is lifted? Oh no, I lost my luggage! I don’t even see my dearest blue luggage everywhere! I was shocked, confused and was like “oh-kay… so, how could that happen? Can I get my luggage back?” and all of the coordinators and my friends were also shocked, “how could that happen?”.
Well, mabuhay! Welcome to the Philippines, your journey starts now.
The SEA Teacher project was initiated by SEAMEO to achieve its objective in improving teacher education through offering overseas practice teaching opportunities in the ASEAN community. In addition, participants get to learn about other cultures and practice their English language communication skills in foreign context. [Dyantie]