Japan, 6 March 2020
On Tuesday, February 6th, 2020, one of IPSE students from the 2016 batch, Echa Nurlaeli Naufal, embarked a journey to participate in the ninth Batch of SEA-Teacher Pilot Project in Japan for about a month until March 6th. Just like the previous batch, South East Asian Minister of Education Organization (SEAMEO) held this project to enables student teachers across ASEAN to do a teaching practicum abroad; what is different from this batch is that Japan also joined in the move to participate. Hence this batch is called Pilot Project.
The University of Tsukuba became the host University for her along with one fellow student, teachers from the Department of Chemistry Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, two student teachers from Central Luzon State University, Philippines, and two student teachers from Khon Kaen University Thailand, specifically for this batch. They are assigned to do the teaching practicum at the University of Tsukuba Senior High School at Sakado (UTSS) in Sakado, Saitama Prefecture, for three weeks before moving to the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture to finish another assigned duty.
During the program, she was assigned to teach IB Biology class since there was no Integrated Science class subject in the High School, but of course, she still tried to integrate a bit of another science subject in the topic she specifically assigned to teach.
All the courses she has learned in her study program (International Program on Science Education) were surely helped her a lot during the teaching practicum, starting from the lesson that she was teaching, the process of developing the lesson plan even until how does she have to manage the class. The use of English in her study program also helped in communicating with the students and the teachers, also with her fellow student teachers in Japan. Aside from the Biology Class, she also got the chance to share her teaching expertise in Bioresources and Global Passport class. She even helped to assist the teacher in Bahasa Indonesia class in the school.
In addition to conducting the teaching practicum, she and the fellow participants of the program were required to attend the SEAMEO symposium at the University of Tsukuba Tokyo Campus. There, she met a lot of fantastic lecturers, professors, and researchers who participated in the symposium and gained a lot of information about their research and how it impacted education and another field around the globe. In the symposium, she was also able to introduce her University and the SEA-Teacher program to the audience also report her activities during the program in brief.
Another activity that she was able to participate in aside of the teaching practicum is National Conference that was held in UTSS, the Conference itself is presented by and for the Students of UTSS which serves as a platform where the last year students presented their final research, the second year students presented their exchange programs to another country and the first-year students presented about their community projects. In the Conference, we were assigned to do a presentation about SEA-Teacher and how it can affect our life and goals as a student-teacher. Some lecturers from Tsukuba University were also present at that time to give us feedback about what we have done so far in the program.
In the last week of the program, the participants moved to the University of Tsukuba just by the time the school was closed amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 virus. The duties that she and her fellow student teachers were assigned to was different from the one they did in the school. In High School, they were required to conduct teaching and learning activities in classes. Meanwhile, in the University, they are challenged to manage a field trip and seminars for university students of the ASEAN Mobility Program from South East Asia countries and university students of the Trans-Pacific Human Development Program from Mexico that was also held by the University of Tsukuba. The participants of those two programs range from undergraduate up to postgraduate students. Before the program started, the participants of SEA-Teacher include her held a meeting with the professor and lecturers from CRICED office of the University of Tsukuba to discuss the program also to have a short tour and orientation around the campus.
By the time they assisted the field trip for ASEAN Student Mobility Program, The Government of Japan already have safety measures regarding the virus outbreak so that some of the places were closed, but they were still managed to witness some pieces of Japan’s beautiful sceneries.
The last duty being assigned to her and the participants were managing a seminar for the other University Students; it was the first time for her to be challenged to do such a thing. The Program Manager of SEA-Teacher, Dr. Nakao Nomura, appointed us as a team to make a lesson plan for the seminar and gave us some feedback on it before we finalize it for the seminar. In this specific field, what she learned in her study program also came as help since the model of the lesson plan that they used for the seminar is the one that she has been using during her study in her study program in Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. The day of the seminar itself went quite well, and everything was going as it has been planned.
Before ending the program, she and all of the participants of SEA-Teacher were divided into a group of countries and obliged to have a presentation regarding their activities, the result, and their feedback for the program before bidding goodbye to Japan in the next day. She surely gained a lot of valuable experiences and lessons, although she was also experienced some barriers be it in language or other things during the program. She is also planning to use the knowledge and experience she got soon as she dives into the real world of teaching. If you want to see more of her activities and documentation of her SEA-Teacher experience, kindly pay a visit on Instagram at Instagram.co/anxiechy.