Preceding the school year 2009/2010, SMKN 1 Rota Bayat conducted a school orientation program for its newly joined students. The program lasted for 3 days involving the whole elements of the school management: The headmaster, teachers and of course, Titianers.
The aim of the program is to socialize the school’s environment, academic subject matters and youth related challenges. The logic of the program follows the standard procedures of the senior high school orientation program, officially released by government. However, Titianers very much felt that a different approach had to be implemented to promote the students’ active participation. A one-way lecturing method –where teacher becomes the centre of attention- tends to minimize the students’ role in the process, as well as creating boredom in some cases.
Here comes the point when Titianers propose a different teaching-learning approach to encourage the students’ maximum involvement. The primary goals are to open up horizon, promote personality development and increasing confidence. Titianers put students as the main actors of the process while the teachers function as facilitators. Both teachers and students in the area are not used to have this strategy in class. They are stuck in a traditional method which put teacher as the main focus.
More fun and dynamic methods are introduced to teach the suggested subjects, such as: movie screenings, group discussions, seminars with experts and professionals, on-the-field lectures and problem solving sessions. For sure, the implementation of this strategy is not easy. The resistance comes not only from the students but from the teachers as well. They instantly confronted with a list of problems such as where and how to get the materials, the equipments, how to make sure that the students will be able to follow, and the list goes on. However, Titianers persistently convince both parties that this is not impossible.
With everyone trying to fit in the new approach, the first day ended with a boredom, while successful progress can be seen on the following days. The students’ confidence boosted tremendously, they are willing to raise hands, answering and asking questions, even proposing their favourite after-school programs.
In modern schools, this may sound nothing extraordinary as this is how the way an educational process is supposed to be. However, given the fact that SMKN 1 Rota Bayat is located in the very remote and underdeveloped area and the nature of the students that come from under-the-poverty-line families who are less confident compared to those from prosper families, the results are very encouraging. We are confident that this is a good start and we expect more success stories in the days to come. It is indeed our mission, revealing a shining diamond hidden in the solid rock!