Not a broken lighter

I once saw a video of a lecturer explaining to her students how a human can heal another human. In her lecture, she took a lighter and lit it a couple of times but it didn’t work. She took another lighter and lit it too and it worked. Then, she took both the lighters and lit them at once, one was on and another was off. So, she brought the lighter closer together. And surprisingly the lit lighter made the unlit lighter light up. She then claimed that both lighters were fine and no broken lighter was there. At first I didn’t understand of her claim, but then she added, the unlit lighter was not broken. It just needed a little help to make it work. It is just like human. Sometimes, one has too much pressure, less motivation, and less confident. But it doesn’t mean that person is broken, he just need a little help from another human to make it work. People always need each other. The lecture is really helping me in life, especially in teaching.

Most English teacher don’t teach in English. Some of them assume that students will not able to receive knowledge or not able to understand the lesson if they teach in English. They will need to translate it to Bahasa if they do so. Some also say, it because students think that English has no impact for their life so they don’t need to learn it. But are that really the problems?

The real problems are not with the students, it’s us, the teachers. We let too many excuses get in the way. Those students are like the unlit lighter. They have too much pressure, less motivation, and less confident. They need us to make it work. We can help them by practicing English with them, teach in English, and do not speak Bahasa during the class. It may confuse them for a while at first, but they will get used to it. That way, they will be motivated and they will try to understand what we are talking about. They will also try to respond in English eventually. All we need is trust and consistency.

Teachers should believe in their students ability. It’s not right to have unproven assumption against students. Trust them. Do not underestimate their intellect. We were all students once. I believe we wouldn’t make it if our teachers didn’t have faith in us.

If you think the students have not understand the lesson yet, do not translate it. Rephrase it instead, or do gesture if needed. We have to keep in mind that English is not just knowledge, it is a skill. Think about it, if you want to give someone a driving lesson, you have to be able to drive too and you have to actually show them how to do so. You do not just tell them the mechanics and what the functions are. It is the same with English. You do not just tell them the grammatical rules and functions, but you actually need to practice it with them because English is a skill. That way, we can help our students light up.

Written by Miss. Novi Hartinah, S.Pd 

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