“Prepare the umbrella before it rains.” -Malay proverbs
Life is full of surprises. Can never be more agree to that saying. Today I started teaching for the first time in grade 10. the topic? Inheritance. That was something. Really something.
I prepared all the things even far away before the Lebaran break. I was so ready. But yeah, just a bit nervous. No, honestly not a bit. It was humongous. This is my third student-teaching tho, but I’ve never experienced this kind of nervousness before. Maybe because of the school in which I am doing my student-teaching this time is very different than the 2 previous schools. Anyway, talking about the surprises in life, teaching is full of surprises too for sure. Just experienced that this VERY day.
I was standing there in front of 20 10 graders. My heart pumped more blood than it does usually. My hands started to cold, even worse, I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. My lips were suddenly dried out! *I’m pretty sure I applied some lip balm before I teach this afternoon. Fiuuuhh*
I introduced myself in front of them. So calm. That was smooth.
Then I started the lesson by showing a movie clip, that I thought, could be the attention getting for the students. Well, it worked. I threw out some questions regarding the movie clip as planned before. Yeah, they responded. That was cool.
I know, well, I knew this was the bad part of the scene. Wanna blame nervousness? Maybe. I talked VERY fast!! As fast as the shinkasen in Japan. Haha sounds exaggerating, huh? But, yeah, you got what I mean. The students starred at me like…… bu, are you okay?
I tried to control the nervousness. I calmed down a little bit, lowering my talking speed. Quite good.
There I was in the part of explaining the DNA sequences…..
“Okay students, there are two kinds of DNA sequence. The first one is the DNA sequence that can be translated into proteins, and the other one is the one that cannot be translated into proteins. The ones that can be translated into proteins called the genes, and the other ones are called the satellite DNA.”
Quite cool, huh?
*one male student raised his hand*
“bu, what do you mean by cannot be translated? Is that ….214#@%$?#%$#??”
Couldn’t hear what he was saying. Hey, ears, why cant you just work? Listen to his question!!
“is that ….214#@%$?#%$#??”
The second time too, my ears did not work quite properly.
“is that you mean like the cells can read the DNA? Then translate them into protein? You mean like there many kinds of protein???”
Finally, my ears worked.
I was struck by his question. Dang! I didn’t prepare for such question.
But hey, this lesson was supposed to be very basic inheritance!! Why did he ask me such question? We haven’t reached that level, kiddo!!
I tried to explain to him. Then I repeated my explanation in Bahasa, in hopes that he could get what I mean. But.. Uh oh. He is not Indonesian. *well, he looks like Indonesian tho* Ha! Kill me!!!!!!!
Oh okay wait, let me check it. I went to my computer, trying to do something…… but I ended up starring at the computer for about 3-4seconds.
I stood up again and said to him: “Can I come back to you later? Because I have to check it first.”
Sometimes in life, we thought that we have prepared all the best for something. But, we forget about the possibility of unpredictable things, that actually can happen like anytime in the middle of our perfect preparation and plans.
At first, I felt so down. I felt like I failed. Well, yeah maybe I did fail today. But surely, a lesson learned. I did not think that the students might be asking some things that are maybe out of the coverage of my topic and yeah, out of the coverage of my knowledge. And I humbly enough to confess that, I need to learn more. Read more books and be more well-prepared. I thought I was prepared enough, but this experience taught me so much that I just wasn’t that well-prepared.
I also learned about honesty. Let me tell you, it was real hard for me to say: “Can I come back to you later? Because I have to check it first.” it was like an epic failure. Being a teacher but not being able to answer question. But then my mentor struck me with this: “it’s okay for saying something like that in front of the students. We are still human. We might not know about everything. But at least we know that next time, we need to learn more.” It was real hard. Real hard.
Prepare the umbrella before it rains? I think the Malayans are right. Life is full of surprises. Better be prepared than stuck in the middle of awkward situation.
But, more than the Malayans, God’s word is even more right..
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” -Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)