Sopan Fitriani, an alumnus of YSU Faculty of Sport Sciences, has been joining the Scholars Teaching In Remote, Outermost, Underdeveloped Areas Of Indonesia Program for almost a year in SDN 2 Terangun (Terangun 2 Elementary School), Gayo Lues, Nanggroe Aceh Darusalam.
Sopan’s first days as Grade IV classroom teacher were stressful as many students could only spell the words and some students had not been able to read nor write. They still had problems in doing addition and subtraction too. She was also assigned to teach in Grade III as the classroom teacher was not present on school days. It was very challenging for her.
“ Adi, Nasir, Aliyah, Iskandar and Kawi were my students. At that time, Iskandar and Kawi were four graders who could not read and had poor hand writing. They seemed to have no practice at home. That was tough as I did not have any experience in teaching literacy before. For a month and a half, I tried to teach them inclusively and made them sit on the front row. While I was giving tasks for other students, I asked Iskandar and Kawi to come to my desk and learn to read, “ she recalled.
Sopan told the reporter that changes happened to Iskandar and Kawi’s learning. “After three months, they showed improvements in reading and writing, so did two other students, Aliyah and Adi, though their reading and writing skills were not as good as what I expected.”
After adjusting herself to the teaching environment for three months, Sopan had to make the students able to read and write well. Teaching those students inclusively had not given remarkable results because it affected the learning of others. Therefore, she gave additional lessons for those students. In the sixth month, the five students were able to read and write well.
“I tried to use everything available to support the teaching and learning process like going to the school garden and having the students to observe the plants’ structures for natural sciences lessons for example. I also made them to work in groups and have discussions on the learning materials,” she added. (yuliana)