About Our Group

We are a group of 12 students and 2 professors from Calvin College venturing to Indonesia for three weeks. While in Indonesia, we will visit schools and businesses, along with seeing the sights! We fly out from GRR on January 2 and arrive back in Grand Rapids on January 23.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 10: Shadowing in Schools

We split between the education students and business students for the day. Education students were going to spend the day shadowing in classrooms.  We started by going to SPH, one of the schools we had toured before.  We went to the main office and were given a schedule of which classes we could visit. Chantel and Kelsey were in the junior school (elementary school) and Erin, Michelle, Nate, and I were in the senior school (middle and high school).  Erin and Michelle went to English classes and Nate and I went to math classes. We were able to visit three classrooms, and I'll tell you about the three I visited with Nate.

Our first class was a grade 10 class. They had finished the lesson when we walked in. The teacher seemed a bit nervous to have us in his class. Later professor Buursma said they haven't had many people come sit in on their classes.  The students were working on homework, or rather working on their homework a tiny bit as they chatted with their friends.

 Grade 10 classroom

Then we went to a grade 8 math class. I was very very impressed with Pak Jun (the teacher) and his classroom management. His students were very attentive.  They reviewed the last lesson and then the students worked on review questions that were on the board while Pak Jun checked their homework that they had put in the basket.  Then he had students help him pass back the homework notebooks and went over the answers to the review questions.  Then he went into the new lesson using PowerPoint and the projector on the ceiling. Then he handed out work sheets and had the students work on those.  After a bit he asked a few students to come up and write answers on the board.

Grade 8 classroom

Then we went to a grade 11 class with Miss Sarah. The expat teachers (teachers not from Indonesia) use Mr. and Miss in front of their names while the national teachers use Pak and Ibu. She was very friendly and told us that she went to the University of Michigan for school.  She had us introduce ourselves and then sit in desks with the students since it was a small class. Classes have a max of 24 students in their classes at SPH but this class had about 12 students.  We were only there for half of the class because that day, this class was double the length. So rather than the regular 50 minute class period, they had 50 minutes, then a small break, and then another 50 minutes.  Nate and I ended up doing some of the problems with the students as we sat in the back.  We then headed to junior canteen (the junior school's cafeteria) and ate lunch. We had a choice of food and were given a mango cream smoothie as dessert.

Grade 11 classroom

Then we got in our little bus and went to SDH (another school we had visited before).  There we were given a schedule and were brought to our classrooms. We were each in our own classrooms.  I started on the little playground with kindergarteners.  They were so cute! The little kids have 15 minute periods, so we were outside playing for a bit under 15 minutes and then went to the classroom to change the sweaty kids.  It was a pretty humid day so I can see why they were sweaty! I then went to another kindergarten class.  In SPH, SDH, and SLH, there are three kindergarten classes, K1, K2, and K3. They start kindergarten when they're two years old, and kindergarten is only for the first half of the day.  So the second kindergarten class I was in was a K2 class. We sat down on the carpet and reviewed letters they had learned. They had learned up to g and were now learning h. Each letter had a verse of a song with it. Each letter had an animal associated with it, so they would sing the animal name twice, then the sound of the letter twice, and then say the letter. Then as I was leaving the room to go to my next class they were making a h horse because that was the animal that went with h.

My next class was a grade 5 English class.  They were going over different sentences and were using workbooks with example sentences about the Titanic.  They were going over answers when I came in.  After that class I had a short break and got to talk with the teacher. She asked what I thought of her class and wanted to know if in the US we had standardized tests. I ended up explaining No Child Left Behind and the problems with it, specifically with ESL students.

Grade 5 classroom

Then I was led to my next class, a grade 3 art class. They were the most chatty out of all the students; most students are curious to see us, but too shy to ask us questions. The art teacher explained that they were drawing a tree reflected in the river.  She made an example one and wrote out the steps on the board, then had the students do it themselves.  Then we left to go back to the hotel.

We got back around 2:45/3 and had some free time. Nate, Kelsey, and I wanted to swim so we got our suits on, went down to the pool and it had started raining.  We sat in the covered seating area hoping the rain would end soon.  Instead though, it began to rain harder and got very windy; it got so windy that a potted tree tipped over and cracked. We decided then that it would be a good idea to go back to the lobby.  We got in the elevator with a worker pulling a suitcase and as the doors were closing, the power went out. We were a bit surprised by this and got out. Then the power went back on, and the worker started pulling the suitcase out of the elevator, but the elevator doors weren't sensing his arms and kept shutting.  At the last second he pulled his arms out and had he not done that his arms would've been squished.

The pot that tipped over and cracked

We were a bit skeptical about getting back on the elevator and looked for a staircase, but the only one was outside and it was still pouring so we risked the elevator. We all hung out or went back to the room, and then some of us went with professor Buursma to search out a cabana she had been to before. After a small search we found it and ate pizza as we talked about what we had experienced before. Then we went back to the hotel and left for UPH where we had dinner with some Calvin alumni.  After the dinner we walked back to our hotel, some detoured to the mall on our way, and called it a night.

Dinner platter


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