I can’t help writing this right after accidentally found an old photo on Instagram. It was taken five years ago. An old photo of me and my students back when I was teaching at my first school.
I always love teaching. Spesifically, teaching high-grader elementary students. Why? My best chemistry is with those between 4-6 graders.
After graduated, I knew where I wanted to work. Long before graduated, I always wanted to work at an Islamic school. A modern one where English is widely used but still keep its religious environment. I had pictured my self being a teacher at that kind of school for a very long time.
But, I didn’t get right after I got my bachelor certificate. I was pushed to apply for a real office job. For my parents at that time, working at school is not a real job. I was accepted few times at several real office ( I use the term real office to emphasize it), but it just never felt right. I just felt I really didn’t belong there at all. That was why, beside those real office applications I sent, I secretly sent few others to the schools that I found suitable with my dream.
It was already the seventh month after I graduated and still hadn’t installed in any real offices nor schools. I didn’t remember how many applications that I had sent, interviews, but still, it wasn’t for me yet.
Until one friday afternoon, I saw the advertisement on newspaper telling about an Islamic school looking for teachers. When I saw the location, the distance was pretty near from home. I rarely sent hardcopy applications since it took time and more efforts to go to post it. But, that one, without really knowing why, I did send it by post on the next day.
Maybe that was what you call jodoh. I sent my application on Saturday morning, I was phoned by the school on Monday, asking for doing paper test. Thus, I came. The next day, another phone call from the school, asking me for an interview with school psychologist. I came once again. It didn’t stopped there, the very next day they asked me to come again to have an interview with the principal. It was going smooth. Somehow, at that point, I really couldn’t believe that I kept going for three days in a row as if nothing stopped me to be here. Thursday was no call. And, Friday, finally there was one once more asking to do an interview with the school director. The final interview about salary negotiation. Then, that was it. Both parties agreed. I really got the job that I really wanted only within a week.
Believe it or not, I didn’t tell my parents about this until I really made it. I had come so far following their request to apply to those real offices. This one and this time, I couldn’t let go when it just already in front of my eyes and it was real.
I started working the next Monday. Who says if you are doing what you love every work will feel easy? It wasn’t for me. It took me sometime until I could get used with the school work and environment. Working at school wasn’t merely about teaching. We had to do other things such class administration, class decoration, etc , which I found not too pleasant. Haha.
After sometimes, I started enjoying my time. It slowly become and felt like home for me. I got my spirit every morning knowing I’ll meet the students, teaching, and other things. Alhamdulillah, I also got a great partner.
What hasn’t been written here is, I was freshly broken-hearted at the same time. A severe one, which I won’t put it here since it is another very long story.
Coming to this school was surely one way to overcome that pain. My students kept me busy and they were ones that really made my days. As a six grade teacher, I often had to stay late because of additional time for several students, which I didn’t really mind at all. The less I spent at home, the better. I cried too much if I stayed at home.
I had my french course every Tuesday and Friday evening which made me stay late more at school. On that two days, I didn’t leave the school until 5.15 pm where everyone was almost left. I stayed in my class browsing, or simply resting on the carpet.I did shower, prayed, made a glass of tea, then I left. It felt truly like I went to the french course from home. It was a very long day to go, but you know, it wasn’t hard at all. I felt so full and happy.
I went to several field trips with my students. Again, although that was pretty exhausting, but I felt happy. Lots of good things happened there. Like I was once chosen as one of the most favorite teacher by my students. I had my pictured displayed and got money prize. It wasn’t much but it meant a lot and it stayed for a very long time on my good memories shelf.
I remembered one day when the national exam result was out. It was a bright day and my heart was so warm reading all those result. Even warmer when my subject got the highest among three. It felt all the hard works was paid-off very well.
My students were funny, nice and easy to get along with. We conversed like we were bestfriends. Especially for the boys. They said I looked too young to be their teacher. I thanked them for such compliment;))
Other thing beside compliments that I few times received there were marriage proposals. Hahaha, it was confusing yet, somehow made me laugh. I was an ordinary one, not socializing a lot, but surprisingly noticable, hehe. More than that, how did they know I had just broken up?;))
Maybe the happiness felt there was conveyed through my body language. Since I felt happy, I also felt pretty and it happened that others saw it too since I often heard people said that. Yeah, who wouldn’t be happy to receive those compliments saying that you were pretty?;)
I stayed there for 2,5 years before I quitted to continue master degree abroad. I had those great time as I imagined before. I healed my broken-heart almost completely thanks to that school. I found comfort that I didn’t find at home during those hard times.
One that gives you comfort, shouldn’t be it called…
Yes, it should.