Writing is an art of combining words containing ideas to form a good, logic and complete understanding under a clear chosen topic or theme. In this Short Essay Writing Class II every student is supposed to be successful in producing such writing quality. How to reach this point is the key question for every one of us, the student in the Short Essay Writing Class II.
There are many tips proposed by experienced and successful writers that can be used to achieve our goal. I would like to point out and explain four tips to be taken into account by each one of us. The four tips – not put in graded sequence but they can go simultaneously – are: knowledge on writing, time management, reading, and writing drills – open to criticism. Tip one: Knowledge on writing. To be able to write any kinds of writing given by lecturer during the class activity, a student has to have a broad knowledge on writing. Knowledge on writing includes minimum requirements on grammar, spelling, punctuation marks, dictation, and ideas organization. Grammar is the base of formulation of a good and logic sentence. To have a semantic sentence, a writer should properly know words spelling (a,b,c,d, etc.), punctuation marks (. , ; : ! ? “..” ‘ etc.), dictation (repeating what is said/written), and ideas organization (organizing ideas in a logic way).
The second tip is time management. A well time management keeper is a winner. He/she always appreciates time and is loyally, steadily, and responsibly does all of the scheduled activities: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Obviously, as the students of Writing Class II, we have lots of assignments and other activities that require time and attention. However, to be a winner in writing, we should keep putting writing in our list as one of the daily activities and never miss it. Moreover, to be a great writer, we should never say “later” when writing, because one who always delays is a looser. In one of his talk show occasions, Mario Teguh said that the best way to achieve our dream was to right now wake up and start working.
Beside lecturer as the first reliable source of knowledge on writing, reading any kinds of writing is another important way and strategic tip in achieving the success in writing class. Reading is meant to broaden our knowledge and make ourselves accustomed to writing world. Reading provides lots of knowledge and information to be digested to elaborate and formulate our logic and understandable writing. We often do not know how to start writing, or get stuck in writing because of lack of knowledge and information. We also do not know how to combine all the loose ideas in a logic and understandable composition because we are not really accustomed to writing world. Mrican campus has an almost complete library. We can write about anything based on the books, magazines, newspapers prepared in the library. Besides, we can access to any information via sophisticated technology, like installed internet, Videos, Cassettes, CDs, VCDs, and DVDs. As the first start we can only concentrate on one discipline according to our interest. It could be only psychology or health or education and so on. After having a strong base in the certain knowledge we can expand our knowledge by reading other kinds of books or exploring to other information in the sophisticated tools.
The last very important tip is writing drill. We cannot put in practice all of our knowledge on minimum requirements nor elaborate all of them from readings if we never drill ourselves in writing. As a saying “practice makes perfect”, we should start practicing now; never delay or say “later.” We can start writing whatever in our heads every day. It would be good if we practice writing according to our time management: daily and weekly. It could be, later on, monthly and yearly. Experience shows that we fail in writing because we tend to think of being perfect from the beginning. This makes us hesitant to start or continue writing. I agree with Suherman – one of the lecturers in ITB – saying: “Tulislah apa yang Anda pikirkan, baru kemudian pikirkan apa yang Anda tulis…” : “Write what you think, then think what you have written. No matter how bad or confusing our writing, we only staart writing by now. It will be corrected by our friends and lecturer. I agree with the way our lecturer does: asking us to correct our friends` writing. By doing so we learn from our friends and our own mistakes. Each one of us is supposed to be open to our friends and lecturer`s correction. We should not be embarrassed with our own mistakes, but we should “Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons,” from an unknown author (http://www.wow4u.com/teacher/index.html).
To be a successful writer in Writing Class II is a great dream. It is somehow hard to achieve but achievable if every one of us takes into account the above mentioned four tips leading us to producing logic and understandable writing.
Minggu, 03 Juni 2012
It was really awesome joining the Micro Teaching Class of this semester (6). In the class I had twenty great friends. These twenty friends really helped me enrich myself to become someone who can pursue a professional English teaching career. In this very last self-reflection, I would like to generally recall all of my experiences of learning in the sophisticated Lab A and B throughout this semester.
Great semester Six!
1. Experiences in the class room that I will not forget.
Since the first day of attending the Micro Teaching classes I tried to always be on time. However, some three times or so I was late, including on the day of the last class (last Tuesday), I was late by more or less twenty minutes. It was because I was still in Lion Air Agency to arrange my ticket to Nabire, Papua. At 13.10 I sent an SMS to Erika and Maris, hoping they could inform the lecturer about my situation.
Some of my dear friends were wondering why I was so late. That is why there was a bit of noise when I entered the class. I inferred that they did not like me to be late. As a candidate for a future position as an English teacher, I know I shouldn`t have come late. So, I have to admit that I have broken one of the characteristics of a good teacher.
One more thing that I will not forget is our close relationship. I really felt that all of my classmates, some of them twenty years younger than me, did not hesitate to treat me as their close friend despite my social status and age difference. I was very happy that they just called me by my name: “Anton” or “old man” or “opa” or “Santiago” or “Johnson Anderson.” They didn`t want to keep any distance between us. This was one of the facts that made our classes so lively.
Our classes were always filled with loud laughter. Teasing each other was the typicality of our class. Our days were a combination of seriousness, panic, lots of smiles, giggles, chuckles, and outbursts of laughter. In this typical way, being closer with them, I learned to be myself.
2. Things that I have learned in the class room.
There are many wonderful things I have learned in the classrooms from lecturer and classmates. From the lecturer, I learned theories connected to practical English teaching in the classroom and outside the classroom. From the twenty friends, I learned how to construct good and proper lesson plans, and how to prepare interesting and useful teaching materials. I learned how to utilize media resources for teaching in accordance with students` backgrounds and needs, and the classroom/school`s situation as well as the national and school`s curriculum.
I also learned how to implement these skills in a real classroom. I learned how to be relaxed and be patient with all students, especially the trouble makers; to be punctual entering the class; to be friendly with all students, aware of students` needs, creative in lecturing and finding information, objective in assessing, honest in doing tests, responsible for work and duties/tasks, and to be open-minded in all the different situations that can arise. These are the other very important things I have learned so far.
3. I have achieved.
I have achieved, so far, in the classroom: Teaching students without feeling hesitant, nervous, and shy; but confident. I mastered subjects that I taught. I appreciated my students saying: “Great,” “very good,” “good,” “excellent,” “wow…..great!,” among other encouraging comments.
I was creative when taking the second teaching test: When Ss were sleepy in the class; I managed to make them feel fresh, by asking them to stand up and take a deep breath several times. Besides that, I managed to design the lesson plans and syllabus.
4. Things that worked in class room.
In the whole Micro Teaching class, from the beginning to the very end, there were two major activities in the class: Lecturing done by the lecturer and teaching practice done by students. The lecturer explained about feasible theories. All of the students took notes on each theme or topic. The lecturing was done in five meetings; most of it was “lecturer centered”.
The other 13 meetings were student centered; all of the students were given a chance to practice teaching in the class (Lab A & B) and outside the Lab. Teaching in the Lab was divided into three categories: Teaching in two small groups of 10/11 students for 5 minutes, teaching in the class (one big group) for 30 minutes, and teaching in the class for 35 minutes. Teaching outside the Lab took place at lower level classes.
In each kind of teaching, there were some evaluators, consisting of some students and lecturers. After teaching, each one of us as the teacher was given feedback straight away from the evaluators. So we were able to read it and reflect on all of the notes. Besides that each of our teaching sessions were recorded on video cassettes. It was a great step to make a self-evaluation of the teaching style we had just done.
Since the evaluation on each of our teachings was done by some friends and the lecturer, it must have been quite objective. I am happy with the very honest opinions of friends` and the lecturer`s evaluations on my teaching demonstrations. When I compared these evaluations and video-recordings, I agreed with them. There are things I must improve on for the sake of my skills and the English students I will teach. I still tend to use sophisticated terms when teaching semester 2 junior high school students as well as semester 2 senior high school students. The teaching experience has reminded me to adjust my language according to the level of the students I am teaching. I was annoyed with trouble makers even though they made only minor disturbances. It was a good reminder that students need ground rules from the beginning and that this is something I can plan for when I have my own classes in the future.
5. Things that did not work in the classroom.
In my first progress test, I did not provide enough time for students to practice theories I had just explained to them. It was because I did not take enough notice of the time that had elapsed while teaching. This was a good reminder of how important it is to manage my class time. One more thing I did not do in time was to reflect on two last weeks as I was occupied with preparation for our Play Performance and a progress test of some other subjects.