The impression that becoming a full-fledged teacher – as opposed
to those who go into teaching as a last resort or when the economy is in shambles – is as rare as entering the nunnery or seminary was something I had never let go. Education is not field for someone who dreams of becoming a billionaire like Zuckerberg. It is not an area where you hobnob with the rich and famous or get trailed by the paparazzi. Students or stories about them don’t make interesting news or pave the way for noteworthy connections, which reminds me of a former high school classmate. Now a big honcho in some bank in the Philippines, we met up for a party a couple of years after graduating from university. I was teaching at that time and was relating stories about my students when he haughtily remarked how stellar my network was. Teaching was something too plebeian for him.

But my impression crumbled when an old student-training-to-be-a-teacher arrived at my school, Global Prestasi School, for the annual teaching demon project. He had been in my two of my English classes about a year ago. It is part of his requirements from Sampoerna School of Education, which is akin to an internship although for a very brief period of time. He wasn’t along when he came; he was with a throng of fellow student interns, garbed in their blue blazers emblazoned with their school’s logo on the left hand side, who were assigned to maths classes and other English classes.

It was time for a photo op on the last day of class with guest student teacher Buyung and his grade 8D students.

It was time for a photo op on the last day of class with guest student teacher Buyung and his grade 8D students.

What struck me about Buyung Alfian Noris Sudrajat, or Buyung as he prefers to be called, is his earnestness. He is a stickler for details – his lesson plans are meticulously planned, which puts to shame a former colleague who eschewed lesson plans, saying they were unimportant.  He is very particular about time – he knows how to be a professional, which is more than I can say about people I’ve worked with in the past. He also easily established rapport with the students and was certainly not the type to be “eaten alive” by the students on the first day of class. He still has a year – or two – before he earns his degree in teaching and, from what I’ve seen, his future students are in good hands.


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