On the first day, we had tour around campus with Pak Chris. Before the tour, Pak Chris talked about a lot of meaningful things. There’s one thing that left its mark on me, it’s when Pak Chris said how easy it is for us to just disconnect with people. Oftentimes when we’re faced with problems or challenges, we tried to solve it mainly using our intelligence and setting aside our heart. The determiner of what’s the right thing to do and what’s not. It’s just a human intuition to choose the easy way. Being disconnected, intentionally or not, limits ourselves to build connections. If only we speak up more, following what our heart says more. Things would be much better and we’ll be at ease. I can tell you, Pak Chris is an amazing tour leader. He leaves us thinking. I’ve spent the first semester here but I’ve never seen such an eye-opening tour before. It was a great ‘introduction’ day and I moved to the second day full of excitement.
The morning started with a discussion on Prof. Zimbardo’s prison experiment which later lead us to the discussion of bystander effect and spotlight effect. The bystander effect means the tendency not to help out when you are part of the group and the spotlight effect means the feeling that speaking up or acting will bother other people. Seeing this from an introvert Indonesian perspective, I do feel like I’ve been in this spotlight effect many times. I have a mixed feelings when I want to speak up or take action because of something. I feel like people will talk behind me and judge what I do. But I realized that I don’t want to be the bystander either. I don’t want to remain silence for the things that need voice. I shared this with Ibu Sanne and she said, “outside of comfort zone, that’s where magical things happen.” So I have to get up and walk away from my comfort zone, one step at a time.
After the morning session at Green Camp, we moved to the primary school art room. We had a session of Mindfulness with Ibu Karen. The first thing that caught my eyes is the nature elements that Green School teacher used in introducing arts to the students. Seeing the compass model into practice was something that I’ve been eager to know at Green School. Just after we found our seats, Ibu Karen put black sand on the table. She told us to touch the sand, feel its texture, and just play with it. I find it so interesting that she use sand as the medium to get the students creative. When I was a primary kid, the teacher taught me to draw mountains with the sun rising in the middle and with rice fields and roads in front of them. I think most of Indonesian could relate. Back to the practice of mindfulness through art, Ibu Karen gave us a small piece of paper where we could draw the modified Zen pattern on it. So when it’s practiced to students, they can focus on themselves and what they do in the present moment. They could hear the natural sounds around them while drawing, and Green School is definitely rich of that calming nature sounds. The drawing itself isn’t for show and tell. Instead it’s for the student herself/himself. It’s helping the students to be quiet, to have a moment of silence, and be mindful. I could feel the calming sensation and it made me, well actually all of us, wanted to stay at Ibu Karen’s class to finish our drawing. But the day must go on and we’ve been waiting for the Compass Model session with Pak Glenn too.
When I started the internship at Kul-kul Connection, I have no idea what I’m doing. Okay, yes, it’s teaching English, making lesson plans, and follow the Cambridge Young Learners Curriculum and infusing some ‘green’ and ‘environmental awareness’ in the lessons. But I feel like the ‘preparation’ wasn’t enough. I didn’t get ‘enough’ tools to start. I wasn’t sure either what tools that I need. I just feel something is missing. Then this Compass Model session I had, completed the missing part. It just feels as if I found water well in the middle of a desert. Now I know what to consider when making lesson plans and finding activities for the students. I need to refer to Nature, Economy, Society, and Well-being. I also need to refer to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It makes me realize how big responsibilities we have as educators. Education do need to have a purpose. I’m challenged with these big responsibilities but I know I’m not alone in the journey.
Every Wednesday, Green School students have Jalan-Jalan session which basically learning about something or doing service outside of the classroom. On the third day, we joined BioBus Jalan-Jalan to go to Lengis Hijau in Denpasar. It is an NGO that turns used cooking oil into bio diesel. These fancy and beautiful soap bars caught my attention. They look and smell like delicious cake for sure! Lengis Hijau offers workshops to schools and also collaborate with villas and hotels around Bali and Lombok. Just as Green School ‘tagline’, community of learners making our life sustainable, this young NGO also try to give better alternatives for the people and the environment. This is a remarkable initiative and inspiring to see.
In the afternoon, our beloved KKC students performed Trash Monsters in front of GEC participants. Every time I see them performing, I always feel proud of them all. I know it’s not easy for them to stand up and using English. But they did it wonderfully! It’s also my 25th birthday and I’m more than happy to spend my birthday on GEC. So much lovely cakes! 😀
We had Curriculum session with Ibu Emily the next day. I remember she said, ‘when planning a lesson, teacher also have to put emphasis on how they teach, not only on what they teach.’ So powerful! Experiential learning is indeed the core essence in Green School and I could see it being implemented in KKC too through art performance.
To end this long post, I’ll put my favorite quote by John C. Danna saying, ‘who dares to teach must never cease to learn.’ Green Educator Course boosts my confidence to learn more and speak up. Meeting inspiring educators from all over the world also bring new perspective, knowledge, hope, and courage to contribute more. To make Earth, a better place to live.