First email from Batammm 2.0

Today marks my third week of teaching at Kallista in Batam and I’m loving it! The school is amazing. I actually planned to write every Sunday but it just seems impossible due to the amount of time I have to spend for teaching and preparing the curriculum materials. Oh I wish I had more hours on a day! I’ll be teaching 37 hours of Science and an hour of German (or two, still unclear), means I’ve got about 38 hours a week in total, and so far it’s been industriously fun!

There is a student in P4 Prudence named B. He is an Australian-Indonesian who has to repeat his year in P4. Some teachers said he is a slow learner. It takes longer times for him to fathom and really get ‘it’. So on Monday two weeks ago I’ve got to teach P4 Prudence for the first time and I noticed something different about him. He might be dyslexic. How do I know? Well, as a student who used to have learning difficulties in school, I could notice something other teachers couldn’t. First, he can’t spell and pronounce simple words like ‘tell’, ‘through’, and even ‘funny’. I told the principal about this and she thought he was just lazy and his English was just poor. Later I spoke to his Bahasa Indonesia teacher and turns out he also has problems with spelling and pronouncing Indonesian words like ‘nyata’ and ‘pendidikan’. I don’t think he is that lazy. Dyslexia has nothing to do with low intelligence or laziness whatsoever. His brain just works differently and again I know how it feels and how challenging the struggles are, because I used to be just like him. So, without the knowledge of the principal and counsellor, I did a little research about dyslexia and dyslexia tests. He’ll be doing the tests in my office after school for about 5-10 minutes. I’m not a psychologist or anything but this tests will be very useful for him as I can send the results to his parents and ask them to do a real dyslexia test as soon as possible.

Now let’s talk about P5 a.k.a. my favourite classes, especially P5 Harmony. The students are great and extremely curious! Curiosity is one of the most important things a student must have. Even greater, I’ve got to be one of their advisers (along with Teacher A and Teacher Z), so I can spend more time with them, like sitting in the cafeteria together during recess and lunch time.

Anyway I’ve just had a nice Skype conversation with my family back home last night and it was exciting! I know I’ve just left three weeks ago but I miss them already! And I miss you guys! So 11 months to go?

Several days ago my old ‘friend’ just paid me a visit. Perhaps I’m just lonely and quite a bit tired of the busy schedule. Sometimes I just want to give up and cry it out loud. But whenever I feel like giving up, a mysterious voice comes to me and whispers, “Just keep going.” Well, I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up but I’m definitely on my way. Dreams aren’t supposed to be easy, right? I’m so grateful for the people I have met, who are really supportive and encouraging, and I’m so grateful for what I have become. I’m so grateful that I can never say I wish it didn’t happen. I hope you guys are doing well and always remember that you are loved!

Millions of love.

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