Students and the necessary skills

Here’s a presentation that I did in front of Sekolah HighScope Indonesia parents explaining about the skills needed for students/children when they go into real life situation (university or work settings). 

Goals,failure, goal, and more goals and failure to solve the mysteries of the future

As an educator it is our duty to steer students to the goal of success and create them to become human beings that can contribute to the community and to the world. Seems ambitious don’t you think? Well, we ought to be. Education is at the point where it is being questioned whether the things that we are doing right now as an educator really fits with what the world needs. Are we really preparing our students to succeed or to fail in the future?

In my opinion, it all starts with two triggering word as a starting point to the road of success : goals and failure. With the right and clear goals it is easier for both teachers and students to determine which direction they want in their future, but in the case of failure, it is often seen as challenging. Why? There are two sides of actions once someone is already in the “pit” of failure , they either rise up and keep on struggling or give up. Furthermore, it all depends on the conditions. In today’s concept of education all education experts and observers such as Tony Wagner and Sir Ken Robinson always highlights this particular concept of failure in their speech. Here is one from Sir Ken Robinson “if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” and here’s one from Tony Wagner “We must focus on skills and not content,” and “to succeed in the 21st-century economy, students must learn to analyze and solve problems, collaborate, persevere, take calculated risks and learn from failure”, so what can we learn from this? I think what school need to do is create an environment where children are confident with what they are doing and develop a culture when making mistake or failing at something is a positive behaviour that leads to become more curious.

The “Why me?” effect

For years I have been looking deep down in my inner me the question that not all people will ask themselves “Why me?”. I am writing this not to tell you that “I am a messenger from God that I have been chosen to protect mankind bla  bla bla”. I am here to tell myself why do I have that feeling that I am here for a greater purpose in life, but who am I? I am a nobody right now. I am writing this because maybe someday I will realize that I am actually here for “that” purpose in life. The “That” is still a mystery and hopefully it turns out good or even better than expected. Only God knows, right?

Steve Jobs, Gandhi, Soekarno, Einstein are just some people who I know that have contributed their life and made a difference. What do they have in common when did they realize that they will make a difference and contribute to how we see the world. Yes, make a difference that’s the key! But back again to my condition, right now I have not yet made any difference and in term of contribution. What have I contributed? Not much really.

The “why me?” affect is still lingering and I am about to turn 40 in the next few years. 40! They say that life begins at 40, what does it really mean? Will I get an answer of the “why me?” question at that age?

21st Century Schools Vs. Universities

What I mean by 21st century schools are schools that have already shifted their teaching approach from a teacher-centered approach to a more student-centered approach and not to mention that these schools focuses more on the skills needed in the 21st century such as collaboration, decision making and problem solving

The title of my post describes how these schools are in contrast with the teaching method in universities. The reason? Well, if we dig deeper into these so called 21st century schools, we will find a lot of activities that focuses on   preparing students to face the real-world. One example of this is a High School in Indonesia, HighScope High School that has a class which is called Virtual Enterprise (VE). This class is not an ordinary class, because when you come  into this class the setting is like a company office setting and all the students take roles as CEOs, Marketing Manager and other positions. However, once the students graduate from high school some universities especially in Indonesia are the opposite to what they have learnt. The teaching method is lecturing (same as teacher centered approach) and the tasks are mostly individual instead of collaborative assignments. Shouldn’t the universities prepare the students for work place readiness? To be continued…

If killing was legal, who would you kill?

Has this kind of question ever crossed your mind “If killing was legal who would you kill?”. Sounds scary, right? Well, I bet all humans with their nature of being good have that dark side which is hidden beneath their mind. As a good, normal, and law abiding citizen killing is certainly the least options that they will take action. However, imagine that killing was legal. Here is a list of people of whom I would like to kill instantly:
1. Reckless car drivers especially “Metromini”, “Angkot” drivers who don’t pay attention to the rules of the street and endanger the passengers.
2. Smokers who smoke in public places especially areas which is kind of stuffy. These people tend not to care about their surroundings.
3. People who do not queue.
4. People who talk during a show in a cinema
5. People who throw away garbage improperly
6. People who think they know about education and teaching but acts uneducated

and lots more to come…

Religion vs Gambling

Since the day when my parents introduced the religion of Islam, I am a Moslem to this very day. However, the knowledge that I have gain about Islam itself is still inadequate. I am still learning about it. Lately, I have been thinking about my religion and other religions. This remark might spark an argument among people, but that is not my intention.

Have you ever thought that your religion is really the right one or maybe the other way around. Have you ever thought the religion that you are believing in is totally wrong? Okay, you might think that I have doubts about my religion. To be honest, I do believe in my religion, but I am not a fanatic, and I totally respect other religions, but what keeps bothering me is that : are you curious which religion is truly the right one? Because I am a little bit sick and tired with all the answers out there, preachers from different kinds of religion trying to prove that their religion is the one and only. In the end, all answers are debatable. When you have a debate, the only guy who wins is the one with the believable and logical answer, and not to mention that different perspective triggers hatred, conflict, and even war. Accepting differences is not an easy task for some, and when you think you can accept differences there are certain moments when you tend to become bias and subjective, am I right? I tolerate all religions, but when I see the Israel and Palestine conflict, I tend to become bias on who is right and who is wrong, and tend to blame a certain religion behind the conflict. I don’t know whether you agree or not, I think all of us are gambling with what we are believing especially in the case of religion because you will never know the right answer till the end of time or maybe you will get the answer when death picks you up, or might not get an answer at all . Even an atheist is gambling with his/her believe, and they actually believe there is no God. Like it or not, we are all gamblers when it comes to our beliefs. Time will tell which religion is the right one.

Spontaneous Quotes

‎These are some quotes which I made spontaneously :

“Opportunity does not go around knocking on your doors and trying to look for you, but you have to go door-to-door to get it”- R Andri Syafaat

“The similarity between God and The Devil is that both of them like to help people in their on way”- R Andri Syafaat

“There’s no such thing as perfection! I only believe in improvement!”- R Andri Syafaat

“Motivating people is easy, motivating yourself now that’s a different case!”- R Andri Syafaat

“Stop complaining! Start contributing!”-R Andri Syafaat

“True happiness actually happens when you make other people happy!”- R Andri Syafaat

Leadership In Action

If you ask me “What is leadership?” I would say that leadership is a way  to manage  an organization whether it is a country, company or even a family to prosper, build a heaven-like situation and condition as well as  having the ability to influence greatness and inspiration. I am wrting this article because I was amazed by the way Obama presented himself during his Presidential Inaguration.  Let’s be more specific why was I amazed. First of all, look at the 2 million people surrounding Capitol Hill. They look like as if they were going to see their favourite rockstar performing a live concert. Second, his speech. As if I was watching and listening to the next Soekarno, JFK, Martin Luther King and other historical figures delivering a speech. However, there are things that we ask ourselves such as, is he really going to solve a lot of problems? (whether it is the economic crisis or the Israel and Palestine conflict). Time will tell. On the other hand, we need people like him to inspire future leaders who will lead this country, Indonesia. The way how he thanked President Bush should be a good example for future Indonesian leaders  that as a successor should always respect his or her predecessor despite their action that he or she  is against with. Here is a quotation of Obama’s speech for President Bush “My fellow citizens:I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition”. Another question arises, “How do you measure leadership?”. Well, I think leadership is not measured by the person’s charisma (since I know that a lot of people would say that a leader should be charismatic) but it should be measured by the actions he or she has made and achieved ; that’s how you should measure leadership. Since Obama is very charismatic, hopefully he can successfully achieve a lot of solutions to the problems facing America and the world.