My time as an Indo teacher is over. I did my last lessons up at the school today, and it was fun and funny and interesting and frustrating all at the same time- which pretty much sums up teaching as a whole.
I am sad about it in a lot of ways, because this has really been an ideal job for me during this time of my life. It’s given me something to focus on besides myself during some really awful times, and it offered a really strong and safe environment for me to tackle teaching for the first time. This job has been such a challenging experience, and I have learned so much. It’s because of the job that I went to Indonesia (twice!) and that is something that I will forever be glad I did. I think that even though I found it difficult sometimes, I am really going to miss it.
I don’t really know what I will do next, either. I think that I’ll put my name down for relief teaching as some point, but it won’t be the same as being part of this little country school that has been part of our family since Nicholai was at kinder. (Or since Troy was at school there in the 80s!) And to be honest, sometimes I don’t even know about teaching- it’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress, and even though I find it all so interesting and I do enjoy my time with the children, I sometimes wonder if I would be better with something else. Even something else within the education system- teacher’s aide or integration aide or adult/ ESL teaching or whatever, maybe that would be good. I don’t know…I don’t think I’m in any state to make decisions right now, but I suppose with the end of my current job I can’t help thinking about it.
Today’s lessons went well though. It was so good having Alyssa there- she spoke to the children in proper Indonesian! She also entertained them all by writing their names in Javanese while I put together a soda gembira for them, which was a splendid idea of hers. Having food was a really fun way to end it all too. We had prawn crackers for everyone, and Alyssa also bought some fish crackers, garlic tapioca crackers, and cassava chips, which a lot of the children also tried. It was easy to set up too, with the table at the front, bowls of prawn crackers on either side, and four little dishes with the sauces in the middle – sambal (chilli), satay, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and fish sauce. The satay sauce I bought wasn’t that great, so we mixed in a whole bunch of kecap manis to make it sweeter and more Javanese- it still wasn’t quite right, but it was okay. The sambal was the most popular, although I think a lot of it disappeared just because the boys were all trying to act tough and show how badass they were by how much spiciness they could take! It was interesting that most of the kids seemed to have strong opinions on the sauces too, in that they either didn’t like it at all or thought it was great. The soda gembira was pretty popular, although there were quite a few who found it too sweet. Considering it’s made up of condensed milk AND syrup with soda water, they may have a point. And considering I gave them that much sugar in one hit, I’m quite glad that I did that in the second half of the lesson and then sent them back to their regular teachers.
After school was done, I got to come home and see my bear! Nicholai was back from Germany (Troy picked them up at the airport around 9), and it was just so good to see him and know that he was safe and happy and right here at home again. He had a really good time, and he bought us all presents- I got a bag, Troy got a cap, Jericho and Soren got beanies, and Emma got a little purse – which was just so thoughtful and sweet of him. He bought himself a hideous hat with earflaps and fur, a stein with a pewter crest on it, a scarf and a book (to read on the plane). He actually didn’t spend all his euros, and apparently changed them back into dollars when he got back home. The idea of going all that way and NOT spending all your money kind of boggles my mind, but he’s happy with his souvenirs. (And let’s be honest, he’s probably also happy that now he has money to spend on Steam or Itunes.) He was exhausted though. He was awake when I left to take Alyssa home just before 5, but was asleep by the time Troy got home just after 5. Troy woke him up to eat dinner, but then he went straight back to bed. Hopefully he’ll just sleep all night, and then get up and go to school tomorrow morning (we’ve told him he has to go) and adjust back to our time pretty quickly.