Surviving (Near-)Depression and Building Something Meaningful

I’m baaaack! (Yeah, well, you know the drill. As usual, I’m such a seasonal blogger.)

The last few months hasn’t been great for me actually. I almost fell into depression, if not actually depressed. And the last post about a place I belong? Boy how I was so wrong. Sekolah Alam is only great from the outside, but inside, it’s just as conventional as the school next door. At least that’s what I can say, based on my own experience. Not to belittle other Sekolah Alam, though.

Anyway, so now I’ve left the job at Sekolah Alam. I’m not proud of how I did, but I’m kinda glad I made the decision. I did went through terrible time after I resigned, I was in a very low point in the last few months, as if I didn’t know how to live anymore (yes, it was that bad)..but somehow I was able to pull myself back up. All praise to Allah, Alhamdulillah. And I finally figured out what I’m meant to do, or at least, what I really aspire to do.

Currently I’m back teaching as a freelance, looking for a suitable teaching job in alternative schools, and building networks in education. Last month I went to #PestaPendidikan in Bandung, and also joined Fitrah Based Education workshop. They were very insightful. I realized that what I enjoy the most is learning, and I’m always excited to learn, be it through seminars and workshop, or through interacting with people. I like talking about and spreading ideas, and get very excited when the people I talk to share the similar ideas.

Now I’m very excited to build @sekolahparenting, as a fitrah based education community. (Please do join! Any parents, parents to-be, educators or anyone who wants to learn and share about parenting are very welcomed.) Later when the community is solid, I think it’ll be much easier to build and develop a fitrah based school together. I’m very optimistic on this. Bismillah, I hope Allah Gives blessing on this plan.

It’s still a long way to go, but I think it’s gonna be an interesting journey.. Let’s collaborate! :)

The Place I Belong

OneRepublic - Counting Stars. Play video for lyrics.

I just re-listened to this song thoroughly today, and realized that this is the theme song to my career turning point :)

Yes, I feel like I’ve given up a lot for the work I’m doing right now, but I think it’s totally worth it. I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m in the best job I can possibly be in :)

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What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

What are you excited about? Why are you excited about it?

I’m excited about making a reformation on education in Indonesia. I’m excited about how learning is supposed to be an enjoyable journey. I like sharing ideas about how school is supposed to be, and how school can be like. I’m excited about learning about Finland’s education system.

Why education? Because I believe that education is a powerful thing that shapes us as human, improving our qualities and our lives. I believe that education can influence many people, touch a lot of lives. School ages are the golden ages, where children learn many things, interact with different people, getting to know the world, experiencing many things that eventually build their character. It’s a critical phase in life, and it would be such a shame if we falsely focused on testing and standardizing children’s abilities, and losing the substance of learning process.

It’s sad to see the reality of education in Indonesia (or even in many parts of the world), where the quality of education is so uneven. High quality means high costs; therefore only wealthy ones have the chance of getting high quality education. That being said, higher cost doesn’t always guarantee the quality either. Since the system always focuses on testing and grading students, school seems to be such a dreadful place, where kids feel pressured to meet so many standards, because they are judged based on what they can or cannot do. It ignores the unique nature in every individual, as if turning them away from who they really are. Perhaps that’s why we are often so unsure about our lives, not daring to push ourselves and find what we’re truly passionate about.

I believe school is supposed to be preparing us to live in the real world, teaching us the know-hows, helping us to realize our potentials, our passion; instead of pushing us to learn many things and pass standardized tests without knowing how to apply it in our lives. I believe teachers are supposed to be mentors, who actually know their students personally, helping them to grow, to personally develop theirselves. I believe teachers should be the ones who know their students best (aside of the parents, of course) so they’d know better how to “test” their competence -because students’ capabilities are different!-, instead of a national curriculum that changes everytime.

I’m excited to share these kind of ideas with people who have similar concerns, and willing to do something to create a more learning-friendly environment. Those who are willing to make the best experience out of our schools, our education. I want to make education better in Indonesia. It’s a very long way to go, but I’m excited to start the journey.

Bismillah..