I have a drop in student from Dutch. Drop in student is a student that learn in our school for only a month – 3 month (not for a year). We have different rules or our drop in student. They don’t have to get score from the school. They only given an essay report about their progress at school.
At first it’s really confusing since she can’t speak Indonesia nor English. We have to communicate with our body language. I’ve learn some word in Dutch but not in a sentences, using Google translator but apparently it doesn’t help that much.
She had a book, a translator book, if she misses her parents or if she wants to go to toilet. When she needs something, she will show us that book. But something happened. At her first day, she lost the book, and she cried because she feels insecure without that book. That’s why they change their method. On the next day, they gave her a special necklace, with some small card to show her need. In the necklace, they put some word like “I miss my mom and dad” and they have their phone numbers below the word. In the second paper written “I want to go to the toilet” and in the third paper written “I don’t understand”
This paper helps me to understand her feeling. In the 2nd day, when she cried, she shows me the “I miss my mom and dad” paper. That is the sign to call her parent. At day one, I called mommy but after that, I asked her to wait and follow the activity.
Mommy and I have discussed on how to treat my kids. They give method using a flash card to everything that will teach. But seems like we don’t have enough time to make the flash card. Then I said that maybe I can send an e-mail for our activity tomorrow. So the parents can explain what will happen next, so she would not feel insecure anymore. We agree to have e-mail as our way to communicate. Beside that, we also communicate by our daily diary. When I don’t know how to say something in Dutch so I asked them to write the instruction in her daily diary such as, lets write this, draw a line etc.
Actually, this is not common treatment in our school. The teacher only can explain the lesson after it is taught, not before, but since she is our special case, and only for 3 month, so we give her an exception.
Sending an e-mail really enable us (me and parents) to help her. She would know what lesson that she will learn on the next day. But of course, she can’t do it all. Sometimes, on certain lesson, she can not follow such as Javanese, or sometimes bahasa Indonesia. But she’s really a smart student. She have curiosity on something and she also have initiatives to work on her task, even the task is in bahasa Indonesia. We taught her how to write it in bahasa, and she just have to follow.
She loves to have English lesson. Though she doesn’t understand the language, but she can follow the lesson. In the other lesson, when she doesn’t understand, she will draw something in her book or doing her own workbook from Netherlands. This workbook actually just the same like our book, it just.. it only taught in the kindergarten level, such as “find the word fish from certain picture”. I don’t know whether that book is for grade one or also for kindergarten. But in Indonesia, grade one have a specific lesson. The lesson is more complexes. Our student must have skills to read and write. In grade one they will learn about religion, social, simple math, but still, it’s hard for them. That is why our school made a method called fun learning. The teacher must be creative to provide the lesson plan, through games or media.
In her 3rd week, I saw a difference. She no longer crying that much, and become more ready to follow the lesson. I also saw different thing on her necklace. In her last 2nd week, her “I miss mommy and daddy” part is missing. Now she only had 2 small papers in her necklace. And she only shows the “I want to go to toilet” paper to us. When she doesn’t know something, she will show it with her body language. She also shows a progress. She started to build a friendship with our students using the body language. She plays with the kids though they don’t talk. She even had a close friend from Korea, that also can’t speak Indonesian or English.
In math, she even taught her close friend to do skip counting worksheet. In religion, she wrote a prayer in Dutch (actually, her dad who wrote that, and she just rewrite it in a paper that provided), and she also help our Korean student to write it just as same as her’s. Now, since she already blended with our class, become a part of us, I don’t have to accompany her anymore. I just keep continue to write the upcoming activity for the parents to prepare her daughter. Now she can found her way. Hopefully, being 3 month in our class will be a very good experience for her.
Having foreign student like her makes me realize that I should have different method compare to my other student :
- Always have close relation to the parent. Inform them what happened at school and what to do on the next day, so the parents can prepare their daughter or son to go to school.
- We know that body language really helps. Give simple body language so she can understand the instruction
- If it is a class activity, try to find an activity that she can follow. Sometimes for learning stuff or quizzes, I sing “head shoulder knees and toes” to learn about body part and she can follow it. My friend in science class, when he taught about taste using experiment, he asked her to taste and mention what taste is that, using her book that already translated.
- Its not always easy to deal with it. We also have so many things to do during the lesson and we cant just pay attention on one kids. So, morning and last circle time really helps. During the morning circle time we raise their spirit so they can learn with happy feeling. In the last circle time, we also playing games or else that every students can follow so my foreign kids didn’t feel afraid about what was happened in school (feel get lost in the middle of nowhere) or else.