A Very Rare and Unforgettable Moment with Cheryl Polk, PhD. (President of HighScope Educational Research Foundation, USA)

20160816-cheryl polk (2)These past two days (August 15-16, 2016) was quite days for us, Highscope teacher in Sekolah Highscope Indonesia, TB. Simatupang. Why is it so? Because we have been visited by the one and only, Cheryl Polk, PhD. or as we called her Dr. Polk also Marianne. Dr. Polk is the President of Highscope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. While Marianne is one of the Director in the foundation.

Dr. Polk has a long record of success in translating research knowledge about the first five years of life into programs that address the continuum of young children’s needs, from high-quality childcare to mental health consultation and treatment. Most recently she served as the executive director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund where her dual expertise in early childhood development and philanthropy advanced the creation of groundbreaking intervention programs for children exposed to community and interpersonal trauma. Dr. Polk was president of the board of directors of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and has been a board member of that organization for more than 10 years. [source: highscope.org]

We were so nervous but excited at the same time. Well, who won’t. It might be a chance once in a lifetime, to meet such a great and amazing person, even though I only knew her from the internet.

On the first day, I didn’t get a chance to meet them during our school hours. But after school, I had a chance to Meet and Greet with Marianne, Ibu Antarina SF. Amir, some owner of Sekolah Highscope in Indonesia, parents also some of colleagues from Preschool to Highschool level. What a very rare chance to be in there, especially for a preschool teacher like me.

On the second day, unpredictable of me, Dr. Polk, Marianne and also our ECEP team principal took a glimpse of our classroom, Grey Room.

Surprise. Nervous. Excited. Speechless. Worried.

All were my feeling at that time. Even though it only for a very short time. I really appreciated of her being in our classroom. Being in the same room and breathe the same air as her, lastly being in one frame with her, with them. How lucky I am.

Thank you for your visit. Hopefully, me and my partner will become as great as you, well, almost as great as you. Well, at least, being a great preschool teacher more than today.

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Goodbye, Seems to be The Hardest Word

Who would have though that I would feel very sad for letting go some of my student. It is strange. It seems that saying goodbye to them is the hardest word for me to say. It is not that I’m not happy for them, cause I do. Watching them grew little by little, time after time are the most precious moments for me as their teacher. From just bubbling until they spoke sentences. From hardly held markers until they could write their name. From asking help from me until they can helps others children. From speaking in Bahasa until they spoke fluently in English * even though some of them maybe only for a sentence *  How they are growing in front of my eyes are very memorable.

So, the background story of this writing is, 8 of my student graduated from my class which is PreSchool, and now they already move to PreKindy. We spent almost 1,5 years together, experiencing  fun and joyful learning. We learned as we played and  interacted to each other. We share experiences during those times. They learned from me and I definitely learned a lot from them. They are such a great student. And I am really proud of them. It’s such a honor for me to be part of their life, as their teacher in their early childhood * I don’t think they will remember me later on, since human memories is very limited *

Well, I guess this is just such a farewell syndrome. Hard to let go because separate from them means that I lost my comfort zone with them. I believe that time  will heal. That there will be another children to fill my comfort zone. That Later on, smile will be upon my face every time I recall to the past.

Farewell is not the end.

It is just the beginning of something.

And memories is something that will last forever.

Goodbye my lovely student.

Enjoy your new journey in a new classroom.

Hope that you all will go through much fun learning experiences.