>> Teacher As Learner Agent

By: Asep Sapa’at, S. Pd.

Teachers as teachers, ordinary things. Teacher as a learner agent, it’s just amazing. Why would a teacher as a learner’s agent be something extraordinary? This question becomes very interesting if we try to first look at the analysis from Prof. Masaaki Sato, an education expert from Japan, about the educational weaknesses of prospective teachers at the university level—in this context the Institute of Educational Personnel (LPTK)—and the weaknesses of teachers in the field. The weakness of prospective teacher education at the university level is evident from the following 3 realities. First, lectures given on campus are focused on the transfer of knowledge (transfer of knowledge) of science of a discipline, while practical knowledge to improve the knowledge and competence of teachers in teaching is in fact never taught.

Classroom learning is very personal, complex, and sensitive. Therefore, a teacher must have the ability to understand the condition of the class observantly. And this kind of ability cannot grow and develop just by listening to theoretical lectures in the classroom. Second, a lecturer at the university, in general, teaches a discipline not based on the situation and conditions in the school. No matter what type of theory, it will never be known if it is not tested. Therefore, a lecturer should not only teach the theory about learning from within the reference book, but the lecturer should also always learn from the learning process that occurs in the school environment (SD/SMP/SMA) which is always dynamic.

Third, knowledge about education services for children with special needs “learning disorder” (children who have learning difficulties) should be practiced in the field (classroom). By interacting a lot with the school environment, we will meet many children with special needs in learning. They need guidance to determine the right real handling based on the results of research or science. After three money with the weakness of prospective teachers at the university level, teacher weaknesses in the field became a reality that must be sought solutions. The main weakness of teachers in the field is the number of teachers who do not have the initiative to learn.

Quickly satisfied with the teaching skills that have been possessed is a potent trap in realizing the profile of teachers who are stagnant in work, resistant to change, and reluctance to continue learning throughout life in carrying out their role as teachers. What should teachers do to get out of the trap of ‘cheesemudan’ the development of their professionalism skills? There are only two options for you as a teacher, joining the community of learner agents or sticking with the “I’m the Greatest Teacher” pledge that stops learning. To become a learner agent, teachers must first understand the nature of being a human learner. Andrias Harefa in his book “Becoming a Human Learner” (PT. Kompas Media Nusantara, 2005) clearly tries to define human learners in the sense of: “Everyone (human) who is willing to accept the responsibility to do two important things, namely:

first, trying to recognize the nature of himself, his potential and his best talents, by always trying to find better answers about some existential questions such as “Who am I?”, “Where have I come from?”, “Where am I going?”, “What is my responsibility in this life?”, and “To whom should I believe?”; and secondly, try your best to actualize all his potential, expressing and expressing himself to the fullest, completely by being himself and refusing to compare with everything that is not him”. Learning throughout life, developing self-potential, and exerting all the best abilities in carrying out responsibilities are the 3 main characteristics of a human learner. For teachers as agents of learners, a strong willingness to continue to learn to develop their professionalism skills is the main modality in making an optimal contribution to improving the quality of national education.

If the teacher no longer wants to learn to fix all his shortcomings, in fact he no longer loves his profession wholeheartedly. Gordie Howe once stated, “If you don’t love your job, stop, and give it a chance to others who love it.” Currently teachers no longer have time to just be silent in addressing any rapid changes that occur in the world of education. With all the limitations, the author sees there are 4 important things that teachers can strive to become learner agents, including:

(1) build self-stability rather than reduce expectations by continuing to conduct self-regulation relevant to the development of the profession; (2) participate in scientific activities (seminars, workshops, scientific discussions, etc.) continuously in actively responding to any recent issues developing in the world of education; (3) study the results of research from various literature on teaching competencies related to the achievements of learner subjects; (4) as a result of the analysis of teaching tasks at different levels and curriculum.

Really teachers don’t have much choice to behave in the current situation, except to keep racing to improve their personal qualities. Make sure your best work can change the face of Indonesian education for the better. But what if policymakers and other education stakeholders are indifferent? It is certain that indonesia’s education storm will not pass. (***)