“Dibalik Cakap” (Behind Cakap) Experience


Working at Cakap has been such a profound journey for me where I get to learn many more new things as I have always wished for: 

First, I have always dreamed of training and coaching teachers, supporting their teaching skills, and helping them accelerate. I finally got the opportunity to do this at Cakap. Yes, it is such a leap and bound in our teaching career, for some others, but it means more than that to me. We all had the experience of being a newbie, feeling clueless about everything, being expected to do the right things without any guidance on how things should be, etc. Initial teacher inductions did not seem enough for me as someone who graduated from a non-teaching background, so I joined workshops, conferences, training, and read books to develop my teaching knowledge. I once proposed myself to help train teachers back then, but it was rejected. Therefore, I am more than thrilled that I finally have the chance to share my knowledge here at Cakap and learn from the incredible teachers. It is not always about evaluating or assessing teachers, but it is more about how I can support them better. As a bonus, I can learn from my mentees as well. This opportunity has broadened my knowledge, not only in teaching but also in life, and this makes me feel small, as I found out that my mentees are all unique and outstanding teachers, and I am honored to be their mentor.

Second, there is also another thing that I feel blessed about working here. Cakap has collaborated with Benih Baik, Tokopedia, YCAB, CT Foundation, and other foundations to support people from underprivileged communities and orphanages to learn English for free and convenient. Teachers don’t need to travel to their places as Cakap, and those foundations have provided the curriculum, learning platform, and other facilities to enable them to study. On the first day, I taught them. I was touched by how simple but enthusiastic the students were. Some groups might be shy and unconfident due to their English level, but we both have grown accustomed to each other over time. They teach me many things about life and to see from their perspective. I also learn to loosen up and lower my strict expectations as a teacher. I allow them to learn in a more entertaining way through games, jokes, and simple classroom languages. I can see how they become even more enthusiastic and engaged in the lesson, and most of all, how they gradually progress in class from zero understanding of English. 

I’m grateful to Cakap, my students from Muslimin Jaya and Wisma Karya Bakti orphanages, SDS Juara Cimahi and Jaksel, SMA U Sukoharjo, and Bangli, my mentees, and my colleagues for teaching me and being a part of this valuable experience. Lastly, allow me to share this wonderful quotes that relates to my situation here.

“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”

― Roy T. Bennett

#dibalikcakap #siapacakapdiadapat #makincakap #teaching #coaching #learning #gratitude


Teacher Appreciation Week Special: Interview With Experienced Teachers


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Nope, we don’t celebrate it in Indonesia,  however, I see this as a good opportunity to support teachers who are working remotely and show them that we are in this together. I invited some of my fellow educators teaching in different countries to share their experience in teaching online amid this pandemic situation. I hope reading their experiences will motivate you as much as it does to me. Enjoy!

Nina Septina, Indonesia

1. Where do you teach and in what country?
I teach at EF English First in Semarang, Indonesia.
2. What level/s do you teach?
Young learners to adult learners.
3. What app are you using to teach online?
Tencent Classroom (TalkCloud).
4. In your opinion, how is online teaching different than offline/face-to-face teaching? 
The energy we spend in virtual and real classroom.
5. What do you like about teaching online? *
I like getting to know the students better by meeting them in their environment.
6. Can you share the best activity you’ve done when you teach online?
Using the Tencent online teaching platform, what I like best is when we give students a     question/quiz, we can ask students to participate by giving each of them access to write/draw on a personal mini whiteboard. All students are active at the same time. Then when I take back the access to the whiteboard, students won’t be able to write/draw anymore and that’s the time to reveal each individual students’ response to the class and discuss further with them orally. Each student is unique, they often respond in an interestingly unexpected way. This makes the class atmosphere more fun and lively.
7. If things are back to normal, would you like to continue teaching online? Why?
Yes, but not all online, combining the offline and online teaching once in a while would be nice.
8. What advice would you give to teachers doing remote learning amid this pandemic situation?
Keep learning, exploring, and experimenting with new things! Make mistakes and make more new mistakes!

Andy Boon, Japan

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1. Where do you teach and in what country?
I teach at Tokyo Gakuen university in Japan.
2. What app are you using to teach online? 
I’m using Teams, Zoom, and Line.
3. In your opinion, how is online teaching different than offline/face-to-face teaching?
It’s more stressful and more multitasking. We need to prepare and students need data plan and equipment.
4. What do you like about teaching online?
No commute and students do homework more.
5. Can you share the best activity you’ve done when you teach online?
I’m only just started so it’s hard to say.
6. If things are back to normal, would you like to continue teaching online? Why?
Yes, I’d prefer to continue teaching online so I could move to Indonesia and live with my wife.
7. What advice would you give to teachers doing remote learning amid this pandemic situation?
Be prepared and be calm.

Vicky Loras, Switzerland

1. Where do you teach and in what country?
I teach at a private school in Switzerland, teaching all levels and all ages.
3. What app are you using to teach online?
I’m using Big Blue Button, Teams, and Skype.
4. In your opinion, how is online teaching different than offline/face-to-face teaching?
It is more demanding, as we need to be alert especially with larger classes – emotions are not shown, lack of understanding may happen, and we might be receiving a lot more information in the form of messages than we would offline.
5. What do you like about teaching online?
I love that I don’t have to commute, and that the results are the same as face-to-face.
6. Can you share the best activity you’ve done when you teach online?
I have all of them in camera and surprise them with questions – they love it because they don’t know who’s next!
7. If things are back to normal, would you like to continue teaching online? Why?
Yes I would, it’s very practical. I also have more time for other things.
8. What advice would you give to teachers doing remote learning amid this pandemic situation?
Don’t panic, we are all in this together and you’re doing your best – and the students know it!


Anna Loseva, Vietnam

facebook_1589107401431_6665199530253480579.jpg1. Where do you teach and in what country?
I teach in a university program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
2. What level/s do you teach?
It’s difficult to use the terminology of “levels” in my students’ case. Let’s just say students need to achieve at least IELTS 6.0 to enroll in the courses of the program.
3. What app are you using to teach online?
My school has been using Zoom for online classes.
4. In your opinion, how is online teaching different than offline/face-to-face teaching?
Online teaching is different from face-to-face in too many ways! The interaction patterns that are at play, the time that each activity takes, the time needed to get response from students, to name just a few.
5. What do you like about teaching online?
I like the chance I have to give my student instantaneous feedback – and share it with everyone. In certain ways also I feel that students can be closer to each other
especially with some class members that they would normally never get a chance to talk to. Well, and on a selfish level, I like the fact that I can make myself some tea and have a fruit snack during class while still working! =)
6. Can you share the best activity you’ve done when you teach online?
I was happy how my students performed working on critically analysing web sources
in groups in their shared documents – and I could leave my comments to their work IN
the moment.
7. If things are back to normal, would you like to continue teaching online? Why?
Here in Vietnam at the moment, things ARE sort of back to normal and kids are back to school. My university decided to proceed with blended learning and I approve of that choice and look forward to it! I would like to have a chance to teach some courses/classes online in the future as I think sometimes it can be more efficient!
8. What advice would you give to teachers doing remote learning amid this pandemic situation?
Take it easy and lower expectations – for yourself and for your students!

Continue reading

When Online Teaching Becomes The New Deal


As we’ve known that the whole world, including Indonesia, is experiencing the same pandemic virus outbreak which affects every single person in the country to keep our distance away from people, by avoiding meetings, not going anywhere, staying at home and working from home. Some countries have even applied the total lockdown by not letting the citizens go out at all. However, in Indonesia, we only have the stay at home and work from home policy, which means, some offices and public places are not strictly closed, some people still work at the office and we are the one who is responsible to maintain our social distances. As a result, some businesses are done online, including education.

It has been 3 weeks since the first day of our SAH-WFH (Stay At Home – Work From Home) policy. Public schools have been closed and I have also seen some of them have conducted classes online. As for the language school I work for, the center has been closed since then, but the staff and teachers are still coming to work in preparing for the online classes. The first 2 weeks, I must say, had been quite intense in the preparation. There were intensive webinars every single day conducted from the headquarter and the teachers have been practicing a lot for this online class since it’s a new thing for us. Luckily, as usual, the school is ready with its own online platform that has been used by the centers in China when they had the lockdown. Teachers at the school I work for are actually aware of online teaching, however, none of us have any experience in doing it, thus we are required to quickly be familiar with it.

Finally, after 3 days practicing intensively with our small groups, exchanging roles being teachers and students, we are now ready to start teaching online in the 3rd week. Some classes have been assigned gradually to ensure not only the teacher’s familiarity but also the delivery quality, of whether the devices and internet connection is supported. For your information, Indonesia has been well-known with its low quality of internet bandwidth (read my story about MyRSCON4Experience).

After the first week of doing this online class, I must say it’s a quite unique experience. It is obviously much different than teaching face to face. Let me just break it down into a few highlights:

  1. As I told you above, it does remind me of participating and presenting online at RSCON 2013, my first and only online conference I’ve ever attended (please read: MyRSCON4Experience). Yes, back then, we did not have a good internet quality like nowadays as I mentioned in the blog, but hopefully, I’m relieved to find out that the classes went well with no internet problem, thanks to the school. It does lag once in a while but the whole class went smoothly.
  2. Albeit not standing in front of the class face to face with the students and only sitting down in front of the computer screen, but in my opinion, teaching online is more exhausting. Probably because I have to speak twice louder and clearer and be more all out to get students engaged than doing it face to face.
  3. I guess I like the fact that teaching online does not limit my intention to be creative with students. I used to think that by teaching online, we only teach like we present in webinars or online meetings. I can still think of different approaches and activities to get students engaged in the lessons.


EF Online

In conclusion, teaching online is not as dull as we (or maybe, me) always thought. It could be fun, interesting and engaging too. We just need to be creative and explore more activities that could be fun with the students.

However, bandwidth might be one of the problems that we need to keep checking the students whether they can hear us and get what we said. Be prepared with some occasions that they can’t hear us and see what we are presenting at all which results in they can’t understand the lesson at all and it’s totally not our fault.

Additionally, regardless of how I really love to dig more about education technology, honestly speaking, I still prefer teaching face to face as I can meet the students directly without any internet obstacles and do more TPR activities.

That’s my highlight of online teaching. How about you? What do you think about it? I invite you to share your thoughts and if you can also share some interesting ideas, please write in the comments below or on my Facebook to get an immediate reply from me. ‘Til then, thank you for reading and please stay healthy and stay safe!

2019 Blessings


“It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life, for me. And I’m feeling good”

Nina Simone.

This song which was first sung by Nina Simone has been all over my head lately. Yes, it does relate to everything I have experienced recently. At this end of the year, things have changed a lot. Here I am sharing a bit of update, which you may call it improvement and I call it a blessing.

So I shared about having a mental illness in my last blog that I barely could do anything. Experiencing failures, that I blamed and judged myself a lot, living in desperation and depression, feeling fragile, being down in the dumps with no one to talk to.

Then to get my peace of mind and regain my mental health, I have been meditating a lot and practicing mindfulness. From there, in the middle of the struggling period, I decided to resign from my last job. And yes, I, at that time, felt more focused as I didn’t have to fuss with that previous situation and had more time to focus on myself mentally. I, then, became calmer and more mindful. Until one day, surprisingly, as I got better, I got a call by the school I worked for previously: EF; offering me to go back but in a different center. Without thinking twice, I immediately said yes.

It was such a miracle and a blessing to me as things have become more and more wonderful. It seems that all things have started working together. I’ve meditated a lot and went for Umra (pilgrimage), not only I feel more peaceful but I see things more clearly, wisely and positively now. As an impact, I manifest more and more blessings: being in a positive working environment, having the opportunity to learn more by working at a different center, working with an amazing and supportive team of teachers, being appointed as one of the senior teachers and also, a mentor; and more.

Therefore, based on my experience and it is proven, if we make peace with the situations and see things positively, the universe will work things out. So, the tips I shared in my previous blog are truly based on my experience: how I got through the process doing all those steps in making myself better.

I’m also announcing that I’m ready to return to my professional development again, gradually. Back to networking and joining conferences too. In 2020, which is by the time I publish this blog is now, I’m gradually building up my motivation to apply for scholarships again, or maybe DELTA. Other than that, I will continue to practice this self-care, meditating, gaining more awareness, being more mindful and positive. So hopefully, not only it will impact my life, career, but also health. Herewith, I’d like to thank everyone for the kind, motivating and positive words after I published the blog and, to those who have been with me throughout the year. Here’s to an awesome and blessed 2020! Looking forward to seeing you again in 2020.

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” 

Oprah Winfrey.

Don’t Let Burnout Burns You Much


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I am not a fan of ranting my own problem and sharing it in social media in order to get people’s attention. However, the recent situation has really changed my life and I want to share this to you how mental health can happen and affect us so much:

Ever since I finished my CELTA training, I joined one local English institution (which I am trying to disclose the name here) as a part-time teacher while waiting for my scholarship application process. For the first few months, it was okay, until early 2019, they started paying the teachers’ salary by installments. Long story short, I found out that the company is not in good condition with its financial problem that has been happening for years. I kept quiet and patient, with the thought of hoping that things will be better. I have started looking for a new job and/or private teachings as a back-up plan for 6 months, but, surprisingly, this is the first time I found it difficult to find a new job and even private classes. Not to mention, having the scholarship rejected for the second time made me even down. I have dreams (that turn into an ambition) of perfecting myself by applying for Master’s degree scholarships and working abroad. I pushed myself so hard and always felt that I have to achieve everything I want and fight for. Knowing that I have failed in everything, I felt unworthy and unconfident. I couldn’t stop thinking of why and how this could happen, what I did wrong, and regarding the work situation, I also thought of why I didn’t see this coming, when will it resolve and how long I can endure the situation. Those situations have accumulated in me and this ended up growing my anxiety level and affected me mentally. With the fear of judgments, I only shared these with people who are close to me and decided to give myself some peace by staying away from social media (so now you know why I was inactive and quiet lately). It just depressed me more to see people’s updates. How I thought that I was unworthy of those big dreams and happiness. I tried my best not to vent with my colleagues, since they are having the same problem as me and to maintain the positive working environment as well. But the longer I sulk, it affected my health too, I couldn’t believe how I could get sick twice in a month lately. Not to mention how it also affected my confidence level and really did decreasing my abilities too.

Until one day, I remember the time after I had the cyst surgery 3 years ago, the doctor told me to maintain my health by thinking positively and minimizing stress level, otherwise it would make the remaining cysts which were failed to be taken away to grow bigger and cause the same problem, which at the end cost me more money to get rid of them again. Then it dawned on me that I need to end all this madness.

So then decided to resign from the job due to my health condition, and find my own peace of mind. I realized I have been so hard on myself and treated myself so badly lately with all these ambitions and sulking. Maybe God has taught me a lesson to take it slow and love myself. I want to go back to where I was, I want to shine again, I miss going back to conferences and meet people. However, maybe this time, I am going to focus more on myself, on my spiritual journey in order to find my peace of mind before I am ready to go back again.

My message to my fellow teachers and educators: burnouts happen, they are inevitable but we can minimize it by loving ourselves more and don’t let workloads burden you. Your boss won’t care about how much workloads they give and whether you’re sick or stressed; what matters for them is the result of your work and if you’ve done your job well. In order to prevent it, consider doing the things below:

Take some time to please yourself however you like: go out there, hang out with friends or family, watch movies, travel, eat out, karaoke or whatever that makes you happy (I love going to karaoke so I’ll do anything to sing my heart out and kill the stress away, with my awful voice x-p).

Try your best to talk things out with people you can count on. Or it would be a disaster to talk to the wrong ones. I’m very cautious, I vent only with non-judgemental people and those who are a good listener. I don’t want to end up feeling hurt or disappointed. I am not good at talking things out and I want to talk only to people whom I am comfortable with. If you hesitate to talk to people you know, going to counseling might be a good idea (I’ve thought about it too!).

Please, please, please bottle up the situation too long. Through my experiment of being cautious to whom I vent my problem, I found out that we actually have self-healing ability. Without venting, we can heal our pain through time. However, giving it time means bearing the pain and honestly, it’s not good for you, and your health. You won’t know how long you can keep your sanity, right?

Small things in this world can help you. Take some time to go out there, feel the sunshine, breathe the fresh air, and see nature’s colors will also help you kill the stress away.

Practice mindfulness and self-love. This is something I actually have practiced a long time ago but I was not aware of the result until I realize how much I need it. So then, I continue doing meditation more often, just to get my own balance, self-awareness, and self-love which leads to the impact with the surroundings. And as a woman, I love going to spas and salons. If you can afford it, going there once in a while would be good to show your self-gratitude and love. But if you can’t, like me at the moment, I’ve been dumping myself with sheet masks and hair masks, and I think they’re more than enough to make me happy too.

Practice kindness. I don’t mean to preach, I’m not saying that you have to practice charity, give donations and sort of things. Kindness isn’t always about money, it can be small things we do to others, even smile, listening ears and helping hands. We are not the only person in this world. We know that we are sad but there are more people whose situations are worse than us. Small things you can do to them, not only will make them feel better but you will too, it does for me. I realize one thing I miss when I’m down is a listening ear, and though we are in trouble, doing it to others, would make a great difference. Imagine how it feels when someone listens to you attentively without any judgments, then why not doing it to someone.

Pray. Nope, I, once again, don’t mean to preach. I’m not a religious person, but I believe in God. And I believe all things I have achieved whether good or bad, are God’s willing. When I’m down, and I have no one to talk to, I vent to Him.

There are actually so many things you can do in order to minimize burnouts and avoid depression. I’m lucky that my mind is still dominated with the positivity of not committing suicide (but this could happen, maybe accidentally! *knock on wood*). Because depression may lead to uncontrollable emotions that push people away from you and may cause harmful behavior to yourself if you bottle it all up. Again, I don’t mean to preach here, but I am just sharing things that helped in my self-healing process, which I hope you can find them useful. If you have more ideas to add, I would really love to hear and maybe practice them too. In the end, it’s only you who can make yourself better, no one could. So, loving yourself is the best thing to do. 🙂

My CELTA Journey


I finally decided on taking CELTA after saving a lot for this. I had to go through such a long thinking process in deciding this. I know that it’s going to be very useful for my PD, but I also heard about how expensive that is and the process itself. Like, really, taking CELTA is no game, think about the money you’ll spend and whether you’re going to take all the challenges and demands. It’s gonna be silly if you decided to withdraw or run away in the middle of the course and lose all the money. No big freakin’ way!

I must say, I did them on my own. I proposed the school I worked for to help supporting the course, maybe half of it, but the answer was “no”. It was maybe unfortunate but I felt lucky as I got some freelance jobs which helped me to save for it. Yup, I worked really hard for it.

I also collected many thoughts and suggestions from my PLN friends who has taken the course. And I could summarized, most of them say how demanding and stressful it would be but it was worth it. Taking 1 month intensive course in which the tasks get progressively difficult, from the easiest in week 1 and become the hardest as it reaches the final week. No final tests or tasks. But we also need to do 4 writing assignments. Okay, thoughts: teaching is my thing, I’ve been doing it for years, but when it comes to writing, as much as I like writing blogs and poems, I’m actually behind, especially in the grammar and sophisticated vocabulary. And as I’m a visual kind of person, so I might be able to imagine how the course would be, but I couldn’t figure out the real situation is.

However, thinking about a better teaching career and experience for my future professional development, as the saving’s almost enough, without thinking twice, I applied for one course at TBI Bali. I had to do the pre-interview task which mostly is about our teaching practice analysis and some writing. I must say it was not that difficult for me to answer them as I have done most of them in my 12 years of teaching. And when it came to the interview, I had to do a short and timed writing which tests how we deal with writing in a very short period of time. The interviewer said that my writing was okay, and there were only a few mistakes I made in my pre-interview task, which he then helped to discuss them together. In a short time, I received an email that I was accepted to the course. However, due to my father’s health condition, I had to postpone it.

Long story short, as my father was recovering, I decided to register again to the course in January at TBI Bandung. But since it took about 6 months afterwards, I had to register from the beginning and sent my pre-application task again. However, this time, I was surprised that I got so many notes about my writing which I didn’t get on the last interview. I didn’t mind about those feedback but it indeed gave me such a “warm welcome” to the course. That however, made me a bit nervous and thought that, even the pre-writing task was this challenging, then the course itself would be even worse??

Time flies, it had been 6 months after the interview and a month before the course. Thank God it was the Eid holiday, so I used my time to read and expose myself with those teaching methodologies. I read 2 (two) of Jeremy Harmer’s books: The Practice of English Language Teaching and How to Teach English; and Learning Teaching: A Guidebook for English Language Teachers by James Scrivener. As time was getting closer to the course, I felt even more nervous though I knew I wasn’t even tested!

Day 1 or Day 0

It was only the beginning of the course. I was glad that the first day, or they call it the Day 0, as the orientation day ended up fine and relaxing. There were 10 participants and 2 tutors who helped us through the course. The first week, the nervous feeling and anxiety were all over me. I got a book where we had to write our reflection of the day: what we think about the input sessions, any thoughts, concerns or questions about the course or the day. I started writing about how nervous I was and whether I was not sure about finishing this course successfully as I am just a mediocre teacher with inaccurate spoken and written English. Thank goodness, I have good and supportive fellow Celtoids (that’s how we call ourselves) and tutor.

Week 1

I passed the first week succsfully, started with the first 4 teaching practices in the Elementary level class and I didn’t have any difficulty in the first 2 teaching practices and planning the lesson plans. The first week writing assignment was about Lessons from the Classroom. This assignment was divided into two parts: on the first part, we had to describe our personal aims in joining the course; and second part, we should write our reflection of our personal aims and the experience during the course, what was achieved and other things that still needed to be improved. This second part should be done on the final week of the course.

Week 2

The challenge had just started. I was expected to apply the knowledge I got from the first week in my lesson plan and teaching practices. In addition, we started to teach for 60 minutes in the same level.

This week I got 2 writing assignments: Focus on The Learner and Language Related Task.

Week 3

This was when the tension and expectation were getting higher. I started teaching Intermediate level but with the duration reduced.

This week the writing assignment was only about using authentic materials and making our own materials and some re-submissions to do.

Week 4

This is the final week, teaching 60 minutes classes with more expectations to go. Applying all the feedback and input sessions in the lesson plans and the teaching. It was not an easy task, no sir. But at least I managed to do my best.

As for the writing assignment, we only needed to continue our first assignment as our final one, about the Lessons in The Classroom.

So my teaching practices and writing assignments were all done 3 days before the course officially finished. I felt like I should’ve had more things to do, but I ended up exhausted and hit the sack earlier than usual. That might be the time when your body demanded for rest.


Yeah, I actually realized when people told me it was going to be intense. But silly me, it didn’t feel real until I really experienced it. So, it was hard to say if I was ready or not. To sum up, I just want to tell people who are going to take the course: be ready for the worst situation and to push yourself out of and beyond your comfort zone. This might help us not to stress out and breakdown.

Yup, I do realize being an experience teacher could be a benefit and a hindrance for me between applying my previous practices and the new insights I got. However, what matters is actually the experience and the insights; and yes, of course the certificate too. Whatever you have during the course, all the struggles, criticism, ups and downs, tears, sweat and blood are obviously worthwhile.


Herewith I would like to thank people who have guided and supported me from the beginning of time of consideration, decision making until the course itself, especially Andy Boon, Rob Wood, Yitzha Sheilla Sarwono, Grace Marcellina, Try Manoellang, Liany Sebastian, iTDi people, my PLN, people who had shared their thoughts about the course, those who helped checking up on my condition and progress throughout the course, my parents, my little sister Ethika Mandawati for her mental support and of course, my fellow Celtoids. This is such a big step in my PD journey and I can’t thank you all enough for this.

Private Teachers Predators = Professional Harassment?


This is the story that I’ve intended to share but I somehow hesitated due to the appropriateness, whether it is appropriate for me to publish it or would be sound like just a drama I made. Well, it may sound like a drama, but honestly I was almost depressed and traumatic because of this. I even thought about giving up using social medias as this person kept haunting all the social medias I have. As the intensity grows stronger and it’s bothering me A LOT so I finally decided to publish the story. The reason why I am sharing the story is based on a professionalism reason and to remind others to be aware and cautious of the same case.

It started on early November 2017 when I got many offers in my LinkedIn. Usually, if the company or the representative of the company is interested in our profile, they will add our account or send us a message.

Among those messages and offers, there is this message sent by someone who does not represent a company telling that he needed a private teacher. I was a bit suspicious when I found that his written message was, I can say, perfect. He used lots of formal words and cohesive devices. I could only find very few grammar errors there. However, I asked him about his needs and he mentioned that he needed a teacher to help him improving his speaking skill. So then I gave him my contact number in order to discuss further about it. After I gave him my number, in just a second, he added me on Facebook and Instagram. I remember that I only linked my Facebook with my LinkedIn as I use it for my professional use, but not with my Instagram. So he clearly added me by searching my name.

This person mentioned that he is a director in an insurance company and married with 3 kids. At the beginning, he wanted to meet me at his office, but since he works and lives far from my house and the school where I teach, so I decided to call off. But as he insisted to meet, then I asked him to meet me at the mall where the school is. So just in case, something might happen, I’m safe and I know where to run for help. A few days before the meeting, he sometimes texted me asking about my hobbies and favorite music which he mentioned the reason was as a reference. It got stranger when he asked me if I am married or not. This surely an improper questions to be asked by a prospectus student, but I tried not to take it seriously at that time.

On November 13th, on the meeting day, things actually went fine. We talked casually, he sometimes preferred to speak in Bahasa Indonesia as he said that he was embarassed with his English. He also talked about his family,

Just a day after the meeting, he started sending me inappropriate texts telling about his feeling about me. Why do I call it inappropriate? Because: 1. he wanted to be my student, and 2. he is married. In addition, he is very impatient and was upset whenever I couldn’t reply his messages immediately due to my work.

On November 17th, I travelled to Japan to attend the JALT International Conference. He knew that I went there because I told him that I couldn’t be available soon because of this plan. Just when I arrived, I received so many text messages from him telling how much he missed me and how he would be jealous if I might meet any guys there. I ignored it and replied the next day very shortly and formally. It bothered me a lot because I couldn’t focus on my trip. Again, he was upset that I didn’t reply quickly and often.

Until 4 days I was in Japan, he still sent me those inappropriate messages and I had enough. I thought by not replying fast and sending very short and formal replies have given him a clue that I didn’t want to be disturbed. So then I discussed with Icha who happened to be my travel buddy there. She advised me to stop him as this had become very unprofessional. By doing this, he has harassed my professionalism as a teacher.

So then I sent him a text telling that I couldn’t continue this and asked him to find another teacher. I also told him that that will be my last text message to him, another clue telling that I don’t want to be disturbed. He was very upset and I could tell from his reply. He didn’t stop and sent me another message asking for a second chance. I didn’t reply to his message until I returned to Jakarta.

On November 25th, he assumed that I was back to Jakarta and sent me Happy Teachers Day pictures, then begged for a second chance again and told a story of how much he needed a teacher because all his proposals were rejected after he got promoted. He also tried to trace the reason why I rejected him and he thought it was when he said one thing that he actually meant to show how he admired me. Whatever that was, it’s strictly unprofessional and I really didn’t see any use for me to reply it until he sent me an email with the same content. Gosh, he really drove me nuts! I then replied to his email very politely but firmly asking him to consider this as a recruitment process where both parties had the right to reject the each other and it’s because of professionalism reason. I even told him that this would be my final message to him and expected him to stop communicating with me however that was. I also mentioned that if he made a further effort, I won’t be able to tolerate it and would sue him. Again, he replied upsetly and stated that it was just a misunderstanding.

After the email, I was relieved because I thought that it was over. But I was wrong, although I blocked his number and WhatsApp connection, he sent me a text messages and even  used a different number to text me. I, of course ignored and blocked it.

After a month passed, just a few days ago, he sent me another email and I found out that he also sent me another invitation to my Instagram account with a different profile than the one I blocked. He also added me on Google+ that I had to block him too.

I really have enough!! This is really irritating me and I CAN’T take this anymore!! How can I tell Indonesian people or even the world, that female teacher is not a whore! You can’t come to us saying that you wanted to study English as your pick-up line then hitting on us and even, thinking that you can pay us to serve your needs! Is it too much if I say that this has become a professional harassment?

And how about LinkedIn itself? Has this application been considered or even turned into a social dating app where you can pick employees or teachers based on their look and hit on them?? I am sorry, I am not there to find sugar daddies out there.

I have never vent in my Facebook and even my blog. I use them for my professional posts. And since this is also related with my professionalism so I write here. If anyone has any advices or even know any ways to protect us professionally, please let me know.





Learning English Through Hobbies


I’ve always interested in learning languages since I was a kid. Back when I was in Primary School, there was only 1 (one) language subject and that was only Bahasa Indonesia. That was before English become the one of the main subject in Primary School. I was influenced by my elder sister who is 5 years older than me. She listened to many foreign songs and I liked singing them at school. Oh, how I remember my friends liked to say this behind me, “Indrie always loves to show off and sings English songs”. I didn’t mind, I knew I was learning (and a little boasting too :-D). As my mother realised my interest in English, she started to enroll me to an English courses when I was in grade 5. Eversince then, my English skill started to develop. 

I bet most of you have heard about this pen pal association. I joined IYS (International Youth Service) and paid for pen pals. I kept requesting for more friends not only to practice my English but also expand my knowledge about world.

I did not go to a popular Junior High School, the English subject there was kind of below the level. This might gave a benefit for me, I was always been the top of the class in grades and English. My English teachers always favorited me whilst I continued learning at the English Course.

My interest in English started to develop even more when I was in Senior High School. I got the privilege to go to bookstores by myself, bought many English story books, joined the British Council Library to read and borrow more English books, I started watching movies with no subtitles and paying attention on the conversations and I began to play games, any games and not only playing games, I copied the words and found out the meanings. At this period of time, I love listening to Britpop songs: Oasis, Blur, Pulp and more. Listening and singing to their songs helped to enhance my vocabulary, speaking skills and accent.

As the Britpop era had gone, I began to like The Gilmore Girls series. I admit Britpop and The Gilmore Girls have different accents, but I don’t care, my aim was learning English. I love the duet of crazy mom and daughter, I learned more from them.

The development of games do contribute well in my learning. The Hidden Object Games which was popularized in later 2006’s helped me to learn more and expand my vocabulary.

There are actually many ways to learn English. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just find things that you enjoy doing and from there you will learn effectively. You can even use your hobbies to learn at the same time. I like listening music, singing, playing games, making lots of friends, writing etc. These hobbies have contributed a lot in my language learning journey. Hobbies don’t always waste your time, they can also be useful. These are some my ways to learn, you might have better ideas for this. So why waiting? Why don’t you try yours?




There is a one interesting blog game going on around this bloggers media where bloggers tag one another and challenge them with 11 sets of questions. I was tagged by Ika Chieka Wibowo to answer 11 questions from her. Hey, what could be more fun than sharing facts about us and letting everyone knows one another? 🙂

So, how does it work?

1. Acknowledge the blogger who has nominated you.

2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger asked you.

4. Nominate 11 more bloggers of your choice.

5. Post 11 questions for the nominated bloggers and let them know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you!

Here are 11 facts about me:

    1. I love all kinds of music, you can name it from pop, jazz, swing, rock, alternative, hip hop, R & B, techno even party music, but not K-pop. But my favorite one is rock music. This kind of music helps me to get through my mood swings and my favorite band is Muse.

2. I cannot sing, I sing out of tune, however I love going to karaoke places just to have fun and release the stress away. The only songs I can sing without going out of tune are rock songs. I wish I had learned to sing when I was younger.

3. I cannot play musical instruments, I can only play piano a little bit. This is also part of my regret why I did not learn to play musical instruments when I was younger.

4. I don’t like princess characters or dolls like any other girls do. Instead, I always like superheroes, even until now. They inspire me more to be a strong and fearless single lady, unlike princesses do.

5. I like playing games. I learned English vocabularies from there. I even once dreamed to be a game-maker

6. I am not fond of big cities and big buildings. When I travel, I love going to places with their own unique traditions, tourist attractions and views. I prefer trying the traditional food instead of eating fast food during my travel.

7. I don’t like furry animals, especially CATS. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT afraid of them, there is just a disgusting kind of feeling when I see them around. This has been some kind of phobia and I have been trying to get through it, but I still can’t.

8. I don’t drink sodas and iced water. Lately, I don’t even eat rice. I have not consumed them again for years and that makes me healthy.

9. When I was a kid, I was a tomboy and liked to play a lot with boys. Until I was in Junior High School, I could not accept myself dressing up like a girl. I loved having a short haircut and telling everyone, “this makes me look handsome!” x-p

10. I can’t stand eating cold and hot food and drinks, they give me headache. I prefer to let them warm or melt them in room temperature and consume them.

11. When at first you meet me, I might be silent, calm and I don’t talk too much. I am not a good storyteller, I’m a good listener instead. However, behind this silent wall, lies a crazy and whimsical kind of person. I may not talk a lot but I love teasing others. I love dancing, I love having fun, I love laughing out loud and I love making weird jokes. Maybe this makes me fit to be a preschool teacher. Some people were surprised to find this fact.

Ika Wibowo asked me these questions:

1.   What’s your first word to describe LIFE ?

For me, LIFE is challenge. If we dare to take the challenge, whether we succeed or not, it teaches us a lesson and we won’t be the same anymore.

2.   What’s your hobby that really makes you ‘crazy’ doing it?

I looooove travelling, although I cannot do it often, due to time and money. But if I had the chance, I would have gone anywhere, and done it many many many times.

3.   Where did you go for your last holiday?

I had a short and sudden getaway trip to Bali last year, to meet Magi, my twinnie who was travelling to Indonesia.

4.   Have you ever done ‘something funny’ in public? What’s that?

When I was in Senior High School, I saw a girl with long wavy hair who looked like my friend from the back. I pulled her hair and when she turned around, I thought, “Oh no! She is not my friend, I don’t know her. I got the wrong person!” She and her friends were puzzled and I just smiled, made myself disappear among the crowd and ran away.

5.   Are you allergic from some foods or other things? What’s that?

I don’t have any allergies to food, however, I realized I’m allergic to cold weather. I tend to feel itchy and scratch my skin a lot.

6.   What makes you afraid of?

I am afraid of being alone or abandoned. I always imagine myself stranded alone in the middle of big wide ocean and see a big giant whale passing or jumping in front of me.

7.   What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched? Why?

I like watching “Step Up” from the first one to the last one. I never get bored of watching it, especially by turning on the sound system while watching it.

8.   Who’s your ‘idol’? Why do you like him/her?

I like Audrey Hepburn as she is the fashion icon of  the 50’s. Her signature of the Little Black Dress, is truly inspiring.

9.   What colors do you like and why?

I like all colors, but my favorite ones are orange (the happy and cheerful color), white, royal blue, lime green and shocking pink.

10.  When did you start your life as a teacher? Why do you want to be a teacher?

I started teaching since 2006, although I was graduated from a non-Teaching or Education background. I love teaching, because I can learn and share my knowledge at the same time I teach. I love acquiring more knowledge and sourcing information to help improving myself and my teaching.

11.  What things you haven’t done in 2013 and you will do in 2014?

My priority is pursuing a scholarship to obtain a Master degree in Early Childhood Education, in order to get me more focus in my profession. Then when it is done, I want to save more to continue my postponed small school. I hope they’ll come true.

And here are the 11 questions for my friends:

  1. What place do you really want to be at this moment? Why?
  2. If you were reborn, what do you want to be?
  3.  Where did you travel the furthest?
  4. If you have the chance to meet your favorite actor/actress/singer, who would that be and what will the first thing you say to him/her?
  5. What is the craziest thing you like to do?6. What fruit do you like most and hate most? Why?7. What is your favorite movie of all time?8. What is the best book you read and recommend?

    9. What was your favorite childhood experience?

    10. Appetizer, main course or dessert?

    11. What is your typical Sunday morning?

11 people I would love to see the answers are:

  1. @rosemebard
  2. @JosetteLB
  3. @Ratnavathy
  4. @barbarabujtas
  5. @jaluribe
  6. @barbsaka
  7. @FLCasella
  8. @yitzha_sarwono
  9. @malusciamarelli
  10. @kathleenkampa
  11.  Theodora Papanagiotou

    P.S: this game reminds me of one of my favorite singers album. Allow me to acknowledge them too here 🙂 ee-o eleven

How To Raise Yourself After Rains Of Critics and Bad Comments



Have you ever experienced people saying that to you? People judging you after all your effort and hard work? People think that you are not worthy and all your efforts are not good enough?

Once in a while these things might be good for coaching or motivating. But how if it leads to negative comments or judgements?

I have experienced many of these things before. At first it might be good as a wake up call and push you to move up. However, the more or even worse you get these, they are no longer be motivational words for you, especially when it turns to be negative. You could end up being bullied, and this is unacceptable. These things might make you feel discouraged, feeling burnout or even feeling down and not good enough.

Do not let these effects happen to you, especially when it makes you down and unworthy. Look at the bright side, learn more in order to make you better. If these efforts are still not good enough for your superior, it might be the perfect time for you to think of something else. The things that will help to boost your confidence back.

I am the kind of person that love to work and show effort sincerely and wholeheartedly. I accept people’s opinions, advice and critics in order to make me be a good person and/or perform my job well.  However when things are not working well and judgements started to raise and even get worse, I tend to hold myself up. Yup, I admit, I started to feel that I’m not good enough, I’m unworthy, it lowers my self-esteem etc. In the other hand, I do not want to let people judge me that way although sometimes it might be too late for me to show them that I am actually good enough. However I am sure that somewhere out there, I’m still good and can be good enough to do something else for someone else.

So, I started to find better things, developing myself, even finding another place that might need me more. This was the time when I found iTDi, I could not believe how they appreciated me and my first work there. The people who hardly recognize me, could say that I’m great. How do they know? Whatever it is, this really did motivated me, to move up, to learn more and to be more than I could be. In short, I can say that I finally regain my confidence, my self-esteem and my value back.

For you, if all these things happened, don’t ever lose yourself. Find yourself, find your value. You are actually worthy for who you are. Don’t let other people judge you, show them that they are wrong. If you failed to show them, show and prove it to yourself that they might be the ones that are not good for you.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” – George Elliot.

“Judgement prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” – Wayne Dyer.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.