When it comes to teaching, it’s not always about the result but the experience behind it. The pandemic that had been going through for about two years has greatly reduced student competence. When I first started to teach in SDN Sawohan 1, I felt like I have to give up because they were so many that the students can’t do. In terms of literacy, their ability to understand a single text was really bad even though they could read. In terms of enumeration, they have not mastered the concept of multiplication and division well. In addition, they also can’t work in groups well and what surprised us the most was their inability to summarize a passage, even though all students in the era before them could do it well.
There were two students in the third grade with unique backgrounds. The first one, I thought he need special attention. At one time when we observed him, he couldn’t get his focus on doing something even when walking. He couldn’t even walk straight. In addition, the way the student wrote a letter was unrecognizable. All the letters he wrote were upside down. We asked his teacher and she confirmed it. The second student whom we thought had this unique background was a child with ten siblings. We thought at first that their mother was already a granny and their eldest was the one who helped them, but it turned out to be the eldest one who was still in high school. We were surprised to learn this because we didn’t think people today would want to have more than five let alone ten children. Even if there was someone who wanted that, it is not in a city like Sidoarjo, which already advanced.
One more interesting thing that we found is that although they are an alpha generation that is predicted to be able to adapt well to technology, the reality that we found is that they were only good at using smartphones. One time when they had to operate a laptop they were confused. That was the time when we think the term alpha generation only applies to children who have a lot of technology around them, such as children who are in the middle and upper economic class. (Rayhan/BhsInggris2019)