Hi everyone! Back again with Sonia’s writing. This time, I wanted to share my story during the preparation for the Dream Village Library Festival in Baling Karang Village, a remote village in Aceh Tamiang Regency. The preparation for this event was not much different from the preparation for the festival in the previous village that I visited as a Dream Teacher Volunteer, starting from the arrangement of the program to the preparation of stunning performances from the village children, such as dance performances, reading poetry, rhymes, reading short letters. and many more. However, the main highlight of this event was to display the works of village children during a month-long study with the Dream Teacher. Examples of children’s work such as paintings, drawings and children’s writings during the learning process which we then collected every day. The enthusiasm of the children was very high in welcoming this festival because this festival seemed to be something more special than the previous festival. In addition to the exhibition of works and performances of children’s talents, we agreed to add several activities with the people of the Baling Karang village to enliven this event with some exciting games, such as a tug of war game between village youths, children, and women. There was also a ball relay game to add to the excitement of the children.
Even though it feet exciting and fun, that didn’t mean there was not any obstacles during the preparation for the Dream Village Library Festival this time. We went through joys and sorrows for a month in Baling Karang Village, but in the end all the sorrows turned into joy. Placement in the village of Baling Karang, I had the responsibility to study with the children of the Basic Reading Class. Their names were children, I often just understood when there are things that sometimes make me have to take a deep breath because of their actions. How come? For us adults who expect to focus on the child’s learning process, we really could not force it. Moreover, considering the child’s focus on one thing could only happen for a few moments, at least half an hour or even more minimal. So, here I also learnt to harmonize many alternatives with children’s learning styles. Because this did not only happen when learning in daily content, but I also felt a little overwhelmed in the process of training the children to perform the Man Ana dance for the culmination of the festival. Considering that the elementary reading class children were very enthusiastic about the dances performed by their seniors, so I took the initiative to invite them to perform the Man Ana dance which they happened to have never learned before. Every child has a different learning style. Some are quick to memorize the movements and of course some are a little slow to follow the movements and rhythms of the dance, especially with the duration of practice for less than a month. Even when practicing, children were easily influenced by noises from outside the line which then makes them lose focus. It made me have to be extra in my voice so that they listen. Sometimes, I even got a little angry myself and am so overwhelmed by it that I found a place that is a little quieter for them to practice.
Many things happened during the festival preparation process. I used it all as a way for me to learn to control my emotions with children, and I always remembered that children have their own world. When I was tired, bored or lost focus, sometimes I had to let it flow by itself, let them be with their world for a while because then it will return to what we directed. I kept my anger, anxiety and even anger. Especially when I saw their enthusiasm and how passionate they were in training, I also persevere and be more enthusiastic when training them. Tired and angry of course, but all would disappear along with their cute and adorable behavior. But for sure, every time we hold a festival, we tried to train children’s confidence to dare to appear on stage. Children who already had high self-confidence, we were happy to support them, whatever they wanted to show while it is still in a positive realm. All the preparation process that was the important point.
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12 June 2022. A busy week with a series of activities for the Kampung Impian Library Festival. As planned, the agenda went smoothly. In fact, there was an additional agenda for distributing fruit plant seeds which is also a series of festivals. On the peak night, everything went smoothly. The children appear enthusiastic. The audience was also cheering and appreciating each of the children’s performances. In fact, the audience only returned home one by one, watching our month-long activities with the children. In fact, the local youths were still happy to accompany us to tidy up various equipment after the festival was successfully held.
Written by Desti Sonia Putri