A Tough First Day: Reflections of a Biology Teacher (Part 2)

My first day teaching Biology in Indonesia was quite a learning experience – a tough one at that. I was already almost 3 months late or should I say absent from work. I was still in the Philippines working and waiting for my working visa (I was so grateful that the school patiently waited for me till my visa was released. They could have looked and hired another teacher, you know. But as I always say, it’s all God’s plan.

Days before my flight, I was told to start immediately as soon as I arrived since nobody is teaching the class. The High School principal who replaced me while I was working on my visa went to a week – long training in Australia.

I arrived at around 1:30 AM (Indonesia time) and at 7:40 AM that same day was my first teaching class. No orientation or training whatsoever. First day should be exciting and memorable! Goodness! Imagine the butterflies in my stomach then – I was cramming and panicking at the same time. What am I going to teach? What are we supposed to do in class? I prayed hard to God before I came in the class asking Him for wisdom, confidence, and peace of mind.


We started with the class introduction of course, laying of classroom rules, and my expectations. I was surprised when they could actually speak good English. No offense meant, but I really never expected that. Then they started asking questions about me and I was more than willing to put myself on the spot, trying to be as humorous as possible so they can connect and relate with me. That’s when I felt at eased and more comfortable – the feeling of “We’ll get through this, Lord.” I had them wrote what they learned in their previous topic and had them share it in the class.

The next thing I knew, the bell rang. I survived. My first day was indeed exciting and memorable. And exhilarating.


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