The IB has partnered with the University of the People (UoPeople) to address the global shortage of qualified educators. This year, we are funding 140 educators on their way to earning a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. We hear from I Putu Ngurah Bagus Wijaya, an educator from Canggu Community School in Bali, Indonesia to reflect on how access to this programme is shaping his knowledge and career aspirations.
By I Putu Ngurah Bagus Wijaya
My name is I Putu Ngurah Bagus Wijaya and I am a year seven drama teacher at Canggu Community School, one of the international schools in Bali, Indonesia. Besides teaching drama with my teaching colleague, I am in charge of teaching Indonesian studies, which introduces Indonesian culture through folklore and traditional dances for students’ years 10-13.
What drove you to pursue a career in education?
As a passionate and committed teacher, I am always keen to improve my knowledge base and teaching skills. When I first was hired at Canggu Community School, I found myself teaching drama. But in university, I had taken only one class! To continue learning, I asked my colleague many questions about exercises, class management and curriculum sequence. I did personal research, planned lessons and developed unit plans. This risk-taking built my confidence and instilled a desire in me to set a positive example for my students while enriching their learning.
“By strengthening my teaching practice, I hope to significantly impact Bali’s education system”.
I strongly agree with Nelson Mandela’s saying that, “education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”. Therefore, it is important for students, regardless of their background diversities—based on politics, economic status, gender or race—to equally access quality education. Passionate, committed teachers are crucial to meet the need for equity in educational opportunity, and I hope to be one of them. The IB scholarship in cooperation with University of The People provides me with just such an opportunity. By strengthening my teaching practice, I hope to significantly impact Bali’s education system.
What is the impact of having qualified educators for students?
Highly qualified and committed teachers never stop improving their practice, regardless of obstacles they may encounter. Their mandate is to provide the best possible learning experiences for students and encouraging youth to be knowledgeable and open-minded, inquirers, thinkers and risk-takers. Such students will overcome life’s challenges and ultimately bring about positive change within their communities, thereby facilitating the establishment of a better world.
Loving the job is just as essential as any other skill needed to become a qualified teacher. When teachers love their jobs, they are always motivated to strengthen their knowledge and teaching skills, no matter what challenges they may face.
“Teaching should be relevant and engaging to students. A hands-on learning experience is vital”.
Having completed one of the foundation courses at the University of the People, I am gaining professional confidence. I am clear about my teaching philosophy. I believe that teaching should cover the essentials of core materials and also the discussion of social issues. Teaching should be relevant and engaging to students. A hands-on learning experience is vital.
Most importantly, I realize the importance of professional reflection on my teaching practice. As student myself, I value clear instructions and deadlines for assigned tasks because it encourages me to be more organized and disciplined. I make sure to model these qualities for my students in the classroom as well.
What does this scholarship mean for you?
“I could help educate the next generation of globally-minded Indonesian teachers, allowing them to become familiar with and committed to the IB’s approach to teaching and learning”
To be chosen as one of the IB scholarship awardees, I feel grateful and motivated. This is a dream-come-true. In Bali, higher education is generally a privilege for the rich. This scholarship is my opportunity to facilitate much needed change.
I study within the education department because I have a keen interest in pursuing a career as a lecturer for teacher candidates in Bali. This position will allow me to affect real change. Potentially, I could help educate the next generation of globally-minded Indonesian teachers, allowing them to become familiar with and committed to the IB’s approach to teaching and learning.
How did teaching in IB schools change your perspective on the world?
An IB teacher is creative, flexible, open, caring and compassionate in approaching his or her students. Meanwhile, IB students strive to be knowledgeable, reflective, and open-minded inquirers, thinkers, communicators, and risk-takers. A better world can only exist if people respect each other regardless of their differences. Being open-minded to any and all world perspectives allows for insight into people, creates new experiences, generates personal confidence and optimism and lays the groundwork for empathy.
I Putu Ngurah Bagus Wijaya earned his bachelor’s degree in English education from Ganesha University of Education—Singaraja (2007). He is in his fourth year of teaching year seven drama at Canggu Community School in Bali and also assisting with drama for years 8-13. In partnership with a colleague, Ngurah coordinates the senior high CCS Indonesian studies programme. Previously, Ngurah taught English to students ranging from primary to university age. Football is his favorite sport and Lionel Messi is his inspiration.
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