I choose to be silent

I used to come to campus
As a diligent student
I brought a bag of books and nervousness
Thinking about my oral performance
Could I say something eloquent in my class?
Recalling my past experience
Having some oblivious comments
The class could be a battle
As an English student with cultural identities
I choose to be silent
To mask my self-helpless soul


Every time I came to campus,
As a fresh undergraduate teacher
I’d bring a box of mixed feelings
Pondering my teaching
Could I teach them?
Being bombarded by all the questions
Revealing some frowning faces
The questions can challenging
Questioning my competence
As the all-knowing master
I choose to be silent
To cover my weakness


When I come to campus
As a teacher with master degree
I’d carry a box of self-confidence
Thinking for some changes
Could I change them?
Facing the ignorance and incapability
Showing some puzzling faces
Having self-conflict in the class
As the curriculum transmitter vs. educator
I choose to be silent
To conceal my frustrations


If I come to campus one day
As a competent and well-equipped professor
I’d carry the box of openness and knowledge
Reflecting my strength and weakness
Can I educate them?
Facing the resistance by the attitude
Demonstrating some struggles
(When) Starting interrogating themselves
As a future teacher
I choose to be silent
To hide my generic help

To learn that they are growing
To understand that they are transforming
Those experiences mirroring mine
When they find their way
In this moment of learning

I feel that having emotions shaped from multidimensional experiences always embody our identity as teachers. We learn every day to deal with different stages of emotion which generate different stories including cover and sacred ones. Each stanza of my long poem brings different dimensions of my poem. The first stanza was my secret story when I used to be an undergraduate student. I had to deal with the fact that accent became prominent notion for me either to enhance or interrupt my English learning. I revealed the protective vulnerability (Song, 2016) which carried my performance in the classroom. I became nervous and tend to be fearful dealing with the oral communication in the past. I used the standard for me to measure my ability in English which becomes so problematic later for me in learning English.

while second and third stanzas illustrate my sacred stories. My emotional labors from lack of confidence from my early year’s experience in teaching with the undergraduate title because of my false belief that the teacher should know all the things because of the professional status. I held sacred story as it indicated by Sone (2016). Different dimensions of emotions are repeated after finishing my master’s degree in Australia. I felt more confident but found myself struggle with the curriculum. I felt sometimes frustrated with my role vs. institutional task. This situation prevents me from doing as much as I can to educate my students because of my status as curriculum transmitter to get everything done.

For the last stanza, this is kind of my imagined situation that I am going to have in the future. Another level of emotions but becomes more open vulnerability to be honest that I can still deal with some issues, but at least I can be more open-minded to make myself not as a model but a guider for my student to find their path like me.

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