Has been teaching for more than 25 years is not guaranty that you will be a perfect teacher. Perfect here means teacher who masters and apply all the Brown’s principle while teaching. I had been observing the Brown’s twelve principles that were used by the master teacher in teaching type of text at SMAN 12 Jakarta for two weeks. There are three English teachers, one teacher for one grade. Each grade consists of eight classes and 40 students in every class.
The master teacher that I had been observing named ***. She comes from Semarang. She has been teaching English for 26 years for three different schools with 14 years teaching in SMAN 12 Jakarta. She teaches for tenth grade students there. Actually, I cannot enter the class when the teacher taught the student. It was because the teacher didn’t allow us to do that. The observation results that I get are from interviewing the student, some small talks with the master teacher and the way she assisted the student when I taught the class. Here are several results about 12 Brown’s Principles that I found from the observation.
First, the master teacher uses the principle of self-confident. In the second day, she was not really health when I observed her. She coughed approximately every five minutes. I taught recount text without any preparation to replace her, then. She accompanied me when I taught the material to the class. Sometimes, she helped me to repeat the instruction that I gave to the student. She walked around the class to check the students’ work, one by one. One of the students asked whether his answers were correct or not. He also said that he could not do it. She answered, “Once you enter this school, means you are a smart student. Just believe in yourself, because I believe that you can do it.” The student just kept silent and looked his work. “Come on, you has already done a good job.” said the teacher. After hearing what the teacher said, he continued doing the task.
From that conversation, the teacher tried to encourage the student to do his task by saying that he is a smart student. She purposed to build self confident in her students mind. She wanted to let him know that he can do the task well. According to Brown’s principles, the teacher was using the principle of self-confidence. Building self confident in students’ mind will make them succeed in doing their task. It is because the belief that students can complete the task very well appears and pushes them to do the task better than before.
Second, principle of automaticity and meaningful learning didn’t appear. Automaticity based on Brown’ principles mean that Efficient 2nd language learning involves a timely movement of the control of a few language forms into the automatic processing of a relatively unlimited number of language forms. In other words, students are learning language automatically, whether it L1 or L2. Students do not need to learn about process or procedure in learning language because they can learn it by them self, like children who learn L1 naturally. In this school, I cannot find children’s automaticity. It is because the teacher’s too strict about the use of grammar and tenses. She also wants the students use them in writing and speaking.
First day at school, the teacher told me about the condition of the student there. She said that students are not using the right tenses in writing and speaking. Then, she taught them about tenses almost every meeting. In the class, when I had to replace her, she proved what she said.
I taught the same lesson. The difference from the previous lesson is that the students were asked to read their recount text in front of the class without brought any note. Some students had not finished the recount text yet. However, there was no additional time to finish their work. The teacher asked the students, who have not finished the tasked yet, to improve their recount text in front of the class.
Students presented their recount text one by one. In the middle of their speaking, the teacher interrupted them because they were using wrong tenses when they spoke, so the teacher wanted to fix the problem. The most important thing of that speaking assessment is all of the students tried to be brave to speak in front of the class. Unfortunately, what the teacher did make their voice lower and said more fillers like “emm..”.
After, the class, I asked the teacher about the reasons why she did that. Then, she answered that she wanted the student to understand and not doing the same mistakes. However she just reduced the students’ automaticity (example, said many fillers) and increased the students’ anxiety (example’ lower voice). In Krashen’s theory of affective filter state that if the students get higher anxiety means they will get higher affective filter. Affective filter proposed that when the mental blocked, everything that the teacher taught will not accepted in the students’ memory. So, whatever the teacher said, it was useless.
Even worse, the teacher did what she had not to do to get the meaningful learning. Brown’s principle of meaningful learning states that teacher don’t have to explain many grammar or tenses. What the teacher has to do is making the learning interesting, so that student will remember the material that the teacher gave. Moreover, she did unclear activities. For example, teacher asked the student to make a question and the answer from the narrative text that they made. When I asked the teacher about the purpose of the task, she just answered “To make the student understand how to make a question,” nothing else. Then, after the students understand how to make the question, what will the teacher do? The teacher also did not give feedback to the student. How the students know which part they have to fix?
After two weeks observed the master teacher, I learn many things. Meaningful learning and automaticity are needed as a teacher. Student can get more understanding about the lesson with those kinds of principles. However, I believe that every principle cannot stands alone. It will work best if it is combining with other principle. Automaticity and meaningful learning that the teacher tries to build will useless if there is no self-confident.