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My parents didn’t believe that I was great during my teaching career. I knew that I was great because I gave every friggin thing. I love my kids so much. I remember their quirks and habits. Every single one of them. Not only that, I remember their parents’ quirks and habits too. At least the one who often came to drop off or to pick their children up. I also befriended the nannies because they gave out useful information about what’s happening at home so I get heads up about the child’s mood.

And my parents (also the guy), well everyone in the family thought I was silly for doing that. First because I was underpaid (according to them), with the same amount and responsibility of work, I only earned 1/3 of what pinoy teachers earned. I didn’t mind this because I still lived in my parents’ house, what I made was enough for gas and I still lived well. Second of all, despite of handling 2 classes (as in doing lesson plan, assessing the kids and writing report cards), I was still an ‘associate teacher’ because I am Indonesian and parents in national plus school apparently expected a foreigner to be their kids form teacher. It was quite hard for me to accept, but it was just a title, didn’t matter that much.

Long story short, at one point I realized that even though I loved my job, clearly they didn’t love me back. I fought for what I thought I should be earning but they treated me like crap. I submitted my request, they ignored it for like a month. I passed my resignation letter and they gave me their answer on my last day of work. I didn’t even have the chance to tell the kids and the parents a proper goodbye.

And in the end of the month, I also found out that they cut my salary. Hahaha. So in that month after I handed my resignation letter, my salary (or should I say ‘wage’) was counted daily. So on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays that occurred on that particular month, I didn’t get paid. The finance staff even sent me a text like this, “Actually you should only receive IDR XX, but the school rounded it up as a gratitude of your service.” I laughed so hard because the ’rounded up’ number was still less than my monthly salary.

I remember all these things because a couple of days ago my mum told me that one of her friends that didn’t know about me working there approached her and asked if I used to work there. My mum told her yes, and she started telling me the nice things her friends (who were also parents of the kids I used to teach) told her how good I was when I was doing my job. I feel a sense of pride and happiness because my parents finally realize that I am actually good at something. All those hard work trying to prove to my parents what I was capable of finally paid off. Even though it’s 3 years overdue.

I don’t always make my parents proud, but at that moment, I think I did.



  1. I think it’s great. You do what you want to do. Not many people can be brave enough to do what they do inspite of what everyone else said. Granted, teachers are underpaid. They shouldn’t be. At least, good teachers shouldn’t be underpaid. I remember many things about my own teachers and while not all are good (nor bad), I am thankful that there are a few great teachers out there who give theirs all.

    It’s wrong you know. “Those who can, do. And those who can’t, teach”. Total bull. You only teach when you can do ’em all. :)

    • it’s very nice of you to say those encouraging words :”)

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