An American Professor’s Pre-visit to SMP N 1 Yogyakarta
On Wednesday, 25th October 2017, two friends of mine, Professor Matthew Mallen and his wife, Dr. Ayke Agus, visited SMP N 1 Yogyakarta. It was not such a coincidence but as planned several months ago, Mr. Matthew wanted to meet me and my school and teacher organizations especially in Yogya. It’s a pleasure to welcome these two special guests. Do you know why?
Professor Matthew Mallen is an English literature teacher. He has a master degree in English literature. His teaching subjects are English literature, American literature, creative writing, speech, film as literature, composition, short story and poetry for 35 years. He is a teacher at St. Bernard High School in LA California USA. Prof Matthew’s works would preciously match to our schools’ literacy enforcement program. Whereas Dr. Ayke is a music teacher (violin and piano) at USC, Los Angeles for 10 years. Now she travels around the world – visit music institutes – to teach and continue the musical tradition of Jascha Heifetg (greatest violinist in the world)
During the short visit, we shared about literacy teaching in class. He told me that literacy greatly deals with feelings, interests, knowledge, social interaction, habitual acts and positive spontaneity. Prof Matthew is good at evoking students’ attention to literature, and that is when creative writing begins. He said that everything should start from the teachers. That is why he was eager to know more about teachers’ activities and efforts to be literate. Now Prof Matthew is getting to know about the teacher organizations of MGMP and JETA (Jogja English Teacher Association). He learned some JETA documents and enjoyed some JETA’s operas too. He was so interested in the activities. He offered some help to have teacher’s upgrades or workshops for English teachers especially in Yogyakarta. It is good news to know that he will go to Yogya regularly.
I also share about some books written by students of SMP N 1 Yogyakarta. He was so excited and that was good program. He was also interested in my English program on literacy in my class which is integrated to every step as written on Project Review ofv Project-based learning. Literacy grows well when students are engaged in the process of language learning. He also met and made a chat with the students in class IX-B. Mr. Matthew explored students’ interests which will lead to any topics on writing (Susana E.C, M.Pd)