One day recently in St. Petrus Canisius Minor Seminary of Mertoyudan, all of the teachers met in the staff room and everybody had a book with them. What was happening that day? Why did everyone bring books? What was the content of the presentations they gave and received?
These teachers were sharing the content of the books which they read previously. This activity is known as a book report. The goal of these book reports is to build the learning teacher, to ensure that teachers’ knowledge does not become stagnant but that teachers are kept up to date with new knowledge, information, teaching methods and new ideas about developing life skills and learning pedagogy. The method of this programme is to reflect on the content of the book and share the content of the books with others. This give teachers an opportunity to find new ideas for personal and community empowerment. With book reports, teachers are encouraged to read, to be creative, to be innovative and the programme also helps to build the responsibility, discipline and humility of the teachers. How can this method build the positive character of teachers? Because it encourages them to practice dicipline and responsibility by asking them to write a summary of the book and submit it on time to share with the others. Besides that, it helps to build the humble character of teachers because they are asked to read the books recommended by other teachers, and to listen to and respect the ideas and knowledge of others. This helps teachers to be humble and to practice respect for others.
I will give an example of a book report, which was shared recently:
The title of the book: “99 CARA BELAJAR HIDUP ALA POPE FRANCIS”, in English: “99 methods of life learning from Pope Francis”
“This is what I’m asking you – be shepherds with the smell of sheep”. In this quote Pope Francis gave the massage that we cannot talk about poverty without directly experiencing poverty and what it is like to live in poverty. So, we must come to poor neighborhoods in society to feel and to experience what happens in these poverty situations. We can learn about these situations but to really understand we have to experience it and share the true love of God.
Reflection: as the teacher we have a lot of students. To increase the quality of our students’ IQ, SQ and EQ we have to be more involved with their lives. We have to be involved in their personality progress with “cura personalis”, we have to have options for students from a poor background and give them optimal personal support.
We have to know our students’ background and understand our students’ psychological, academic and spiritual progress In this way we can find the method most suitable to increase the quality of our students’ education.
Another goal of the book report program is to gather the teachers as one community in order to share new ideas, knowledge, information and together help to plan strategies for other teachers. In this group teachers can share not only the content of the book but also talk about the correlation of the content of the book with their lives, activities and experiences in the family, school and society. This is an effective method of helping our teachers develop and have the spirit of becoming a learner, so our teachers can continue to learn, to teach and to help change the world, especially in the field of education.