Catch your Dreams with "The Tree of Dreams" (Pohon Cita-Cita); The Story from "Kak Suhariyanto"
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“I want to be a teacher, I want to motivate every child to keep dreaming, to keep learning, to catch the great dreams with their skills, hard work and the faith to the God”
It was a very beautiful dream of a young man, named Suhariyanto. He was born 25 years ago and grew up in Kudus, a beautiful little city in Central of Java, Indonesia. Since he was a kid, he wanted to be a teacher. Because for him, education is the most important thing to achieve success in life. He wanted to help every child as well as he could to be able to receive a good education and reach their dreams. His kindness and sense of love has made this Junior-High teacher really loved by students. He is the hero for Suhariyanto, because this teacher was kindly taken care of needs until high school graduation day. He did not come from a wealthy family and that’s why he needs to work in the electronic store after he finished high school. His family really loves him, and even though he failed some tests to continue his education, his parents always support him in every way.
Suhariyanto went through tough days as a teenager, but the lack of facilities and funds didn't stop him from dreaming. He always studied and worked hard. One day, good news arrived; “The Paramadina Fellowship Program, 2008” and Suhariyanto was successfully taken to the next level of his beautiful life. It was a program from Paramadina University which provided scholarships for the best graduates from around Indonesia, including Suhariyanto. This scholarship was really meant for him because now he is has Bachelor of Psychology and also the one of “Pengajar Muda” in Desa Sekodi, Bengkalis, Riau.
“Pengajar Muda” is a term that is used for young people who become young teachers in “Indonesia Mengajar.” Indonesia Mengajar is a movement to encourage young people to become teachers and teach children in rural areas in Indonesia for a year. It is not easy to be a teacher in these places because sometimes the teachers, parents and students have a different culture, daily habits, or even faith. The strangest thing that he had ever experienced was when he was one day he taught during heavy rains and there was only a student in the class. He said “Heavy rains and floods are the common reasons for the students and teachers to not go to school." There are many things, experiences and hard challenges of being a teacher in Desa Sekodi. But for Suhariyanto, that’s the point of being a teacher; his skills of “Fighting for the Better Life” is really useful for adapting with society, teaching children and developing the positive side of the students.
In order to create a a good student mentality, he always teaches students the following: to be positive, not to be afraid of challenges, study and work hard, believe in their talents and abilities, and to love their God and parents. He said the most important thing is “to dream as high as you can.” He believes that a dream is a source of anything, including success and he has proved it: “I’m not coming from a wealthy family, but my belief in my dreams and desires has always made me study and work hard to get it.” He wants to make his students believe in their dreams and that’s why, Suhariyanto proudly made “Pohon Cita-Cita.”
“Pohon Cita-Cita” or “The Tree of Dreams” is one of the unique and great ideas Suhariyanto teaches his students. It was made by a real tree and he asks students to pluck the dried leaves and write every single dream they have on them. They write dream such as- “I want to be a teacher”, “I want to be a doctor”, “I want to be a pilot”, “I want to be president”, “I want to be the in the Air Force,” and so on. Then, he lets the children happily tie the leaves up in the branches. Sometimes, he also turns on the music or plays an instrument for the students in the class and asks them to sit comfortably and think about their dreams and desires. He also reminds the students through the story, that “We must study and work hard to catch our dreams and not to forget to arrange the way to reach them.”
For me, Suhariyanto or someone that I used to call “Kak Suhariyanto” (In Indonesian culture) is a good role model. I really love the way he defines dreams and his own struggles amaze me. What he did with his students in Desa Sekodi, has made my day and gives me the desire to be a teacher, just like him. I leave you with this final word, a brief message from him to the children, teenagers and youth around the world;
“Redupkan keraguan dan terus nyalakan keberanian untuk menggapai mimpi. Kita harus berani untuk terus mencoba, berani untuk gagal, berani untuk malu dan berani untuk terus berupaya mewujudkannya.” (Suhariyanto, 2013)
In English, it would be
“Fade off the hesitation and turn to courage to reach your dreams. We always be brave enough to try, be brave to fail, be brave to “shame” and be brave to always seek to make it happen” (Suhariyanto, 2013)
Kak Suhariyanto Twitter Handle
The Website of “Pengajar Muda – Indonesia Mengajar
A Little Story of Kak Suhariyanto