Meet the Team at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2 Taman Sidoarjo

As the name suggests, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program is primarily focused on English education. Across Indonesia, ETAs work in high schools–both public and private–to assist local English teachers in grade ten and eleven classrooms. ETAs work closely with their co-teachers to develop lesson plans and activities. In the past, Indonesiaful has featured an ETA and her co-teachers at MAN Model Gorontalo. Now, please meet ETA Kelly Fitzgerald and her co-teaching team at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2 Taman in Sidoarjo, East Java.

Meet the team at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2: Ibu Muammaroh, Miss Ony, Miss Nisa, and Miss Kelly.

Meet the team at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2: Ibu Muammaroh, Miss Ony, Miss Nisa, and Miss Kelly.

Kelly Fitzgerald (Miss Kelly), Senior ETA
Education: The University of Tampa, International and Cultural Studies (2015)
First Placement: SMA N  3 Pangkal Pinang, Bangka

Hobbies: My hobbies are traveling, writing for my blog, and singing karaoke.
Favorite Indonesian Word: Om telolet om!

Why did you apply to become an ETA in Indonesia?
In high school I studied in Thailand and I traveled through Southeast Asia during college, so I was already familiar with this region when I applied for the Fulbright program. I chose Indonesia specifically because it is such a large country and is therefore influential politically and economically. I was also interested in living in a Muslim-majority community to learn more about Islam. I want to bring the stories of my students, fellow teachers, and friends back to the U.S. I hope that by sharing their stories I can, in a small way, combat Islamaphobia outside of Indonesia. Yet another reason I chose to come to this country is because learning Indonesian is a “two-for-one” deal because it also enables me to communicate with people who speak Malaysian.

Miss Kelly with some of her students after they performed "Little Red Riding Hood" in class.

Miss Kelly with some of her students after they performed “Little Red Riding Hood” in class.

Why did you return to Indonesia for a second grant period?
Truth be told, I did not plan on coming back to Indonesia as an ETA. But when AMINEF presented the opportunity, I took it. Now that I am halfway through my second grant I am thankful that I came back. This year I can see how much I have learned both as a teacher and in bahasa Indonesia. In a way, returning for a second year has enabled me to enjoy the fruits of my labor during the first year in Pangkal Pinang. Of course I am still learning both bahasa Indonesia and how to be a good teacher, but I will say that many things which I found difficult in the beginning only started to come naturally when I came back for a second year.

What is the funniest story you have with the teachers you work with?
There are so many… how to choose?! In the classroom there are many funny moments, especially when the students are playing games and they get very animated. I also loved when we did storytelling last semester and every class acted out “Little Red Riding Hood.” Seeing some of my more mischievous boys wear a daster* and hijab while acting as the grandmother was hilarious. Outside of class, some of the best moments are in the teachers’ lounge when all of the teachers are laughing, joking, eating, and (sometimes) napping. We work hard as teachers but that doesn’t mean we are always serious.

What is the thing you are most proud of?
Tough question… I guess I’d say that I am most proud of my life in general up to this point. I am very fortunate to have had many amazing opportunities and a supportive family, so I am proud that I don’t feel like I have ever wasted what I have been given.

Miss Ony celebrating Hari Guru (Teacher Day) with some students.

Miss Ony celebrating Hari Guru (Teacher Day) with some students.

Ibu Ony Ferieyantie (Ony), English Teacher
Education: Wijaya Kusuma Surabaya University, Education and Science Faculty, English Department (2005)

Hobbies: Traveling and singing.
Favorite English Word and Quote: Love and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Why did you become a teacher?
Because I love to share knowledge and communicate with the students (especially senior high school students). I ❤ their world so much.

What is the funniest story you have about the ETA you work with?
Ant Day. 🙂 One day, we taught class X IPA 5** and there were so many ants on the window. My ETA, Miss Kelly, looked scared of those ants. Suddenly, when she was explaining the lesson, I shouted to her “Ants! Ants on your hair!” She jumped and was almost in tears. Another day when I went out with my ETA on the way to a mall there was a bus in front of our car. Unexpectedly she opened the window and shouted “Om telolet om!” as we passed the bus. I looked at the bus and the bus driver laughed and gave her one telolet*** and she was soooo happy. Hahaha

What is the thing you are most proud of?
I am proud of “being myself.” Because I can stay anywhere, I can sleep everywhere, I can protect myself and I’m an independent woman. Hehe. Half of me is a woman and half is a man wkwk****

Ibu Muammaroh (Ama), English Teacher
Education: Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Bahasa dan Sastra (STIBA) Surabaya, English Literature Program (1989)

Hobbies: I love to cook and clean the house.
Favorite English Word: is “perhaps.” I like to pronounce it and the sound when someone else pronounces it.

Why did you become a teacher?
Because I love the world of education.

What is the funniest story you have about the ETA you work with?
I love when she uses learning games with the students.

What is the thing you are most proud of?
I am proud of my family and my work.

Miss Nisa celebrating "Fall Festival" with jack o'lanterns and a spooky photo booth.

Miss Nisa celebrating “Fall Festival” with jack o’lanterns and a spooky photo booth.

Ibu Zuhrotin Nisa (Nisa), English Teacher
Education: PGRI Adibuana University of Surabaya, English Department (2008)

Hobbies: Listening to music.
Favorite English Word: Apple.

Why did you become a teacher?
My elementary school teacher inspired me. She was kind, friendly, and an awesome teacher. I want to be like her. Besides, I love to be part of education, sharing knowledge and experience with the students.

What is the funniest story you have about the ETA you work with?
The best story I have with Miss Kelly is “culture exchange.” We introduced her to our school culture called “Muharrom Festival,” a festival to celebrate Islamic New Year by using unique costumes and a parade. She was very excited wearing traditional costume and I was glad to know it. Miss Kelly also introduced “Fall Festival” to celebrate Halloween. We decorated the classroom, played some interesting games, gave candies, and made jack o’lanterns from watermelons. Miss Kelly also wore a costume and scary make-up. It was very fun.

What is the thing you are most proud of?
The thing I am most proud of is sincerity. The world will be like heaven if filled with kind-hearted people and full of sincerity because sincerity is the face of the soul.

* A daster is a loose housedress worn by many Indonesian women, especially older women.

** In Indonesian high schools, class designations are given by the grade level in roman numerals followed by the specialization track and class number. Thus, class X IPA 5 means students in class 10, science track, class number 5.

*** Telolet is the sound of a bus horn. Yelling “Om telolet om” at passing buses in hopes that the driver will sound his horn is a current trend in Indonesia.

**** Wkwk is the same as Haha.

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7 thoughts on “Meet the Team at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2 Taman Sidoarjo

    • hello Miss Kelly.. i’am the ex-student of SMA WH 2 a year ago… i have out from that school because of my family that wants me to go with them in another City. i just want to know about how long you’ve stay at Sidoarjo/Surabaya? are you still there this year?

      Thank you.. 🙂

  1. well.. about your Blog with ur articles, i really like to read it… and i also like travelling, so when looked ur experience it’s so very excited, u can travel in another country.

  2. Pingback: Meet the Team at SMANDA – chroseblog

  3. Pingback: Meet the Team at SMA N 2 Malang | Indonesiaful.com

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