Dayang Suriani

State Senior High School 1 Balikpapan


Dayang is an Indonesian teacher who aims to give her students power to direct their own lives. She believes that teachers need to encourage students to dream big, but also to help them plan their dreams. She has used creative and collaborative approaches in her class with the result that results have improved year-on-year since 2010, with average scores rising to between 85 and 95.

One particularly successful approach of Dayang’s has been in teaching difficult concepts of English grammar. Dayang has created a package of learning for the gerund called ‘7 Man Show’. This is a seven-minute play performance that expresses five gerund functions in dramatic form. Students who make progress are encouraged to tutor and mentor those whose progress is slower. Some of Dayang’s students have used the skills acquired in her classes to win local news reporter competitions and English speaking competitions. Dayang herself was recipient of the Teacher of the Year award from the Governor of East Kalimantan in 2014, and continues to give of her own time on Saturdays to intensively tutor the students and then do more fun activities with them afterwards.

Since the main educational impediment in her region is a financial one, Dayang would use the funds to help poor children pay their school fees, buy transportation for adults in the area, and help create jobs for those who need them.






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