A Teacher Who Living Outside The Box (3rd Day With Joseph Tong, Ph.D)

Mr Joseph Tong love to ask many questions. This is one of his salience. Sometimes I felt he had ask for dig his student understanding, but many times also I felt he had ask only for joke, gimmick, something like that.  I’ll tell you why I felt that way. He mostly asked deceptive questions, which lead to wrong answer by the students, not because the students didn’t understand, but because Mr Joseph always had another answer. Simply saying, He always has one more answer. He trained to do that.

One time, Mr Joseph quoted his former student comment, Dr.Stevry Indra Lumintang, “If Mr Joseph Tong ask you a question, do not answer! He would like to answer by himself!”   This is entertaining, mind refreshing. A unique style of teaching of course. This style force you to keep sharp and creative.  Find  a sudden solution when all prepared answer had guessed by your students. Yet, its fun to watch that sometime Mr Joseph ‘surrender’ and  agreed with his students answer.

One of my classmate, Mr Sunny told me his impression. “Mr Joseph Tong is an out of the box teacher. His answer define himself”.  I agreed.  In his best, I imagine, he has a lot of ideas, varies when teaching and keep his student thinking all the time.  I feel lucky to met him at his old age. So, I could get a role model. What is still importand for him till his present age, its reflect from his today teaching.

His out of the box teaching style can be seen thru his syllabus, jokes, questions and shares. My task is to connect all of them, so I could get his lesson completely. Its coheren with the leadership concept, that a leadership focus more on the people than to the task or performance.  Mr Joseph focus on life experiences, people he met, decision he had made, and all of the process that valuable, related to human.

With this style, His students who are not an out of the box person, will dying or learning something great, depend on their decision.  I watch some ‘frustrated’ face in some of my classmates, who confuse with what is really happening.  They’re tend to write instead of listening.  So, when the lesson jump to ‘nowhere’, they’re all suffers from disconnected  things.

After all, the second day was end with a good impression in my mind.  A lesson from an outside the box teacher. Surprise questions, unpredictably answers, lot of laugh and frustrated face of some classmates.  Fun enough.


Dr. Ronny Sucahyo

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