But aren’t we all teachers? My day started with an interview with Bernice Hillier from the Corner Brook Morning Show. I knew I was in trouble when I started crying last night just thinking about what I wanted to say. It is too difficult, even with photos, to convey the hardships the Haitians have to endure on a daily basis. I tried to paint a picture of the landscape and got through that fairly well. It was when I tried to speak of the children that I my voice caught. I can only hope that those listening could feel a little of what I am experiencing. How can you explain the feel of little arms around your neck, knowing that they are filled with such joy and wonder as any child from anywhere would be, but also knowing that these children are in such great need?
After breakfast, we headed to the school for devotions. I chose to stay near the front with the preschoolers but listened to all the students sing their praises before heading off to class. It is awesome to hear them singing and clapping with such energy!
The first job of the day was to get the new library cleaned. There were many layers of dust on the shelves and books. Karen has a method to her madness (her words not mine) in organizing the textbooks so we simply removed the dirt from windows, shelves, books and floor. The text books are in hard shape and they would have been replaced if I had them at my school at home. There are no resources besides texts that the teachers use in their classes. It is a stark contrast to the Apple TV and 20 Ipads I use in my own classroom. To witness how these kids are being prepared for the world beyond school and what awaits them and what we have in Corner Brook to prepare them for the world beyond their school years is very humbling.
|Team cleaning up the textbook library at the school|
Jenny and I then headed to the grade 9 class to teach English. We did some basic lessons and they all were very engaged and tried so hard. The hour passed too quickly learning how to greet each other, review the days of the week and months of the year. I think back home I would have been more apprehensive to take on a class of grade 9 students but, here in Haiti, there is such respect expected I figured I could handle the challenge.
|Patricia with the grade nine class she taught this morning|
It was soon recess and we were swarmed again by the littlest of the students. There is so much love and curiosity from the youngest of them. Is it terrible to want to take them all home? I would certainly make room at my place for them.
|The little students run to the team members|
|Recess time again|
After recess, I headed to a grade 5 class for a math lesson. Again, I was amazed at the power that this school has on these young people. I don’t know how I am going to feel walking into my own classroom next week…truly blessed to live where I do, have what I have and work with the resources I have.
After a great lunch, three children came over to receive gifts from the group members who sponsor them. It was very heartwarming to see their faces light up at the gifts and hugs.
|Kathleen with her sponsored student in PS1|
|Jess with her and Caleb’s sponsored student in grade 7|
|Grade 10 student sponsored by Terry & Stephanie of Corner Brook|
After lunch, Jenny and I decided to go back to the school to clean the blackboards. Jess decided to join us as it was a pretty big job with all those layers of chalk dust! Teaching the classes this morning using blackboard and having to get chalk from the director is not something I will soon forget as I teach back in Corner Brook. At home I have an interactive white board so I can only imagine what these students would think of the technology we use. I figured the least I could do was wash their boards to make it easier to see their lessons for next class.
|Blackboards getting a washing by Patricia and Jenny|
In the afternoon we had a wonderful time playing with the kids outside, teaching them games and getting served in Judel and Josie’s restaurant. I find it amazing that the kids here can occupy themselves with anything without complaining. They could certainly teach us all about being grateful for the important things we have: our friends and family.
|A fun game – What time is it Mr Wolf|
No matter where we live in this world, what we have or have not…….it is all about the children.