The Gifts of Teaching

Friday, January 18th

I've slowly realized that children's attention spans are shorter than I thought. If I don't have a different activity planned for them within 20 minutes, they begin to fidget and mess with each other. And to think I only have an hour of classes at a time.. I can only imagine what my teachers ever did with me for 6 hours! 

On the bus ride to the clinic, I was talking to Katie about how I've been frustrated with whether or not the children are retaining what we're going over in class. When I review the previous lessons with the kids, they never seem to remember the point I was trying to make to them the day before. Katie reiterated that for now all we can do is make sure the classes are enjoyable enough that they want to return for the class the next day. Ensuring that the classroom is a place that they want to go to each day is our best hope of helping them develop the habits and desire they need to receive the education that we are hoping to provide.

That very day one of the students greeted me by introducing himself in English and telling me how happy he was. "Emily! My name is Deivid! I am Happy!!" I was beyond thrilled and I realized that I couldn't stop smiling. His words meant everything to me after my doubt. It's the little things like this that the kids do that make everything so joyful and worthwhile. 

Everyday they teach me the beauty of patience, enthusiasm, big hugs and loving anyone and everyone without question.