When I was in my undergraduate classes, we talked about what/who a teacher is. We discussed how teachers spend a huge chunk of the day with their students; and sometimes the students spend more time with their teachers than their actual parents. So, what does this mean for teachers? It means, that a teacher takes on many roles. A teacher is not just a teacher, but a friend, a counselor, a mother/father figure, a confidant, and so much more. And, just because you living in a foreign country does not change this fact. Somehow, over the past year, I have managed to embrace all of these roles in some form or fashion. When I'm in the class, I am "Madam" and I do my best to maintain control while allowing the students to have some fun and laugh a little. Outside of class, we talk, make jokes, and tell stories. The students are always coming up to my desk during break time to hang out with me. Many students, especially in Class VII, have been coming to me with questions about English and Math. A few students have opened up to me about personal problems they're experiencing and I've been blessed to be there for them (it is a very rare thing here for people to express their real emotions). Yeah, we've had a good run together and it's going to be really hard to leave them all so soon.
Just this week, one student was asking me what day I was leaving and another student who standing nearby said "She's not leaving. Nope!" When students make comments like that and "Please don't go madam!!" it makes me want to start crying because I realize how much of an impact I've had on their little lives. It's in those moments I realize that I have succeeded as a teacher, in all of these aspects.
I knew, when coming here, that I wouldn't be able to change the whole world. It's just a bit to big for me. ;) But, I hoped that God would move through my life to change the lives of the people I met here in Morogoro. I'm so blessed that He has allowed me to have such a powerful experience with memories to last a lifetime, and also because I'll be leaving a small mark here that I hope will last beyond my own impending departure.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,
Haha, sorry for all the repeat photos! I've got to get some more recent ones at school this week and in the last two after that! ;)