Teachers are an inspiration that are often overlooked and not given the credit they deserve. In my years of school, I feel that I always had a respect for teachers. I believed they had a patience and strength that others in the work force do not have. However, after only teaching English in San Miguel for two weeks that respect for teachers has grown exponentially. An observation conveys that a teacher is not just someone who teaches, but that they are role models. They support their kids and feel that they will do about anything in order to help that child succeed.
The students in San Miguel show an enthusiasm when we (the education interns) arrive at the school each day. My belief is that these students feel that education is important in order to prosper. It is impressive that with such little resources and funding, the teachers can continue this enthusiasm for learning. If there enthusiasm is not already impressive, each teacher is placed in a classroom with two separate grade levels. Their level of responsibility increases since they prepare two separate lesson plans for each grade level. It is remarkable that one teacher is given such a large responsibility.
The patience found with each of the teachers in San Miguel is impressive. After each English class is taught, we (the interns) have a small break before starting the next class. This break is necessary for each one of us to take a couple minutes to regroup. Teachers are not given these small breaks from one lesson to the other. The teacher’s responsibility is to make sure the students are taught the core subjects that will ensure success for them. The school’s generosity in allowing Kalu Yala’s Education Program to teach English could have resulted in some stress in that it distracted from the normal curriculum; however, thankfully the success of the program has brought joy to the children in San Miguel.
My observation of the kinder class, not just during English hours, has given me insight on the patience of the Maestra (teacher). There are students ranging from three-years-old to six-years-old. This age gap is huge, but the Maestra handles this without worry as she instructs the students on their activity for the day. The teacher’s expression as she interacts with the children ensures for me that she finds joy in her job. This allows me to understand that however difficult the task of a teacher may be, each one of those teachers enjoys the fulfillment that their work brings. My involvement with the Education Program gives me a sense of pride and increasing respect for teaching everywhere.