This past March I was able to work in classrooms with teachers and students at an elementary school and then do a teacher training at the end of the week. In advance I did a school supplies drive and was able to collect enough materials to hand out a bag of supplies to every teacher at the school since they have nothing in their classrooms to work with, not even a set of crayons. I was intimidated by the prospect of teaching the teachers as I have no formal teaching experience, but I knew they would be grateful for anything I prepared. And they were! They were so gracious and wonderful, I can’t wait to go back! Just recently I received a message from one of the teachers I worked with. She said, “The things you taught have helped me so much. I use the supplies every day. I read to my students daily with the books you left–they beg to read the books! Personally, I want to thank you because I teach differently because of you.”
I told the teachers the story of the starfish, which I think perfectly illustrates that teaching isn’t about the masses, it’s about the one. The experiences I have had while in Nicaragua have taught me this lesson of the starfish–that it is about touching lives, one life at a time.
(Jayna is a WWCRF Board Member and volunteer on many trips. She has brought 3 of her children on trips.)