LCS teachers at a faculty in-service; Marianna Moynihan showing Volunteer Meghan Shackford her way around the clinic at Memphis Medical Mission; boss mason, Ketty Douce, teaching Emmanus Sanon masonry.
I am sure that it is not surprising that there are a lot of teachers at Louverture Cleary. After all, it is a school. What may be a little less obvious is how many different types of teachers there are.
In the traditional sense of the word, we have 33 professional full-time teachers. This Sunday we had a gathering of 22 of our most veteran teachers from that group to discuss student performance and ways we might improve our teaching methodology. In a way, we were a group of teachers teaching each other.
Sometimes our students become teachers. In the second picture above, Marianna, now a katryem (US 9th grade) student, is showing new Volunteer Meghan Shackford around the Memphis Medical Mission clinic at Santo 19 where Marianna has been translating for two years. "Turning the tables" provides a great learning opportunity for student and teacher alike. Marianna and Meghan had this to say about their shared experience:
On Monday we went to the Santo 19 health clinic and helped to translate in the maternity ward. (Turns out Ms. Shackford loves babies). I introduced her to the doctors from Chile and the United States, and explained the procedures in the waiting room and when the doctors meet with the new mothers and babies. Since Ms. Shackford has been to clinics like this before, she already knew a lot.
Marianna is a great teacher! Which is a good thing, since she told me she's wanted to teach third grade ever since she was in second grade. I can tell she's found her true vocation because she's so passionate about it. Seeing her be so patient with all of my questions (and I'm known in my family for asking A LOT of questions) reminded me how important it is for a teacher to be patient with her students. Even if it means you aren't getting through a lesson as quickly as you had hoped, it's important to see questions as a sign that the students are actively listening and want to understand.
Small, low intensity jobs provide an opportunity for boss mason Ketty Douce to enhance the skills of Emmanus Sanon, who is working to move up from manual to skilled labor. Ketty started in the same manner. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on working with Emmanus.
There is a proverb in Haiti, 'Gen yon tam nou pap ka truv'm' [There will come a time when you won't be able to find me]. It's important for Emmanus, as a member of our maintenance team, to know something about all of the skills needed to keep the school running. If I am in the middle of a carpentry project and there is a problem with the masonry or metalwork or plumbing, it's inefficient for me to dropeverything in order to go fix it. If Emmanus can take care of it, we can solve problems more quickly and our team becomes stronger.
What have I learned as a teacher and student? Teaching and learning all lead to the same thing: advancement.