By H Mac Wooten
I am not a Teacher. I am the president of Teach a Teacher nonprofit, a job or possibly a calling that I take very seriously. I didn’t have the math skills for the treasurer position. It seems like I’ve been around education all my life and often shyed away from it! I’ve experienced some of the best of education and some of the worst of it. I just bet you know what I’m talking about. Have you ever heard a teacher tell (you) or another student “You’re stupid. You’ll never amount to anything”. I guess that comment either really inspires the child to excel or … (Gee coach ya’ really know how to give a pep talk) confirms the worst that the child believes and now he doesn’t even need to try. I am a failure! Well, I for one was one of those children who was told this and I still remember it being told to me. I was pretty embarrassed and humiliated in front of the class. I think I returned to class the next day and put my head on the desk and …. there I sat. I wasn’t stupid, on the contrary, I was bored out of my mind and wasn’t inspired or challenged by my teacher. This is generally the case that when everyone (in the class) doesn’t wear a size 9 1/2 shoe, we don’t know what to do with them. The requirements of the school day afford less and less time to deal with an individual who learns in a different fashion. Many children end up falling through the cracks and barely getting by. Never attaining their true potential and as a result, they struggle and try a million things to compensate. I’m ashamed to admit in this forum ….. I wore size 10 shoe. I was plenty intelligent enough to never have to study. I got amazing grades for the input I invested in school. That part of my early education …. I would like to go back and do over.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. William Butler Yeats
That’s where Jose Feliciano got the song title from!
Why do you do it? Teachers hold an incredible amount of responsibility and power. They have responsibility to do the very best for your child (at varying levels and methods that your child learns) and they hold the power to inspire and/or make a good or bad lasting impression that will stay with that child the rest of their life. What kind of impression did / do you make. It’s difficult when; you have a few students over the legal limit of children in your class, no prep time, was up half the night grading papers and anguishing about little Freddy and Susie not grasping anything, worrying about your inability to RAISE their test scores and being fired, why Stevie has not been to school in a week, noticing bruises on a child and deciding if you need to report it, the miserable coffee in the Teacher Lounge and OMG now I remember where I lost the Tupperware with my tuna fish sandwich… last week! And additionally, doing this while you try to balance your life and work and apologize to your wife/husband/significant other who has now gone to bed …mad … again! Especially since school got out at 3:30. Teachers have all this responsibility and little authority. In too many cases, the school administration or superintendent will not stand up for you. If a parent is upset with you … Tag… you’re it. You’re on your own. Why do you do it? You do it … because ….. you changed you major 3 times the first year in college, you had a great Teacher/s, you do it because …. you had bad Teachers, you do it because … you’re a Super Teacher/ Super Person and now you’re a Super Educator and it’s your calling. See … I told you I was intelligent! The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Sydney J. Harris
We need Educators like you. We desperately need super educators like you in every classroom and God knows … Teach a Teacher could use your help here in Peru. One difference is, many in your profession get little to no thanks or appreciation presently …… you receive just the blame and many of you work in a really bad school system. After all, everything is your fault. Ok, face it, you don’t do it for the thanks. But, OMG you remember on several occasions when a former student walks into your class years later and gives you that smile and a hug and says thank you. That act of thanks makes EVERYTHING worth all the aggravation and hard work worth it. You made the difference. Period. Here (in Peru) we have an audience who (ok here’s a really big difference) desperately WANT TO LEARN and who are truly grateful (they don’t have the entitlement factor which today seems to be prevalent in many places). We know you would love to travel on your months of vacation when school is out. Please note my sarcasm regarding summer break. You’ve always talked about traveling during summer break! Here’s an excuse. Here’s your chance. We can utilize you skills, experience, knowledge and donation for a week or two if you have the time (if you’re willing to come and have a learning experience).
Once in a lifetime deal! Quick Pick up th’ phones, Operators are standing by! You would spend a few hours a day teaching teachers and have the rest of the day to spend in some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. The Peruvian Andes. No Lesson Plan Needed, 20 hrs prep time before class the next day and NO tests to grade/record. Peru is closer than you think. Peru has one of the most stable governments in S. A. Pretty darn safe and(in my opinion) the most beautiful place on earth. You can come take pictures to show your family, friends, jealous co-workers who will whine “I wanted to go” and you get to keep your incredible memories as well as what you learned while sharing here. But wait, There’s More. These things will stay with you the rest of your life, and you’ll feel great about giving back something. You will have gained new perspectives and experiences from a different culture which will benefit your own students and enrich even more lives ……. and you don’t even have to document it for the district office ! Another plus!
Buy- One Get –One- Free. Worried about traveling alone? Talk your co-worker into coming with you. (hopefully… one you like, one you work well with, one who’s spouse isn’t insanely jealous and one you can get along with … for a week … it will make the experience even better). Contact us soon as school in ending in a few more months, and this takes planning and a lot of communication between us. How are your your Spanish and Quechua language skills? Don’t worry. We’ll have translators to work with you. Another great chance to brush up on the Spanish classes you had …. how many years ago? Oh, you took French or German of Chinese in school, huh? How would you like to learn Spanish. We can arrange classes for you. My first trip to Peru 14 years ago, I knew how to say “Where’s the bathroom .. and two more beers please.” My Sp. skills have greatly improved over the years. I can fluently say “Three beers” now. OK, so here’s the deal; You have to pay your own transportation, food and lodging. Ask your co-workers, your church group, wealthy relative, (don’t steal the petty cash box in the office – little money for the amount of time you’d get) friends, family to donate toward expenses. We also ask that you bring your own teaching materials. It’s really not that hard to get help. Ask your coworkers to help. They will! Explain who we are and what we do. Ask and ye shall receive. The teachers here need help with Basic Teaching Skills. No A.P. or I.B. training, just some Professional Development and a guiding hand with good teaching techniques. They truly want to learn and your donation will add value and affect the quality of life of real people here. What person deserves the opportunity to learn, more than a person who wants to learn? Here’s what we’ll promise you; A meaningful and learning experience doing what you truly love (without the headaches) and lots of wonderful memories.
Delta , Continental and American Airlines fly from a city near you to Lima. Check it out round trip from (?) to (LIM).
Consider helping. Consider making a Donation.
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love to all
Mac Wooten is President of Teach a Teacher nonprofit. A native of Greenville S.C. We live and focus most of our work in the Ancash region of Peru.
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