What does school mean to you?

Here is a story a friend of mine told me that they heard when they were in Africa teaching English as a volunteer. There was an explorer of sorts from the West who got to know and love the people of a village in Africa, during the course of his explorations. Every day the students would walk out of town to go to school. Before the explorer left the village he asked the village elder to go and see the school. The village elder looked embarrassed but took him anyway. The walk was several miles. When they got to where the children were, there was no school. No building. All that was there was was a dirt ground, and the children were doing their lessons with sticks drawing on the dirt, learning to do math and writing. There was no teacher. They shared a teacher with another town far away so the teacher only came once a week. The schoolchildren walked every day to go and practice their lessons until the teacher came back the next week. Since then, the explorer, himself uneducated, has raised money and opened several schools in that part of Africa.

Stay in School
Stay in School

The story was told to me by a 10 year veteran of Detroit middle schools. She left the United States because she has burned out on American schoolchildren, and wants to see if she can regain her motivation to teach again, here in Thailand.


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