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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Reward is in Heaven

Some of my colleagues here mutter this phrase with scorn and wonder when they discuss how unfairly teachers are treated in Ghana. People here say that teachers shouldn’t worry about their low pay on earth, they will get a better deal after death… It seems to be that way around the world, teachers are constantly overlooked in the professional realm. The work extends long after the last bell rings, the meetings are constant and endless, and the paycheck at the end of the month makes you want to weep. But if our greater reward is in heaven, I will do all I can to enjoy the rewards I witness on earth.

I love my experience in Ghana, but by golly, I miss teaching the kiddos. I miss that one student who will come in every morning and tell me stories about his day that I eventually learned to care about. I miss the students who sneak into my cabinet to grab my “pretty paper” and beg me to let them have it. I miss standing in the hallways and hollering for kids to hurry up to the next class. I miss the monthly morning breakfasts with other teachers. I miss jumping up for joy once the kids finally understand the difference between the “tone” and “mood” of a story. And I miss sprawling out on the desks and staring at the ceiling after a long fulfilling day.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week in the U.S. and if you can do anything to shout out an educator, I request that you do so. It’s the one week where we can go to our teacher cubbies and expect a daily treat. And really feel appreciated.

When friends and family learn that I am a teacher, they always say, “Yeah, I can see you being a teacher.” And that makes me so proud and happy. Aside from the fact that I have adopted the common teacher closet (flowery blouses, New York and Company slacks, etc…), I am what a teacher looks like: proud, exhausted, underpaid, yet… overjoyed.

Happy Teacher’s Week.


Zainab said...

I've never met anyone who loves what they do as much as u!

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