The kids in the classrooms in Africa are very sweet! I’m not going to post my photos of the Ghanaian children on the internet, so these shots of goats at school will have to do!
I had expected to be shocked and upset seeing the learning conditions in the classrooms. But I think we’ve all seen the stereotypical photos of African children with close cropped hair cramped into classrooms furnished only with wooden desks. So I wasn’t surprised or saddened, just determined to my job. I focused on figuring out what experience and knowledge I could share with the teachers to make their jobs a little easier.
I spent two days in classrooms in different schools. The teachers Eva and Emma made us very welcome, even though I don’t think they had any warning they were having a whole day observation. One of the things a photo can’t capture is the feeling of community, love of teaching and general joyfulness generated in these seemingly bleak rooms.
As well as having to cope with limited classroom resources, teachers get little training and have huge classes, usually of over 40 children. I genuinely take my hat off to them and how resourceful they are. As teachers have few opportunities for CPD and because professional dialogue isn’t the norm, it is no wonder you see chalk and talk style teaching.
One of the things that our teacher Emma said really stuck with me. You don’t teach for the money, you teach for the love and for the students. That is true of excellent teachers the world over. Teachers working even in the most adverse conditions want to deliver engaging and enriching lessons to improve the life opportunities for their students. Which is why I’m part of this LRTT global teacher movement, to share expertise and enthusiasm between committed professionals.