Maybe it is the travel, the foreign country or my overwhelmed senses but I am finding myself constantly moved by the 8 teachers whose conversations and minds shape my days here. Last night over dinner, the conversation moved to discussions about meaningful relationships at schools and the gap between what teachers want to do, and what they need to do in the current academic climate. I do not know another profession that spends their holidays, volunteering to continue work and then goes home to continue dissecting the challenges they face.
The warmth and compassion with which we shared stories last night, took me by surprise, I was tired and hot and cranky - ready to have a moan. Instead, Luke, Tehrim, and Jerson's dialogue about pedagogy and taxonomy brought me round. Luke's extensive teaching experience is coupled with his full life experience and makes him both tough and hugely understanding. He shares anecdotes and advice around the group - it warms me to see how universal teaching is and how the problems we face, happen everywhere.
Today I passed the camera to Ash so she could capture a day from her view, and without the bulky camera, I am much more approachable in the schools we visit. With flocks of students and teachers gathering to take a selfie, my cheeks officially ache. Seeing familiar faces as we enter the schools is the most wonderful thing - I feel looked after in every school with Head Teachers offering cold drinks and snacks in their offices whilst my team of 4 scatter to observe. They are some of the most determined humans I have ever met and even in the heat, with a lack of time, they want to ensure they get an opportunity to observe and give real and valuable feedback to their teachers.
They want so desperately to help any way they can, offering advice, teaching strategies or just lending an ear to hear about the one child who just will not.
This trip goes a level beyond passion or even kindness. This trip is the very foundation of everything we are missing in this world. We are humbled and grateful, as well as exhausted, and I am moved by the strength, wisdom, compassion, and energy from this group.