Today at CANICA, the regular staff had a meeting while we were there. That gave us three classrooms full of kids! Seven teachers came prepared to give a lesson on emotions to the different grade levels: Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary. I was the rover, coming into different classrooms and watching, and then moving on. Two things struck me. First, the teachers that we have brought down are very courageous with their willingness to step into another classroom. There were flutes, visuals, games, and lots of reading. The other lesson from today was from the students. These are kids whose clothes have holes in them, many of them are not bathed, and even one adolescent's socks did not match. Could you imagine going through a day of high school with mismatched socks?
But, these kids had very good spelling. They took care in their work. And, they took care of each other. In a country where most kids so low on the socio-economic scale are left out of school, these kids are in. And they appreciate it. If they don't show that they are grateful, if they don't show respect for their teachers, if they don't do what they are expected to do, they are out. And there are literally thousands waiting to take their place. My heart went out to these children, thinking that the bond they form amongst themselves and with their teacher is the bond that will carry them forward through disappointment, discrimination, and heartache.
When I left, I asked myself, how many names did I carry with me? Not many. And what is more valuable than one's name?