If you have followed our last few blogs, you will know that Bex and Gil are currently volunteering at Arise School. They sent us this interview with Anna, the Assistant Head Teacher.
“I have been speaking lots with the students and members of the community to understand why they like Arise and what they think makes the school special. The same answer keeps cropping up – the staff. Even from the very beginning, it was clear to us that the staff are the backbone of the school. They create a hardworking and loving ethos that feeds down into the students. We felt instantly welcomed by all the teachers and support staff at Arise. Each day we sit together to drink coffee and eat lunch, we talk and share stories. There is always a lot of laughter in the staff room.
Anna is the Assistant Head Teacher at Arise school, as well as teaching a class. She is also someone who we have become very good friends with as she was our host during our time volunteering at Arise. Anna is a prime example of why the staff are so excellent. She is always smiling and hugely passionate about her job. She genuinely cares for each and every child in the school. You can see how much the students adore her. We wanted to sit down with her to find a bit more about her life at the school and beyond.
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching since 1997 and have taught in four schools in total. I always teach Class 1 and I cover all the subjects.
Why did you choose to become a teacher?
I think the job chose me. Even from when I was very young I loved helping people and showing them how to do things the right way. From a child I realised I was meant to be a teacher.
How long have you been teaching in Arise?
I’ve been at Arise school one year and one month now. It’s gone very quickly.
Do you like living in Wiri (the village where Arise is based)?
I like living here very much. I live here with my youngest son, Jovi who also attends Arise and he has many friends here. I like the weather and the way the community are friendly to everyone. It’s a nice place.
What additional duties do you have as an assistant head teacher?
If something is not going well for one of the students, I can help them and look at ways of making things better. I also provide support for the other teachers where it is needed. There is a bit of paperwork as well.
Do you have a favourite subject that you like to teach?
My favourite subject is health care and environment. I like teaching it because they are learning a lot of things that are practical and can help the students a lot in their life. I also like to teach writing and reading.
In what way is Arise different from other schools?
I like this place because everyone loves each other. They are friendly. No one is quarrelling with friends, everyone is doing their own work and caring for one another. There are some schools that beat their students and don’t speak English – this is not good for them. Another thing I like about Arise is that everyone is working hard, together with Frank. We all work together. We are a community that are all together.
What do you hope for the future of the school?
God wishing, I hope that all our classrooms will be complete. My hope is that one day we will have a secondary school as well. I really like what you, Bex and Gil, are doing with the computers. The students like it very much. I also want to get very good at computers. Hopefully, someone will help us get a computer room.
What are your personal hopes for the future?
My only hope is that I have a good life and that my children will study hard. I’ve met lots of volunteers from the UK and I have learnt a lot of things from them. My dream is that one day I might visit them. But, really, I’m happy. Especially since coming to Arise. Honestly, I haven’t had one day when I was feeling sad. I’m happy here”.
If you would like to help ACE build more classrooms and continue to develop Arise School, please donate online now. Thank you.