I am pleased to be able to share with you all a brand-new Teacher Feature on one of our newer hires. Grace joined us in time for the 2019 expansion and, though I have spent significant time with her, she is so quiet and reserved that reading this piece in her own words really shined a light into who Grace is for me.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading about this young woman just as much as I did! She is now stationed at Magereza Primary School where she works with children from the prison community!!
While I was a little kid in school, I loved playing and drawing, but mostly playing. But I had one big problem: I was very slow in class. I learned with difficulty and I was also very afraid of caning; I hated sticks! I would sometimes not go to school in the early grades, but this changed with time.
When I got to the higher grades, I knew I wanted to become a teacher when I grew up. I thought teaching was fun and I wanted to teach kids to draw. I used to volunteer teach remedial classes after completing Grade Seven, the last year of primary school. Though I had other small businesses that I was doing, I never stopped teaching kids remedial classes as I love children and being around them made me feel whole.
I heard about Toa from a teacher at Msaranga Primary School, and I thought it was an opportunity to effectively utilize my passion so I applied for a job. Luckily, I got the job and my life has been transformed for the better. I had not been able to afford my life and my son’s school fees but now I can afford them. I was only volunteering to teach the remedial classes before because I loved doing it. But now I’m being paid to do what I love. It is an adventure!
If I was not working for Toa, I would still be volunteering to teach remedial classes and also engaged in some small vending businesses. But because I greatly love kids, that is my motivation to work for Toa. The moment I learned that Toa deals with helping pupils who struggle with learning, I couldn’t help myself as I used to be a slow learner myself.
All of the kids that I have managed to help since working with Toa have made me so proud, as when I was a little child who was struggling in learning, I was despised and shamed which made me hate school and myself. This is something I do not wish to see from any of these little angels.
One event that happened while working with Toa that left a mark in my heart is International Women’s Day. It was an event that I never participated in before, and never expected to as I thought it was for “important” people, and when it comes to me, “important” is not the word I would use to describe myself! I was totally overjoyed on that day.
I also enjoyed when the volunteers came with new teaching techniques. Because of them and Toa, I feel able to accomplish my life goals and plans. My perspective has totally been changed as I did not know how to deal with kids who have learning disabilities, now I understand these students better than before. I advise parents, teachers, and the whole society to not label children and try to understand them before anything else.