This week is/has been the last week of school for the year here, and mostly that’s meant tying a lot of balloons, printing a lot of certificates and escaping a lot of grog circles. Fewer and fewer kids have been showing up to school since exams happened three weeks ago, and by now any kid that shows up to school is clearly bored out of their mind already with the holidays.
The part I’ve been enjoying the most, though, is catching up with the parents about their kids. Parent-teacher relations aren’t particularly prioritized here (we didn’t have quorum for the Annual General Meeting of school management and community members), so I like being the one to reach out to the parents (mostly of the bright, curious kids who I really enjoy working with). I was very pleasantly surprised when talking with one mother, whose daughter won a bunch of academic awards, when she said “I just want her to have a good career.” These kinds of parents make my days.
Today I snuck onto the trip for the Tagimoucia House to Lautoka, and was once again impressed by Master Jim, one of the teachers who used to teach at an IB school and whose house I frequent for dinner. As we were passing by the University of Fiji, he got up and talked to the kids about going to university and asked how many kids wanted to go to University. More than half the kids raised their hands.
There’s a lot I want to learn from Master Jim. He’s the best teacher I never had. He does an excellent job of telling off kids for doing the wrong thing and then following it up with encouragement. That’s the kind of teacher I want to be next year. Firm, but loving. I started off with too much love, and the kids took advantage of me.
Anyway, I can’t help but wonder if I will be around next year for the end-of-year celebrations. Our close-of-service date is the 4th of November (a day or two before the election, woah) and we are allowed to leave up to a month before then. Encouraged to, to some degree, because there is a lot of paperwork associated with our COS and so they like to stagger people’s departures to some degree. I’d like to see off the current Class Seven students, who this time next year will be preparing to start high school, but I also would very much like to travel with some of my buddies who may be leaving in October.
I’m thinking after that I’d like to travel around SE Asia and/or Sub-Saharan Africa, before going to a job (hopefully) in Kigali, Rwanda. I’ve got a buddy in Peace Corps in Ethiopia with his wife, as well as another friend serving in Mozambique, both of which are places and people I’d like to visit. Vamos a ver – daru raica – we shall see.