a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher
It has been a privilege serving as an English teacher in a needful place and a great blessing to be living in a different environment and making a difference. Being an English teacher has led me to a small and impoverished village in a remote region of Ethiopia. I volunteered to reach out to this people group, and I am currently in my third year. They are an ethnic group marked by a particular religion. I was always skeptical about working with this religious group. But now, working with them, my perspective is changing. I am learning to look beyond the labels society gives people, be it clothing, culture or religion, etc. This way I am learning to love people better.
There are multiple ways to help people, and teaching is one good way to do so. It gives us direct access to learners. This particular people group I work with are a closed community and not very cordial to foreigners. However, over time, we are seeing changes in their attitude towards us. This is because they know we are there to serve, and they see that we love them. I am not just talking about my relationship with the students within the classroom but the community as a whole. I want to emphasize the importance of our roles as followers of Yahweh and as teachers in a given community and the impact we can make in their lives when we are walking with and working hand in hand with the Master Teacher beyond the classroom setting and mentality. The result of this can be overwhelming.
I try and use illustrations while teaching which impart values that we adhere to, and so seeds are planted in their minds. For example, I try to inculcate the need for forgiveness and reconciliation, because this certain group of people are often in conflict with the other regions. Vengeful killing is prevalent. The seeds I plant make them think and consider otherwise. I relate with my students (especially the girls) at a personal level. This way they feel less threatened by the presence of a ‘foreign’ teacher and one who has a different faith altogether. I am also going through a phase where my pride is being broken and my faith tested. The very lifestyle I lead speaks louder than anything I say, and therefore, it is a challenge to live an exemplary life every day, one that reflects the Master Teacher.
As a teacher who follows Yahweh, I am reaching out to learners in many ways and not just educationally. I realize the weight of my role as I live and work among them. Many societies regard teaching as an important investment in the lives of young people who will be future leaders. This is true. But beyond that lies an even greater meaning and purpose when we understand the heartbeat of our Master Teacher and participate in His purpose of reconciling the whole creation to Himself through the roles assigned to us. And as teachers, the field is wide open right before our very eyes everyday as we deal with students, and to a large extent, with the community as a whole. If I am, therefore, not living as salt and light, then I must question my motive and purpose as a teacher.
Khotsono Savino, a.k.a. Mego Savino, is from Nagaland, India. She is currently teaching English as a subject in a government high school in a remote region of Ethiopia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Nagaland University, India and a Master of Divinity from Southern Asia Bible College in Bangalore, India. She loves meeting new people and interacting with them, one reason why she loves cross-cultural settings.