Erin Norman spent one month serving in preschools in South Africa this past summer.

How we were “schooled”…

Getting to know our programs.

My name is Erin and I am a teacher in Arizona that was recently given the amazing opportunity to work alongside Orchard: Africa in a month long internship. This internship was one for teachers to go into the villages and help to fill the gap in the preschools and help build the curriculum for Orchard: Africa’s educational program. We went into the preschools in Top Village and Molelwane ready to make a difference, ready to help get the schools on to the ‘right track’, but upon entering, I think we were the ones who were changed the most.
As you walk into Top Village preschool, you will see a young mother who has been placed into this position, with no prior training, and is now in charge of 50 three-five year olds and is carrying her child on her back. When you walk into Molelwane Preschool you will find three teachers whose love for the children overflows and is so infectious you don’t want to leave. Throughout our time we led workshops to help the teachers gain some information in dealing with classroom management issues and ways to help further their students’ education. Everything that we gave them was quickly gobbled up and implemented that week.
The team and I were able to create bonds with the teachers that made it fun and we were able to encourage each other through God’s work and the work with the children. At the conclusion of our month, not only did the preschool teachers gain knowledge, but the team gained a new insight to take back to their classes in the fall. One that furthered the love and compassion we have for our students and reaffirmed why we, the teachers, are in this line of work. This was definitely an experience that I will never forget!

Thanks Erin!

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