Meet Teacher Isaiah
It's impossible to forget the name of the teacher(s) who changed your life. Some of us have been blessed with more than one; the unique teachers who brighten up the classroom, who bring excitement to learning, and who have molded you into a better, wiser person by the end of the year. You might not remember how to do quadratic equations or the process of photosynthesis, but chances are, you learned far more from your time spent in their classroom.
Along with many other amazing teachers at Cherish Primary School, Teacher Isaiah is teaching our students at Cherish Primary School so much more than what can be found in a textbook. He's been a teacher for 12 years, and has called our campus home for 4 years. Isaiah is a man with a calming spirit, a cool confidence, and after this short interview you will be able to tell he is full of wisdom.
In his early years, Isaiah was orphaned and began living as a street-kid until the age of 8. He recalled the year, 1988, the year he was taken in by an orphanage and began attending school. He was a bright student, but he started running with a bad crowd in Primary Six. He began to brush off school, failed P6, and had to be held back. All of our favorite teachers have to start somewhere and this year was a turning point for Isaiah, changing his trajectory in life.
Q: Who was your role model growing up & why?
A: "My English teacher for grades P6 & P7. I always admired her and the way she spoke English. When she would leave the classroom, I would try to imitate her. Many of our friends gave up and didn't care to learn, but she knew a few of us were different so she pushed us. She encouraged me and told me I was sharp. She would have this small group of us over for tea and would tutor us, mentor us, teach us, and feed us."
Q: "Did you always want to be a teacher?"
A: "Of course, it is a calling."
Q: Was your first year as a teacher hard?
A: "Very hard. Relating with the children was hard. My first class was overwhelming, I had 76 students in one classroom. I was young, it was chaos, and some of the kids were huge!"
Q: When a child walks into your classroom, what do you hope that they learn about life by the end of the year?
A: "I actually have several things. To welcome people and to share experiences...I hope they learn to care for others. Not just the 'how are you, good' kind of conversation, because sometimes people just say good because they don't think others care to hear the truth...I want my students to learn to be aware when their friends are down so they can love them more. The times someone might not want to share and bring up things, those are the times that they need to be asked."
Q: Do you feel that your background of going through hardships, helps you relate with the kids?
A: "Absolutely. Actually, it is very hard to fully know yourself, for instance, you might know more about me than I know about myself. I get to be that perspective for them because of my background, I relate and can speak into their lives because I see myself in them...My best friends here are these children. I spend much of my time with them. (laughing, Isaiah continued) One of the parents even made this comment, 'you behave like a kid,' You'll see them hugging me or me joining in on games and chasing them. I feel like they are a part of me and I love them because of their backgrounds."
Sitting in the back of his colorful classroom, it wouldn't take you long to see that Teacher Isaiah is not only passionate but a talented, admirable teacher. He breaks down complex topics, hands fly up throughout the classroom, and he walks around the desks, engaging the students and encouraging them in front of their classmates.
We have been blessed by this man, his kind heart, and desire to inspire our students to be better.