What if this was your classroom?

Coafrica Teacher Appreciation

By: Jeanette Green

Before having kids, I was a high school English teacher. I absolutely loved it. My passion for teaching started young. Instead of playing “house,” I often played “school.” I remember setting up a chalkboard, pointing to sentences I’d written, and teaching lessons to my dolls and stuffed animals. As the years passed, my desire to teach didn’t waiver. My love for the classroom started with my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Withers. I remember her long dark hair and warm smile. I felt safe in her class and learning was fun – the songs, the activities, the stories. She laid the foundation for my entire school career and set the stage for my future employment. Though I no longer teach in a traditional classroom, I stay busy tutoring and helping students apply for college and scholarships. Teaching has never left my life, even when I left the formal classroom.

The past year, Coafrica has been spending time interviewing the students and teachers who have benefited from our classroom projects. We love hearing their passion for the future. These children understand the meaning in Robert Ingersoll’s simple but important words – “We rise by lifting others.” Though perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, I was amazed when a pattern emerged from our interviews. When asked what they want to be when they grow up, many of them said they wanted to be a teacher so they could help the next generation. They have learned from their teachers, and now want to do the same. 

When we interviewed the teachers, another pattern emerged. Teacher after teacher, from different schools we’ve built, all enthusiastically shared that the Coafrica classrooms have “created an environment conducive to learning.” They report feeling less stress because using the shared teacher workspace helps them properly prepare their materials. These dedicated teachers also report students learning and retaining information better. Why? Because they can focus and aren’t physically and mentally drained from the weather conditions. That last comment made me pause. As an American child, attending American schools, moving from grade to grade, I was reminded why Coafrica does what we do. 

Oftentimes, we think of constructing classrooms for the students. But these classrooms make it possible for teachers to effectively do their jobs; and so we do it for them too. Teachers are the heroes in this story today. They lay the foundation for learning and make it fun and relevant. They lift their students with their love, passion, service, and unwavering dedication. But they aren’t just playing “school” teaching to dolls and stuffed animals, they are in the trenches desperately working to change lives in the most challenging circumstances. 

So this week, we are fundraising for our teachers – honor, celebrate, and support them. $10,000 will build 2 shared teacher work spaces and we want to make it happen! Can we do it? Can we do it together?

  1. Click “donate” below
  2. Honor your favorite teacher by making a donation in their name
  3. Share this link on your social media accounts – with friends and family

Together, we can.