Staff Room

While reviewing student English compositions, I spent some time in the staff room. Teacher Timothy listens as Teacher Wazome animatedly discusses yesterday’s football match between Royal Kids and another local school team.

This staff room is for the upper level primary teachers, for grades four through eight. These teachers rotate between the classrooms, while the lower level primary teachers stay with their classes. The upper level teachers come to this room to mark papers, take tea during morning break and their lunch. All the teachers were gathered in the room since lunch was about to arrive (which was rice and beans, the most common lunch meal at Royals).

I’m amazed at how comfortably all these teachers work in this room. There’s usually a constant stream of students entering the room to add to the already wobbly stacks of notebooks about to be graded.  But the camaraderie is great. I commented on Teacher Emmah’s very purple nails today and she couldn’t understand why I don’t paint my own. And the male teacher’s conversation about yesterday’s football match was hilarious. Most of it was in Swahili, but they were challenging some of the calls Teacher Samuel (second picture, on the right) made as a ref during the game over a disputed goal. Teacher Mambo argued that if there’s a discrepancy, then a ref should ask the spectators. To which Teacher Wazome emphatically said that there was no ref on earth who would do such thing. If they did that, they wouldn’t be a ref.

I look forward to the day these teachers all have comfortable chairs, have bookshelves to organize their materials, and have easy access to basic supplies. Teacher Wazome shared with the rest of the teachers some of the scientific diagrams and maps he’d drawn earlier in the week. And then he started lamenting the fact that there weren’t any felt pens to color in the drawings. Fortunately, some markers were part of the donated items that I had brought over. And I was able to give a large pack of markers to him today. He was so appreciative when I told him the markers were for him to keep, and that there wasn’t a deadline for him to finish coloring in the drawings. I’m used to the students’ excitement over colored pencils and crayons. But Teacher Wazome’s excitement over markers truly surprised me.

One day, these dedicated teachers will have a staff room that adequately meets their needs. In the meantime, all of you who have donated chalk, notebooks, pens, and pencils, and other school supplies, please know that your support is greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply