To Love is Inevitable
To Love is Inevitable
July 23rd is Indonesian Children's Day! Let's celebrate because children's lives are being transformed by loving teachers who believe they can succeed.
Being born in a remote village in the Papuan highlands was challenging for girls like Constance. The culture views girls as less desirable and less valued, since they won’t carry their family name. The school she went to as an elementary student was so far that she needed to walk barefoot through several rivers and mountainous regions. Most of the time, she spent her days playing soccer since her teacher hardly ever showed up.
When the teacher did come, students were expected to be excellent. Often they were subjected to abusive treatment, in the name is discipline. “School was a scary and traumatic place for me. I was beaten and then humiliated by standing in front of the class with one of my legs up and one of my hands holding my ear. I stopped schooling for two years because of this…” Constance said.
Her childhood experience made it very difficult for her academically, especially as she tried to pursue her education through middle school. “I was so broken and felt so low. I didn't think that I would have a promising future, because of the ongoing insults that I received from my teacher.”
Fortunately for Constance, she got a chance to pursue a teaching degree through the TransformNation program. The testing was difficult for her and she failed the first time. “I worked really hard after my first failure. But I got this conviction that I needed to change the future for Papuan children. Praise God that I passed my second admission test.”
“I don’t want the children in Papua to suffer like I did,” she continued. “I cry every time I remember my experiences. The suffering must end with me. This is why I teach my students with love. They deserve the best from their teachers.”
As a teacher, Constance often finds students with unique needs. “I have a student in my class who challenges my love and patience as a teacher. He is slower to understand compared to his friends. But this is why I am here. It’s for him. I need to find creative ways to help him grow. This is what love is. For me, to love is inevitable. This is one of God’s characteristics. As a teacher, loving my students is a natural outflow of who I am and what God has called me to do.”
Constance is determined that she will not repeat what her teachers did to her. She remembers her training at the TransformNation program where she was taught to believe that each student is smart and unique in their own way. “As a child, it’s really painful to be told that you are stupid and hopeless. My background gives me understanding and patience when I experience challenges in teaching. I need to love them and find their unique gifts and direct them to the purposes that God has placed in their lives.”
We hope that Constance's story inspires you. She would never have become a teacher without the support of people like you, who care about transforming lives through education. Would you support a teacher-in-training, like Constance?