Wiltha worked in Lemuel’s school from 2012-2015, after which she took a year off back home in Port-au-Prince. This year she is back as the second grade teacher.
Q: What gives you the most joy in your classroom?
Wiltha: My greatest joy is when my class succeeds and I see results from all of my efforts.
Q: What is the greatest difficulty you confront?
Wiltha: One of the biggest difficulties is when you do everything that depends on you, but some of the children still cannot grasp the material. Also, I have noticed that when they have a short vacation, they seem to have forgotten everything they had just learned by the time they get back to school!
Q: What is your favorite subject to teach?
Wiltha: French, especially reading and speaking. I also like to teach math.
Q: If you could describe your current class of children with one word, what word would you choose?
Wiltha: Success. Since the beginning of the year, I pasted this word on the wall. I want all of my students to pass second grade.
Q: In your opinion, what importance does a teacher have within society?
Wiltha: Well, when you think about it, if I stand here teaching these kids, it is because someone taught me first. A doctor–who taught him? A teacher. A teacher is the pillar of education.
Q: What teacher had the greatest influence on you? How?
Wiltha: My sixth grade teacher was very strict, but she also created a fun atmosphere in the class. She had a technique where she would put the students with the lowest marks in the back of the class. Right in the beginning of the year, I was on that bench! And if you sat on that bench, you had to do EVERY classroom exercise in front of the class on the board, you had to stay in at recess to study, you had to clean the blackboard, etc. She was tough, and she pushed us to excel. After being on that bench for a short time, my grades quickly climbed. She had 32 kids in her class. At the end of the year, every single one of them passed. She made me think, “If I am ever a teacher, I want all my students to succeed.” Her method influenced the way I teach my students today.
Q: In the future, what do you hope the kids who are in your class today can offer their country that the previous generation was not able to offer?
Wiltha: I want my students to believe in education. I want them to know that education is what will enable them and others to learn valuable skills that they can then use to invest in their community and their country.