Teaching English in Haiti had never been on my life’s “to do” list, so I was still somewhat dazed to find myself seated on a small charter plane as it lifted off from the Port-au-Prince Airport and headed southwest over the Caribbean toward the small town of Jeremie. There, Tek4Kids had just opened St. Francis School of Technology and English was part of the curriculum. I had no idea what to expect, nor did the twenty-four students who faced me on that first day of class. This group of eighteen young men and six women, many of whom hardly daring to meet my eyes, had never been taught by an American before.
Now, three years later, as I prepare to attend their graduation, we know each other well. I have seen them transformed into young professionals, and they have chosen me as the “godmother” of their class. There is an affection and loyalty between us that I have rarely experienced with students in the United States. As I end my years of teaching for Tek4Kids in Haiti, I am touched by the sincerity of the students who tell me, “Even though you are leaving, you will always be my teacher.” — Rose Yunker