eumelkeks expressed surprise at me going for this position, so I felt like maybe I needed to write another post on what it's like teaching up here on the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankuntjatjara) lands.
It's always stressful, and often frustrating, but the rewards - when you get them - are ten times amplified from what you might get in a mainstream school. That kid who just learnt how to write their name in English is so damn proud of themselves and you're proud of them too. That kid who used to spend an entire lesson making odd noises and playing in the corner now sits, engaged, trying learning activities, and completely redeems their previous behaviour.
If you were going to look at it objectively, why would you choose to teach here, with language barriers, health barriers, intense isolation?
Why? Because someone has to. Someone has to want to do it. And I do. I'm passionate about it.
Oh, maybe not when the kids are running around the room and I think I'm at snapping point. Maybe not when I have to wait five weeks for those supplies I desperately need. Maybe there are times when it would be all too easy to run away.
But every time I have that thought, more than pride prevents me from taking it to its foregone conclusion. It's more than not wanting to feel like I failed.
I really love it here with a sky that is infinite and people who could teach me so much. About preconceptions and ingrained prejudices. Understandings and misunderstandings. I really love feeling like I might just be making a child's life a little better, even if it's just by providing a place where they can explore things that would ordinarily be foreign to them.
I complain, and get annoyed, and wish certain things could change --- but how is that any different from how most people live day-to-day?
Why? Because I actually think, for the first time ever in my life, that I have a purpose. And this may be an entirely selfish way of looking at it, but it's true.