Role Reversal

I love teaching and I love learning as well.  Since being in Honduras I have done a lot of both!  Most of my learning hasn’t been in a formal setting but rather from interacting with the people here an djust doing life here.  However most of my teaching has been in a more formal setting a classroom, an office, during a training or lesson.  Many of the staff members see me as a teacher and I have enjoyed playing that role.

But a few weeks ago the roles were reversed in a simple but profound way.  The amazing deaf staff members that we work with day in and day out have taught me so much, but like I said, in an informal setting and in ways that they probabaly don’t see themselves as teachers in the formal sense of the word.

The’ve taught me that many things in life are a process, and that process should be cherished not rushed.

They’ve taught me patience.

They’ve taught me how important trusting relationships are.

They’ve taught me how to be joyful in tough time.

They’ve taught me so much more!

For the first time Nancy got to be my “formal” teacher in learning how to crochet.  When Links of Hope was here in July Nancy quickly mastered the skill of making crochet necklaces.  I felt it would be good to learn to be able to teach other deaf people as well as better understand the product that the people in our vocational training program would be making.

“Nancy, will you teach me to crochet!”

Her face lit up, “yes!”

She got to see me confused and struggling with this new skill that required attention to small detail and fine motor skills.  She never gave up on me but encouraged me each step of the way telling me that I would get it, to just keep practicing, and giving me more strategies to try.  She was such a good teacher, as I had the opportunity to observe so often as she taught the deaf sign language in the villages, but now I was getting to experience it from the other side and for some reason it was special.

I actually didn’t learn to crochet that day. But several days later after more practice, just like Nancy said, I completed my first corchet necklace.  As I proudly displayed the product of this newly acquired skill she seem to be just as proud as I was.

We had switched roles.  I became the student and Nancy taught me.  She has taught me so much that she will never realize but it was a special moment to see her beam with pride as she got to teach “the teacher”.