We have one hundred-and-thirty kindergarten teachers in our Mercy family who, on average, have taught at our schools over ten years. In this photo of six Mercy teachers, each teacher has taught in our Mercy Kindergartens for more than twenty years, except Kru Niphaphon, who is still young and just starting her career. (Please give her time.)
From the left:
Kru Wassana Jeawphuang– 23 years
Kru Ratchadaphon Ketcharan – 22 years
Kru Siriphon Leachaidee– 27 years
Kru Kanokphon Tewinram– 28 years
Kru Premchit Kramauamcharen– 32 years
Kru Niphaphon Phanket – 3 years
These six teachers were all raised in the Bangkok slums. They found their vocation at a very young age. Each one had a similar dream – to teach poor children how to read, write, count, fight germs, tell stories, say nice words, draw pretty pictures, sing old songs, dance their first dances, and play with friends. Two teachers in this photo are graduates of our own Mercy Kindergartens – Kru Kanokphon and Kru Niphaphon.
Last week we stole a few minutes of their time to ask a few questions
1) How many slum children have you taught to read and write?
The six teachers added up their individual numbers and replied, “over 5,000 children.”
2) How many bowls of rice have you served at lunchtime?
“Millions,” they said.
3) How many children’s tears have you wiped and dried on the first day of classes?
They decided the number was not infinite, but close: “Millions upon millions.”
4) How many giggles, laughs, and songs have you heard in your classrooms.
This time, they agreed almost in unison: “Over a billion!
5) And the hopes and dreams of your students? How many have come true?
More than a few. And that, they said, was the reason they love teaching.
Here are photos of their students learning, laughing, and dreaming, below and in our new gallery. All photos by Ian Taylor.