Seeing the children go to school on Atata Island allowed me to understand how lucky I have been growing up, to have the opportunity to learn and broaden my knowledge in a safe environment. Although the kids loved to play, as soon as the bell rung they would go running towards their classes. I saw that these kids loved to learn, and put their utmost effort into their schooling. Although they were not wealthy and learned by pen and paper instead of technology, the kids valued whatever educational object they were using, whether it be books, notebooks or pens, they would put it neatly back in its place.
I saw that the kids would be tasked with little responsibilities such as handing out books or collecting them, and they did so with no complaint. Their passion and interest in learning truly made me appreciate what I have grown up with, and seen along the years of my childhood. A truly rewarding experience was having Salonte read me what she could in english. Although her speaking wasn’t perfect, she tried her best to show me what she had learned, and I was so proud. I learned to respect my teachers more, as I finally understood how hard it was to manage so many kids at once. The kids love and respect their teacher, just as much as each other.
Although education is not my strongest suit, I gained a new perspective on the value of education after meeting and experiencing the students of Atata Island. I am so lucky, to have gone to school in such an open and accepting country, in a school that values my wellbeing and growth. Having all the learning materials whilst growing up is something that I have come to understand that not all people have, and I now view my teachers and peers with the utmost respect.