This semester, I am teaching 3 health classes. I had so many people sign up for my nursing assistant/community health agent course that I decided to expand in order to accommodate them. Over 40 of these applicants were high school and college students; I created a special course just for them and so far, it is my favorite.
We meet two afternoons a week and I teach a modified version of the classic community health curriculum. The students take exams and learn practical skills such as blood pressure checks, bandage changes, and bed baths, but we also play games and do competitions as fun alternative ways to learn the material. Although those things make the class entertaining, it is my teaching assistants that make it my favorite.
Teaching hands-on skills to 40 students is no joke, so as I was planning the high school course, I decided to take my 6 best graduates and use them as teaching assistants. Each is fully responsible for a group of 5-8 students, taking care of attendance, weekly fees and hands-on skill practice, and helping me administer tests and run activities. When I am done lecturing and the TAs take over with a game or a skill, I watch them with a big goofy grin on my face. Hearing them re-teach things that I once taught them and seeing them encourage students in the same way that I encourage them just makes me glow.
We don't always see the fruit of our labor here in Haiti, but I see it every week in my TAs and I love it. I am very proud of them and excited to watch them continue to grow as instructors. Perhaps one of them will eventually take over all my classes...