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Miss Ward, Can I go get a drink?
As a middle school Spanish teacher it’s hard not to get a little frustrated on occasion when students leave the classroom in the middle of instruction to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Its not a huge deal, a little distracting for sure but they do miss out on learning for those minutes. As a teacher who believes whole heartedly in the limitless potential of the young people I’m lucky to spend my days with, I don’t ever want them to miss out on a chance to unlock their best self.
If my students were in the region of Amhara, Ethiopia, “Miss Ward, can I go get a drink?” would mean a grueling climb up a mountain while carrying a 22Liter jug on their back. It would take two hours and when the jug is full on the hike back, it would weigh just shy of 50lbs. If I was a 2nd grade teacher my 7 year old students would be making the same trek twice a day for water. They would walk through broken bones and wounds from animal attacks.
Well, how would these students ever learn from my instruction or lessons if they are always getting water? If I were a teacher in Amara, Ethiopia I likely wouldn’t have any students. No school, no education. Instead excruciating treks to survive. One focus only: sacrificing it all for water. For survival.
The potential inside the children of our world is equal and beautifully limitless. And their access to the one ingredient needed for life, water, must become limitless too.
We didn’t choose to have access to clean drinking water; we were blessed with this. And these children in Amara, Ethiopia didn’t choose not to.
“Miss Ward, Can I get a drink?” Let’s make that a reality for the children in Ethiopia.