Saturday, November 24, 2007


THE mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
These are the words of one of America's greatest authors William Arthur Ward.
For Maritana Domoni, she says some people are not cut out for the noble profession because it is not exactly an 8-5 job.
Maritana teaches at Naduruloulou Fijian School in Naitasiri province where she takes Class Seven and Eight.
She says the noble profession requires a lot of patience, sacrifice and energy.
This is because not only does a teacher have to be a role model for her young wards, in many cases the teacher is everything to a child, particularly to one who comes from a broken family.
The 41-year-old said she has never regretted joining the teaching profession even though it was not exactly a career that she had pictured herself in when she was in secondary school.
Dressed in a bright dress, the Naisaumua woman from Tailevu said she believes that a teacher is almost everything to a child when he or she enters the education system.
She was born and bred in the old capital, Levuka where she started her formal education at Marist Convent School before joining Delana Methodist not far away.
She spent her secondary school years at Adi Cakobau School in Sawani.
"Being a straight science student in school I knew I was going to go into the medical field but God knows us better and I am convinced that he wanted me to be here teaching his children," said Maritana.
She started her teaching career at Nailagotabua District School at Verata before moving down the coast to Dawasamu District School in the northern part of Tailevu.
She recalls her first two years of teaching as a grueling experience. "I was really put to the test," she said. "Transportation was the first problem I faced because transport to this part of the country was limited and if you miss the bus that was it."
From Dawasamu, Maritana was transferred up the road toward Korovou town to Delainakaikai Primary School at Lodoni near Ratu Kadavulevu School. This is her sixth year of teaching at Naduruloulou and she said the change of environment was good, as it is always good for any teacher.
"Teaching two different classes in one classroom is hard but I take it as a challenge," she said.
"The only hard part is teaching subjects such as Maths because Class Seven and Eight have their own different levels of mathematics but I do manage and am enjoying it."
Maritana is a mother-of-three children, a role she says has instilled in her a lot of qualities.
Her eldest is a teacher while her younger two are in secondary school.
"I can say that teachers are not only teachers but we are also nurses, we are preachers and lawyers within our schools."
Maritana says she loves her job so much that during the school holidays she would miss her students.
"I am used to the noise and running around and shouting that during the holidays I miss the noise and the antics of the kids," she said with a smile as she nodded toward the students playing outside.
She believes a good teacher has to have a deep passion for the betterment of children.
They need to have the right values and qualities and need to be able to interact in the right and proper way with students, she said.
"Teaching is a noble profession and teachers should always remember this and try to live up to it when doing their duties."
Maritana said she is winding down the last week of school before the eight weeks holiday.
She wants to take a break with her children and family before school starts next year.
She will probably teach again at Naduruloulou but that is for the powers that be to decide.
Until then, she wants to relax the mind and body before another term starts and the same routine returns to occupy her time.

Adapted from Fijtimes Online