Meet Mirline Laguerre, a teacher of 5-6 year-old students in Cap-Haitian, Haiti

  • Full name
    • Mirline Laguerre
  • Name of school where he/she works
    • Ecole Presbytérale Christ-Roi de Morne Rouge (Presbyteral school of Morne Rouge)
  • Grade/age group/subject taught
    • 5-6 years old
  • Geographic region/location
    • Cap-Haitian
  • What subject and grade do you teach?

I teach early numeracy, pre-reading, pre-math, logical reasoning, visual and auditory discrimination. 

  • What is your favorite thing about the age group you work with?

What I like most is that when at first, the children could not read; and then I notice changes and they become able to read. Not only can they read on their own, but they develop active listening skills.

  • What was your experience like in school? 

When I was in school I used to have competent teachers but they didn't have the right learning methods like we have today. On top of that I didn't have the chance to participate in the learning process, they worked just by routine.

  • How is it different from your students’ current experience?

Because I spent 3 years at the teacher training college, where I was given teaching techniques, and they also taught me that the students are the main actors of their learning, this helped me to become an effective teacher to help the students.  

  • Why did you become a teacher? Did you consider any other careers?

When I was in school, I had a lot of encouragement from my classmates to become a teacher because in group work, they always told me that I did it very well when I explained, but I also chose it to help my children.

  • What is a memorable classroom moment or experience? 

I remember there were a few students who could not master the 26 letters of the alphabet but with a song I taught them that included the alphabets, they were able to master them well. 

  • Why does this memory stick out to you?

This is because there were children who told me that they sang the song at home every day to remember the alphabet, and their parents were happy.

  • What do you see as the biggest challenge teachers face in Haiti?

The biggest challenge for me is classroom management because many teachers don't have classroom management skills to make learning easy; so they use corporal punishment because they think that violence can help manage the classroom well. What I still see as a big challenge is for the students to become good and honest citizens who love their country.

  • What is the biggest challenge you see facing your students?

The biggest challenge is that students don't always realize that they must do well in school in order to succeed.

  • What is your favorite part about being a teacher?

It's how I create the positive climate in the classroom and the bonds that are created between the students and I when I work. 

  • What is the hardest part about being a teacher?

It's when students don't have materials to work with, when they are late, and when they don't show up every day.

  • What are your hopes for your students?

I hope that they don't get disoriented in the future. I hope that when they finish high school they study something that will help them move forward, that will help them, their families and the country; so that we can have another society, another country.