My prized teacher

Globle TPsite

Photos courtesy Global Teacher Prize website

     By Frozan whose native language is Dari. Frozan is in 10th grade in Afghanistan. Next year she will be studying at a wonderful school in England.

A.Royesh

     Mr. Royesh was in the top ten finalists from thousands of teachers from all over the world selected to win the Global Teacher Prize.

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I WANT to tell you about a special teacher. He believes that a good teacher is a teacher who makes his students independent of him; to think on their own. This teacher’s name is Mr. Aziz Royesh.

     The name of my school is Marafat.  It means “understanding” in Dari and the Arabic languages.  At first this school was started in Pakistan. It was the Taliban time and the man who started it fled to Pakistan. It started in a small place with just eight teachers. 

     Mr. Aziz Royesh and two of his brothers knew my father. So we knew about their school. In 2nd grade I was in public school. We did not even have a classroom. We sat outside on carpets under the sun. We couldn’t study when it rained and often teachers did not come. Because of that my father said we must have a better education. I started in Marafat in 3rd grade and my sister started in 4th grade. 

    At first it was really hard. I was crying every day. The teachers are good, they take the lessons very seriously, but the school rules are really strict. The thing that was most difficult was spelling. The teachers punished me so much for my spelling. Every word I spelled wrong I had to write three lines of the same word. Sometimes I had to write thirty lines I had so many words I didn’t know how to spell.

     Mr. Royesh opened our eyes and minds through his teaching. Some teachers always share their own ideas. But Mr. Royesh listens to everyone. Only at the end he shares his own ideas. He never says others are wrong. If our idea is not right he shows us the problems with our answers and asks us questions so we can understand where our answers could be better. He shows us the way and then we are able to find our own ideas. He asks a lot of questions so we will think. For example, he asked us once what these words mean: “The uneducated [the people who are not educated] are the firewood of hell.” 

     At first we thought it was a joke. Some of us said that maybe it meant uneducated people who don’t know about Islam. Or maybe it meant lazy people who could learn, but did not want to. He told us to go search for the answer. Sometimes he tells us an answer right away, but sometimes not until the next week.  But always he helps us think. He said that this saying does not mean people who cannot read or write. It means the people who don’t want to learn. 

Editor’s Note: Here are two inspiring pages where you can learn more about Mr. Royesh and see the Marafat school in action:

     NPR         GLOBAL TEACHER PRIZE

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com