4th Year of Teaching

When I started working here as a teacher I thought I was going to teach for just one year. But, after a year went by I decided to teach again. I knew this would allow me to enjoy getting more acquainted with the Mission School and Community. I can’t believe it is my fourth year teaching here. This year I am teaching the 3rd grade only, which is great. I have a wonderful group of nine students eager to learn. There are seven boys and two cute little girls. The boys are very talkative and all my students have talents that show in class.

It’s great being around young scholars as they remind me of my self when I was young. When I was a little girl my parents taught me lots of things at home in our own language. Some of the things my parents taught me were: names of the month, days of the week, four seasons, four cardinal directions, and most importantly, my Diné clan and how I am related to others who have the same clan group as mine. My parents used to tell me about Diné history like the Diné Long Walk that occurred in the 1860’s. This year I thought about teaching some of the things I learned when I was young. So, at the beginning of the school year I asked my students if they were interested in learning about some of the things I had learned when I was their age, and they all said “yes.” They especially liked that we would learn about the different clan groups and how they are related to each other by clan. After school started we learned about clans and kinship, and found out that in some form of relationship by clan we have sisters, brothers, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. in one classroom! As a class we found joy and comfort in knowing that there are kin members we learn lessons with, eat and recreate with at school.

It’s a wonderful feeling to know my class and that wherever I go I will find a relative. It’s very unique. Now I know I have lots of relatives living in the Sweetwater Community. Now I really feel like I am at home. It makes me feel great and joyous to be here at the Mission School, and I can feel the Spirit of God.

Esther Yazzie