Schools in Samoa are truly unique. We lack the resources that American schools have. It is not just the physical resources, but the resources that come in the form of people as well. This means that teachers and students must jump in regularly to help make the school a successful place to grow.
Some things are very basic such as taking over a class for a teacher that is absent, or doing various chores such as cleaning the school until it shined.
However there are two jobs that I find strange and am happy that these jobs were never available for me.
The first job is for teachers. I heard this job takes place in both the primary schools as well as the kolisi (high school). One of the teachers does underwear checks. He goes to the different classrooms and makes sure all the boys are wearing their undies. If they are not, they are taken out of the classroom for the various punishments.
The second job, I somehow believe is worse. In my year 7 class, the students must all wait outside while one student lets them in one at a time. One of the students smells their armpits. If they smell okay, the student can come in. She seriously spends several minutes each day with her nose pressed up against her peers’ armpits. I think it is gross!
I am glad that I am a volunteer and don’t have to perform these different jobs. I don’t think I will complain again about the teaching conditions in America. I really did have it easy when compared to the life I would have had teaching here.