A 74-year-old teacher was recognised for her long service to Samoa yesterday.
Fetuolevao Amosa-Pouoa was honoured in front of the government building during the national celebration of Teachers Day.
The 74-year–old who is still teaching at Solosolo Primary School has been a teacher for 55 years.
For her long service, devotion and contribution to the education sector, she was presented the Longest Service Award.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Fetuolevao said it is her passion and her love for the children that keeps her going.
“Being a teacher is no easy job,” she said.
“I believe that this is the one job that is very hard and I guess that is why some people don’t want to take it up. For me I love the challenge.
“What better job than to see your students succeed in life and knowing that you were the one who taught them and inspired them to aim for the stars?
“It is the best feeling ever when you see one of your students 20 years later holding top positions in businesses and companies. No matter where they go they will never forget their teachers.
“That is why I am still here because there is no greater feeling than to see them coming back to visit you and say ‘thank you for teaching us’.”
Ms. Pouoa said there are many challenges that come with the job.
“Time management is one of the biggest challenges especially if you are a mother yourself,” she said.
“You have 30 plus students who need you in the classroom and then you have children of your own who also need you to be there for them.
“So you are trying to separate your students from children and how will you be able to do that without rejecting these 30 plus students who are depending on you as well?
“So it’s hard work. But like I said when you have the passion you will be able to tackle any challenge that comes your way.
“You will be able to find time for your children as well as your students because if you don’t, you will end up stressing yourself and as a result you will quit.”
At 74-years-young, Ms. Pouoa has no intention to quit anytime soon.
“I have thought about resigning and having a rest from teaching but my heart won’t allow me to do that,” she said.
“I have so much love for the children of Samoa as well as my passion for teaching that I just can’t imagine myself leaving.
“I guess I have been in this career for so long that I know every bit and pieces of it and I am comfortable here.
“I also know that sometimes financially this career might be get low pay but I believe if I was in it for money I would have left being a teacher long time ago.
“But it’s not the money. I am here because I want the children of Samoa, the future of our country to succeed and have better lives.
“Maybe I will look at taking a rest but not anytime soon.”
Ms. Pouoa started teaching in 1962, the same year Samoa became an independent state.
She started at Falefa Primary School, Lalomauga Primary School, Taelefaga and Fagaloa Primary School.
After that she went and taught at her village Falefa Primary School and stayed there for 20 years.
There she was appointed the First Assistant at the School.
Three years ago she moved to Solosolo Primary School where she is currently teaching.