Loimata Te’o, a teacher of Faleula Primary School, believes every child matters regardless of their background.
Hailing from the village of Vaie’e Sagata/ Toamua, she says that whether they are rural village children or urban children, their education and their future is a priority and as a teacher, she does her best to guide them the right way.
Aged 52, Loimata takes her job as a teacher very seriously because she knows that the future of the children can be determined from what she teaches.
“I believe that every child matters,” she told the Village Voice.
“No matter if they are a village child, a town child or any kind of child. Their education is important and that is why we here at Faleula work our hardest to teach the children the right way.
“If they are village children then they are the future of the village. Every child has a part to play in this country and we must train them before they begin their lives.”
One important principle Loimata lives by is that no matter how much good you do, if the student doesn’t have joy in their heart then you have not done a good job.
She says that a teacher is more than just a guide in school; they are a child’s hope for a great future. But even for such an important job, there will always be humps along the way.
“We as teachers go through a lot of issues,” Loimata said.
“The first issue is the students who drop out. We try and teach so that the student will have no second thought about staying in school.
“The main reason why a student drops out is because the teacher is not active. The teacher must look deeper into why the student acts the way he does and focus on trying to help him or her.”
And for Loimata, it is more than just a job for her; teaching was and forever will be her calling.
“Being a teacher is very important to me,” she said.
“I can happily say that this is my professional job from God and that is why I try and teach the children so that they may have a blessed life and have a future in different professions.
“Teaching is not just for the body and mind; it is also for the soul of the child. The truth is that there are many things that parents should do that a teacher now has to do for the child.
“We are the teachers of everything. We teach how to keep the body strong, how to train the mind so that it may be active and morals that will keep the soul pure.
“All of these are needed for the child’s future.”
Furthermore, the success of a teacher is defined by the success of the students.
“I am very proud of my profession,” Loimata said.
“How do you know as a teacher if you have done a good job? It is when you see your students get a good job or a good family.
“That is my purpose. Whatever job you get, that is what you were called to do and that is the successful influence of the teacher who taught you.”