My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

School Frustrations...

School has started up again and with it comes a whole load of new frustrations, busy schedules, thoughts, and obligations.

Yesterday was our first day back and I had a whole hassle of problems to deal with our first day back in session.  A teacher was out as her mother had to be taken to the hospital.  We heard of the death of one of our student's parents.  We had to meet with one of our parents, Pamela's mother, and stress to her the importance of Pamela's care.  There was a myriad of staff problems that had to be dealt with as well.  And then, we got a call from Ghana Education Service and they were calling to let us know that some items that we needed to pick up were completed and available at the head-office and we needed to go in.  Besides that, the woman was upset that we had just resumed school and that we weren't following the public school schedule, which I don't understand why it is such a big deal since we are a private school.

So, I left school frustrated yesterday at everything that happened and feeling a little overwhelmed at all that is on my "plate" when it comes to leading, guiding, and overseeing this school.

But, this morning, I came in and Mr. Francis talked to me about the meeting with GES (Ghana Education Service) yesterday and said that while she still wasn't happy with the information we provided about our curriculum, she was fine with the documentation that I provided about the number of days our students are in school (they go to school 180 days out of the year, probably 20 days more than most students in Ghana).

Unfortunately, frustrations came anew looking over the syllabus for the Ghanaian curriculum programs and knowing that I somehow have to put together a standards comparison between their curriculum and ours and see if I can get it approved.  I've never done something like this and add to it the current writing of our summer program curriculum and preparing for next academic year and looking into starting up a teacher's training program and all that that involves...whew!  I don't know when I'll be able to slow down!

I was talking with Stacy yesterday about my frustrations with GES.  I told her that for some reason, I can handle most any criticism, but when GES starts coming down on me, I have a really hard time handling it...just makes me really stressed out.  The relationship with them is such an up and down thing...one minute thinking that they are happy with what we are doing here and the next attacking us for the number of days our students are in school. 

So, this post pretty much became my vent-fest for the day, but sometimes, you just have to get it out, huh?

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit smoother and I'll be reminded that this isn't about GES, but about these kids...maybe one of these kids will grow up to be the head of the GES department and then we'll be free!  haha!  I mean, that's the point right?  To raise up leaders for tomorrow?  So, I guess I'll just have to pray that one of these kids grows a heart for the education of Ghana's children!

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