Adong Jacqueline, or Jackie, is currently a teacher at Gulu Senior Secondary school. She has been teaching for the past 12 years, mostly in Kampala, but also for a brief time at an international school in Khartum.
“I love traveling because you meet people, see new places, and get to learn new things,” she says.
Jackie teaches English, and it’s a subject she obviously loves. “I started reading at an early age, so I got the interest,” she speaks with conviction. “The subject pulls me.”
As a teacher, Jackie seeks to impart to her students that same thirst for knowledge and love for reading. She has found that many of the students in her classes are lagging behind, and she feels that it’s her responsibility to act as a counselor to some students who have faced particularly difficult challenges on the road to education. She only has to look as far as her own experiences growing up to know how to relate to her students.
Orphaned at a young age, Jackie was raised by relatives in Kenya. She returned to northern Uganda for secondary school, attending Sacred Heart School in the midst of the LRA conflict. She remembers classmates being abducted when she was in her second year there. Even now, as northern Uganda has enjoyed years of peace, Jackie sees that there is much room for improvement in education.
“Students must know why they are in school,” Jackie explains the importance of instilling a value for education in students and in the wider community. “Parents must also learn the value of education, a lot of work still needs to be done.”
Having worked alongside a partner teacher in Uganda during the Teacher Exchange in 2011, Jackie is excited to learn what a classroom in North America is like. She expects to learn new ways of doing things, see differences in the students, and get a picture for what is ‘normal’ in a classroom. She also looks forward to sharing her own perspective.
“I would love to show them how African teachers teach,” she says. “Tell them about where I come from.”
Invisible Children’s Reciprocal Teacher Exchange, now in its fourth year, provides Ugandan teachers with the opportunity to spend four weeks in the United States partner teaching in a North American classroom.
The Reciprocal Teacher Exchange has proven to make a remarkably formative impact on all of the Ugandan and North American students, teachers, principals and head teachers who take part in the program.
Join us in raising support for Ugandan teachers and Head Teachers to embark on a dynamic personal and professional journey to collaborate with teachers from the U.S.
[The Teacher Exchange is a program that allows Ugandan and international educators to form teaching partnerships while exposing their students to a world outside their borders. International educators team-teach in northern Uganda each summer for six weeks, and, in a reciprocal exchange, Ugandan educators visit the schools of the international educators each winter. Learn more here.]