Posts Tagged ‘new high’

“I was in Tonga as a Learning Specialist.” – Doc Meek

Tuesday, September 13, 2011. Today I am so happy and grateful for my good connections with Tongans and the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific Islands. ~ Doc Meek, Neurological Learning Specialist

Beautiful Tongan sunset

Tonga Sunset

Tongan sunset image from:

http://photo_artist.webs.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=6231056

Watch a gentle Tongan sunset-time video at this link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKbnBHlUM4M

Lucky me! I got to see the Tongan culture and lifestyle first-hand, and for more than two years, thank heaven!

I was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Education out of BYU-H (Brigham Young University-Hawaii) in 1999, Ā and sent to the Kingdom of Tonga with my beloved wife Jeannette. Both of us were appointed to participate in the ITEP (International Teacher Education Program) sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The teachers and students and the administrators all worked together to raise the student achievement dramatically.

Way to go Tonga educators!

They helped the students get higher marks and they also helped them change attitudes, behaviors, and cooperation with other students and teachers.

The results? Happier students and healthier students (and wealthier students, wealthy of mind). šŸ˜®

They took the meaning of active learning beyond expectations.

And they took my “heads-hearts-hands-hope” inclusivity to a new high.

The Tongans taught me more than I taught them.

Tongans are generous of heart and mind, non-judgmental, and they loved and respected me.

And Tongans loved and respected my wife Jeannette even more.

Naturally! She’s better looking than I am! šŸ™‚

And we loved and respected Tongans.

Forever.

Jeannette was a real hit with the students and their parents. She directed a 150-voice Tongan choir, mostly youth, and learned to appreciate the saying, “When Tongans sing, the angels sing with them.”

Tongans can sing 7-part harmony a capella, with ease and grace.

And they can dance too! Sometimes wildly. šŸ˜® Wow!

Jeannette also taught an English class for young adults who had all failed to pass their “big English Test” in high school. Thus their gateway to higher education was closed to them (at least in their minds, and in the minds of their parents).

Permanent “doom.” Ā No hope.

Until Jeannette showed up and pointed out (dramatically):

“I don’t care how others have graded you. I am going to grade you up!”

She added (as some of the students thought this palangi [Caucasian] teacher might give them all an easy “pass”):

“We are going to study and write that exam again; then we are going to study and write that exam again; and then we are going to study and write that exam again!”

The students were stunned.

The thought of writing that dreaded exam again and again was not part of the cultural norm at that time.

If you flunked, you flunked. That was it. You were an “educationalĀ failure for life.”

Jeannette faithfully taught a class of 32 students (who came from far and wide when they heard about her famous English class).

Twenty-eight (28) went on to higher education. And the rest carried their newly-found self-confidence into other great opportunities.

We are forever grateful to the first student in Jeannette’s class:Ā Uini, whose dear father asked Jeannette if she would help his daughter with English.

Thank you Tongans for the greatest two years in any land!

A special salute to the parents and teachers and students and administrators in all the Tongan Islands.

And a dozen “high fives” for Mele Taumoepeau, who was Principal of Liahona High School on Tongatapu during my time in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Mele made the hard work sing! Thank you, Mele!

Kindness, Doc

Doc Meek, Tues, September 13, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. My beloved wife Jeannette is now building her new health and wellness business, which is giving new hope and health and wellness to people with heart disease and diabetes:

http://www.amiraclemolecule.com/themeekteam

Contact Doc Meek

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