43 Last night, we wrote down our Grandma’s Wisdom statements in our usual three languages because some of us speak Kiswahili and Luganda better than English. But last night we wrote them in French too because a family from Senegal has joined our community. I like to hear the Senegalese speak in French; it is like a song to listen to them talk. Since I am a teacher, I still go to the Congazori primary school every day. But now my job is to help the teachers learn to teach. Oh, it is so hard to teach some teachers! Some young teachers think they are so smart that they talk amongst themselves, wondering, “What does that old, old, old, old lady know?“ So I tell the teachers only eleven things: 1. Children learn best from happy people. If you are not feeling happy, pretend! 2. Children are trusting, so tell them they are smart, good, happy, and capable, and they will believe you. 3. Because parents want what is best for their children, they need to know what is best for their children. I teach parents about the protective factors that will help their children succeed in life: 1) Children need parents to be healthy, happy, loving, and resilient; 2) Children need to feel connected to a supportive family and community; and 3) Parents need to know how children develop and that a two-year-old is not the same as a six-year-old. 4. Children need to hear thousands of different words when they are very young. 5. Children can love books just as they love toys, because books are toys too. If you want a child to love to read, allow them to play with and look at books before they can even read. Children will respect what they love. 6. Books are toys, but the best toy for a child is a caregiver, friend, or parent who laughs, gets dirty, sings, dances, plays, and spends loving time with them. 7. A teacher’s job is not to lecture, talk to, or “teach,” it is to help learners develop the tools to explore and understand their world. 8. The foundation of all learning is trust, creativity, communication, connection, curiosity, and happiness. Also, a child must feel safe, loved, connected, and well-fed to learn well. 9. Listen to your learners. They will teach you. 10. Children have different learning styles. Some learn by hearing, some by reading, some by doing, and some by watching. 11. If you‘re happy, love children, can listen well, believe in lifelong learning, and are full of joy, you can be a teacher in my school – even if you don‘t like to eat chapi-chapi seaweed or grasshoppers and chapati. 43