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Flora Teng shines a light on Mt Hagen Teacher's College in Papua New Guinea

Posted by Julia Goonan on 8 May 2020
Flora Teng shines a light on Mt Hagen Teacher's College in Papua New Guinea

Flora Teng is the Lasallian Family Area Coordinator of Mt Hagen in Papua New Guinea, as well as a teacher at the Teachers' College. Growing up in Kotina, went to a Lutheran Primary School. She is now a mother of four lovely girls, and involving the Lasallian Mission gives her strength to overcome all of the adversities in life she faces. We sat down with Flora to get to know her and the work she does for her community.

What does being a Lasallian mean to you?

Being Lasallians means doing things creatively to make a difference. It means to show great enthusiasm in teaching by touching the hearts of my students. It means to be a good example in words and deeds, as well as a friend to all and enemy to none.

Tell me about your call to ministry. How do you live out the Lasallian values?

Firstly, I strive to live out the Lasallian values in my family with my daughters. I strive to live the Lasallian Virtues of patience and humility as the crown virtues of all virtues.

What does religion mean to you?

Religion is my hope, strength and life.

Who is your role model? Why do you look up to this person?

Br. Ignatius Kennedy, FSC is my role model. I look up to him because he was a great mentor, and he was an inspiration to my life and my family.

What advice would you tell your younger self?

You did well, and you are striving to do well now. Keep up the good work.

Tell us a bit about where you teach and your current role at your school?

I am currently teaching at Holy Trinity Teacher's College, which is a primary school and have for four years now. The school is almost 60 years old. It is the oldest Primary Teachers' College in PNG. Technology is not yet integrated into the school. But some time projectors are used in the lectures. There are 600 students at the school, both male and female and 35 staff members. We strive on Vision, Dedication and Service. I am lecturing in the Religious Education Department and am assisting students with the Formation Program at the college.

How are the Lasallian values carried out in your school/work?

We carry out the Lasallian values through our interactions with the students, as well as in the classroom daily, where we believe the class is a holy ground where salvation is given to students. 

What is your current role in the Lasallian Family? Explain?

I am the Area Coordinator for Lasallian Activities in the Mt Hagen Area with the help of the Lasallian School Coordinators. We develop the Lasallian yearly calendar collectively and slot events in for the year. We write formation programs, youth events and organise fundraising for financial sustainability. We have Pastoral Care and Community Worship Programs weekly with recollection and retreats for each class once in a year. That is enriching spiritually. But other aspects of integral development miss out.

What are three challenges you currently face in your role in the Lasallian Family? How do you overcome them?

A challenge is that some Lasallian family members do not attend scheduled gatherings. To overcome this, we often visit the family and their school directly. A challenge I find in teachers is that citizenship and commitment are lacking. They need to be appropriately formed before they graduate for teaching.

What have you accomplished in your career so far?

I have taught so many students and sharing the Lasallian Charism, and I am proud of this.

In your school, how do you revitalise teaching and ensure formation and empowerment of Lasallians?

We evaluate lessons every day at the end of a class , plan for the next day. I have done that with students lately, and this has energised teaching and learning. The verbal evaluation is a crucial tool for improvement too. We will always continue to give a Lasallian reflection and use teaching strategies to refine practices in reflection days. We host leadership formation programs that enable us to mentor the youth and have consistent plans for them to stay involved in.

Author: Julia Goonan
About: Creative Writer, Lasallian Mission Services
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