Notes from the Field: Spread the Love


Katie Burke, 2010 Teach with Africa fellow, facilitates writing workshops at City College of San Francisco when she’s not teaching in South Africa.

The LEAP Learning Centre, which serves learners in LEAP’s partner communities, uses a “love clap” to applaud its students for work well done. The love clap goes: Three claps in front of the right shoulder; three claps in front of the left shoulder; and then wiggling fingers on both hands, extending out from the heart to the applause recipient, while the applauder lovingly breathes, “Looooooove.”

The love clap is warm and silly and wonderful, and every time I teach it to current LEAP students, it makes me giggle.

Today, I taught my creative nonfiction workshop to LEAP students.

The students were excited to be there. For the first time all week, I taught students who had signed up for my workshop. Others had enrolled earlier in the week, but due to scheduling and attendance issues, I was never matched with those who had registered. Instead, I had taught it to students ordered to be there. Today marked a beautiful shift.

Love claps all around.

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