Back to School (Kathryn Dirkmaat)

We had a three day week in the schools after a four day weekend on a safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. My Standard 2 (Second grade) class kept me busy these three days with mathematics, science, english and KiSwahili lessons. Last week was spent preparing a Mother’s Day assembly. Each grade prepared a song or poem to perform in front of their mothers, as well as a song that they sang all together. It was a wonderful experience seeing all the mothers come to watch their children sing for them.

This whole trip has been an amazing time getting to know the Tanzanian culture and people. Teaching at Meru has given me the opportunity to teach, make connections with teachers and see what the school system is like in Tanzania. My school days include teaching the lessons I prepared the night before, playing games with my students (like racing them across the courtyard and trying my hardest to make sure I win!), and getting to know the teachers more. I have loved the variety of teaching strategies and activities that I have been able to use here with my students. My teacher has been wonderful by allowing me to teach what I want and answering all the questions I have. I also had the chance this week to observe a Form 1 (6th-8th grade) Mathematics class. Next week Katie and I will be able to help teach this class.

I am so thankful for this month in Tanzania to teach, and see what I need to work on as a teacher and what my strengths are. Being in the classroom everyday has given me many chances to work on my classroom management strategies. It is helpful for me  to see that being thrown into a class and having to teach on the spot is something that I need to work on. This time in Tanzania has given me plenty of chances to work on this though. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the month here has in store for me!

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