This trip has provided me with so many opportunities to learn more about myself. Getting to just jump into a classroom and begin to teach has shown me my strengths and weaknesses. My Standard Two (Second Grade) students have been a challenge, but I would not change my experience for anything. They have let me play around with many classroom management strategies and reward systems. My students have stretched my patience a few times, but have also showed me how patient I can be. Throwing together a lesson plan right before a class period has been something that I am not skilled at, but I have definitely had the opportunity to improve upon that on this trip. What I have learned in the classroom is what I am most thankful for. I can take all that I have learned and apply it to Student Teaching/ Teacher Assisting at Grand Valley, as well as my future classroom.
I have also learned a lot about Tanzania. Everyone I have met has been incredibly friendly and willing to share their knowledge about their country, culture and language with me. Saying hello and exchanging greetings can go on for nearly ten minutes, but the conversations are genuine. Everyone really cares about how you are doing and what you are up to. Walking back from school everyday has provided me with the time to work on pleasantries as well as get to know the streets more. I have learned that it is very hard to say no when someone is trying to sell you something as I walk back, but it is possible!
I know that I have so much more to learn, but what I have learned so far has definitely been rewarding. Tanzania is a beautiful country and I am so thankful for this opportunity. What I have learned includes (but is not limited to): students are gracious when you make a mistake; you walk on the left side of the sidewalk as well as when driving on the roads; climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro literally takes your breath away; and that what I have experienced here will stay with me forever.