What I’ve Learned So Far:
Being in Tanzania has been a life changing experience for me. It has truly shown me so much and has allowed me to experience things that I have never even imagined possible. I have met so many different people, seen so many different animals and plants, eaten so much different food, etc. Words and pictures do not even come close to being able to describe how my trip in Tanzania has been. I do not think I could have even imagined a trip that would be so life changing.
I never thought I was good at just doing different tasks and presentations on the fly, but by teaching here in Tanzania, I have really had the chance to practice. I have been handed lessons and asked to teach them immediately. This does not give much time for thinking creatively, but by thinking on my feet, I have come up with lessons that I never would have thought of using in a classroom. Instead I just go for it and if it seems to be working then I continue and if not, then I alter my teaching strategy to accommodate. Lesson planning has gone to a whole new level while I have been teaching here and it has only been positive. If I have the chance to plan a lesson the night before, I feel refreshed because I get the chance to look over the material in more detail rather than just jumping into teaching it. Although, I do feel much more prepared when I am able to plan a lesson, I also feel so accomplished knowing I am capable of teaching students with materials that were handed to me just moments before and they are still able to understand, learn, and grasp the concepts. I hope to continue these teaching strategies when I arrive back in America and really push my students to be the best they can be. I think some of the strategies teachers use here in Tanzania would be so beneficial for the United States to utilize.
The culture and lifestyle in Tanzania are also some things that I have learned so much about. Before arriving here, I was unsure what to expect and how the new cultures would shock me. But as soon as I arrived I knew I would fit in. Yes, the cultures and lifestyles may be very different than what I am used to in America but that does not make it wrong or less worthy than ours. Instead, I feel as
though I want to combine the ideas, customs, culture, etc. that I have learned here and share it with my future students. I think through this experience I will be much more prepared for students that may come from very different backgrounds than me. The trip has opened up my eyes to even more acceptance than I had and the ideas of each individual being unique.