Going on this trip and experiencing life in Tanzania has not only taught me things about who I am as a person, but also has taught me about the type of teacher I want to be in the future. I have learned to never take anything for granted and to always keep a smile on my face. Walking down the streets in Tanzania never ceases to make me smile. Everyone is so friendly and almost always willing just to have a simple conversation with you. Everyone genuinely cares about each other and it is pretty amazing to see. It is such a different environment and atmosphere here than back at home and I have absolutely loved it. Even though many people living here may not have a lot of money or may be struggling to make ends meet, they still have a smile on their face. I have learned that at times in my hectic life I need to start taking a step back to realize how fortunate I am and how good life is. I have learned so much about Tanzanian culture and it has been pretty incredible to learn about. Tanzanians have such a different life style than Americans. They have such a relaxed life style and are not rushing around going from thing to thing. Multiple times a day you will here Tanzanians say, “Amna Shida” or “Hakuna Matata”, which means no worries. They are not worried about their daily schedule and what things they need to accomplish on their to-do list. It has been such a cool experience to live this life style for a month.
Experiencing life in Tanzania has also taught me to spread my wings, step out of my comfort box, and to try new things. Not once on this trip was I ever hesitant to try something new. I wanted to try every food, every experience, and every possible thing I could. I feel like back home I am sometimes hesitant to do these things. On this trip I have tried lamb and goat, milked a cow, climbed part of a mountain, taught a group of 80 four-year-olds different songs, planned a lesson five minutes before class, and so much more. I have experienced so many awesome things on this trip and I am so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone to do so!
Teaching here has been one of the best experiences of my life. Since this was technically my first time being in control of an entire class it definitely was a little scary and intimidating at first, but it was so awesome! I have gained a little bit of insight on things that may be useful in the classroom and things that may not be. I have learned how to deal with children who are misbehaving, not paying attention, or causing other students in the class not to learn. I have learned how to differentiate my instruction to ensure that all the students in the class are being pushed to their full potential. I have learned to plan a lesson on the fly and to walk into a classroom full of new faces and teach an effective lesson.
Overall, I have learned so many things just in one short month and the things listed above barely hit on them. I am so thankful that I had the chance and opportunity to experience life in Tanzania.