First Impression of SchoolPosted: May 8, 2013
On the walk to school I grew more and more nervous. I had no clue exactly what the schools in Tanzania would look like, or function, or if they really were expecting three Americans to come teach. When we arrived at Sekei Secondary school I thought that it was quite nice. The school its self is shaped like a square with 4 unconnected buildings and a very nice courtyard in the middle of it. The first person that my group met (Nick, Emily, and I) was the head master of the school. He was a very large intimidating man and I was ready to do whatever he told me to do, but he welcomed us kindly and asked us what we would all like to teach. I will be teaching Geography in the form 3 classroom, while Nick and Emily teach Math, and we will all teach english. After meeting the head master we then met the rest of the faculty throughout the morning.
One thing that surprised me is that at Sekei there is only 7 teachers all of which have their own specialty, such as social sciences or the “pure” sciences (chemisty, biology, and physics) as Mr. Shao likes to say. Another thing that was interesting to me is that there are very few times that the classes change classrooms. Usually the class stays in their classroom while the teachers are the ones who switch. Sekei has around 120 kids in 5 different grades (Form1,2,3,4,5). We were able to observe a couple different teachers lessons which kind of gave us an idea of how class works. The kids were very well behaved and polite. The students also seemed to speak and understand English very well. I also thought it was very interesting how all the students had different chores to do around the schools.
My biggest impression of Sekei though was how laid back the school and teachers were. At 10:00 AM we had tea time and all the teachers came in. They are all very lively and like to joke with each other, if only we spoke Swahili so we could understand the lot of what they were saying. The pace of the day just seemed to be very relaxed, the subjects are scheduled and the teachers go teach when it is their time, yet it seems that they come in with a lesson and it doesn’t matter if they finish before or after the bell rings. They finish their lesson when they want to be done. But it was a fun experience, and by the end of the day the other teachers started getting more used to having us around. I am so excited to start teaching the class and getting to know the form 3 students. Sekei seems to be like a little community and I am very excited to become apart of it.