First Day at SchoolPosted: May 9, 2013
Today was the first day of school and already my eyes have been opened to completely new world of education. From walking to school to breaking multiple pieces of chalk, my day at school was definitely something it has never been before. Walking to school today I was more excited than anything. My nerves didn’t catch up on me until the moment we walked in the school and then they definitely kicked in! I knew I wasn’t nervous for the students, but meeting the headmaster and the other teachers I was. I didn’t know what to expect. Would they be watching me teach? Would they give me a lesson I wouldn’t understand? What would communication be like? What aged kids would I be working with? I soon found all my answers
After meeting the headmaster and going over the daily schedule of the students and teachers, already it seemed so different than a school day in America. I found out I would be spending my time in a standard three classroom, which in America is equivalent to the third grade. Also, I had heard before that the schools in Africa are much more relaxed than in American. That didn’t really resonate until I was told about the different breaks the students and teachers have. In Tanzania, all teachers participate in a morning activity called “Tea Time”. This time is dedicated to the drinking of very hot, very delicious tea and is accompanied with fresh bread that comes prepared with butter already on it. This is a very different part of a school day than in America. It seems as though American teachers are always in need of such a time, but it because occupied with more lesson plans, or making copies, or running this here or there. I was pleasantly surprised by this time of the day and wished American schools would adopt such an aspect. I was surprised to find how being in the classroom in front of the students felt so similar! I found myself at ease and comfortable. Of course there were things different than in American. When called on, students in Africa stand up and step to the side of their desk before answering their question. I also notice how when giving a test the teacher hands out paper in order for the students to copy down the handwritten questions from the board, as well as their answers. Perhaps this is why handwriting in my class seems so advanced than in America. I was very impressed by this? Another thing that stood out to me was of course the children themselves. They were so happy to see us at their school and this made us feel wonderful! When randomly smiling at a child they become so bashful and their face just lights up. This of course was new to me and was a great feeling to experience.
Just after the first day I feel exposed to something that will change my appreciation for all different kinds of education. I can tell from this is experience I am going to develop the need to become more and more exposed to education and a world outside my own. If today at the school had been my first and last day, I would already be walking away from so much. Luckily it’s not and I have a whole month here!