Fist Day Hay Day!Posted: May 9, 2013
We pulled up to school and it was unlike any building I would have expected for a school. The building to the right was the high school, the building in the middle was abandoned (maybe a church?), and the building to the left was the elementary. The elementary building looked like a hotel converted into a school. There are 4 floors with one hallway that connects you to each classroom on the floor.
We met with the headmaster first and then with the academic headmaster. The academic headmaster asked us our names and grades/subjects we want to teach. Another teacher took the primary teachers (Michelle, Danielle, Abby, Aeriel, and myself) to our classroom teachers. It took some time because some of the teachers were not in the classroom yet! Interesting because American teachers have to be at school 15 minutes before school starts.
I met with my teacher, Joyce. She was older then I expected for a teacher in Arusha. Later I found out that she had been teaching for 14 years, but not all at the same school. In the classroom, the students were sitting in desks. There were a lot of children in my class (class 4-comprable to 4th grade in America). The students had a dress code of green sweaters, white collared shirts, and green pants of skirts. When a teacher entered the room all students stood up and chorally said “Good Morning Teacher. How are you today?” The teacher would respond “fine” which is like our “good.” The students would not sit down until the teacher says so. We checked homework and then had students copy their homework from the board.
After school: We were done with school around 1pm. Our guide that was scheduled to pick us up was not coming until 2pm. So we had time to kill. The elementary students were in and out of classrooms, eating rice, and playing on a mount of dirt. Other students were holding our hands and gathering around us. That was an amazing moment. Students were memorized with us as we were memorized with them. They had joy in their eyes and were very excited to see us. Aereil and Abby had some books so we were able to read them aloud. While we were reading books the children would literally be on top of us just listening. In America I would normally ask them comprehension, character, or prediction questions, but I got the hint that these students just wanted to be by us, listen to our voice, and be by us.