Prime Secondary First ImpressionsPosted: May 10, 2013
I walk to school on the second day of being here all excited and ready to go only to find myself sitting in a staff room all day long; therefore, my first impression was “this is boring”. It was cool to meet all the teachers there, but it was usually a simple greeting and a “how are you?” before moving on with their day. Brandi and I spoke to the headmaster briefly about sitting in on classes and he just sat us at a teacher desk and told us he’d be back. Well, he never came back.
That’s when Mr. Dominick took us under his wing. I wasn’t sure of him to begin with, because he just kind of passed off his math class to us and then told us to teach completing the square the next day. I understand that that is what we are there for, but I felt used. I sat in on his form II math class that day and discovered that the students learned very quickly. They picked up on things in one class period that American students would need 2-3 days on and still struggle. I had heard they valued education here before, but now I truly know to what degree.
The next day went smoother for the most part. We finally got to talk to the headmaster about why we were there and that we needed more than just one class (1 math class for 1 form only covers 3 days of the week). The headmaster handed off the schedule duty to Mr. Dominick who gave us only one other class (math, form I). It’s a start, but it’s a boring and a slow start.
Even though Brandi and I are only teaching one class a day (and co-teaching at that), I’ve discovered I’m having a lot more fun. The teachers have warmed to us and us to them; the students are the same. Madame Jackaline got us our first taste of Ugali, Mr. Dominick loves to joke around with us, the other teachers help us with Kiswahili, and the students have finally started to ask questions about us and America. I absolutely love going to school every morning. After one day of teaching, the students said we couldn’t leave; the third day of teaching and the students are telling me how much they like me and that they love the way I teach. It just makes my heart soar.
It just amazes me how much love can come so quickly and how the students are so respectful towards teachers. Since education is so highly valued, the one time I was about to sit in the grass to eat lunch, another teacher came running to me saying “no! no! no!” and she kicked students out of their chairs so that I could sit. I felt bad, but it’s their culture.
So, overall, I’ve decided I love teaching here and tea time needs to be a thing in America.