What I have learned so far…Posted: May 21, 2013
Over the past several weeks I have learned so much from my experience here in Tanzania. To begin I have learned to adapt to minimal resources that the culture has. I have had to really open my eyes and understand how much they don’t have here. They literally have a chalkboard and chalk and they teach. So finding teaching aids, manipulatives, or even simple books to use for the class is difficult. I realized how much I rely on technology in the classroom and maniputlatives for students to learn with. It made me understand that materials aren’t always in hand and the lesson can always change with the class and you will have to think on your feet which I have learned to do here. In Tanzania, I solely have had to learn ways to really understand the material I am teaching and understand the culture to best present and teach it to the students.
I have also learned that no matter what subject you are going to be given you are going to have to teach it and learn the subject enough to teach it. I have been given the best opportunity to teach standard two English and I have Dyslexia and having had this opportunity I have been able to challenge myself through the struggles of teaching an English Language Learner how to speak English. I challenge myself everyday when I teach to take my time and read slowly to understand the pronunciation. I understand the struggles of seeing the strange letters on the board and not knowing the direct orientation of the words or how to read them when you first look at them because they are different directions or backwards. This opportunity gave me the chance to feel that I will be able to overcome my Dyslexia as a teacher but also as an advantage to understand how students are struggling when they don’t fully understand the objective.
Another thing I have learned is that you have to be flexible and know that teaching at 10:40am really might mean at 11:20am and you just spend more time getting to know the teachers you work with. The culture has taught me so much such as you don’t just rush around to your destination and not talk to anyone, here they have taught me to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the world, culture, and people around me. They have also taught me to slow down with my thoughts and really describe what I want to say to get my point across.
Another thing I have learned is that the amazing group of people I have been with have been such a wonderful support and helpful to each other as we all grow in our education. I never knew that I could be so close to so many people that I have met before but never been so close to. I couldn’t be happier.