There are many things that I have learned during this trip to Tanzania, not just about teaching, but about who I am as a person. Teaching has always been a profession that I have admired and inspired to do, but coming to Arusha I have learned that this is exactly where I am meant to be. I have learned that I can be comfortable in front of a classroom, and I have gained confidence that I am able to teach a group of students where English is their second if not third language.
Being in the schools here isn’t just about learning my own teaching style, it is learning about how students learn best. I have learned that being taught different methods of teaching are important, however it is all about how the students learn best that really matters. Another girl on the trip, Sam said to me one night, “Should we be molding the students to our teaching or should we be molding our teaching to our students.” This is such a simple quote, but comes to life while teaching in Arusha. Immediately after she said that quote I couldn’t believe that this whole time I was trying to mold my students to the way that I wanted to teach them. I wanted to be adventurous and try new things, but it isn’t about what I want, it is all about how the students learn best. After some adjustment I found a way to be adventurous, while keeping the style of the current teacher.
I have also learned that no matter where you are in the world, or who you are with there are always people to connect with. Everybody has a story and being able to listen and learn from other people can help you to grow. I have learned not only from the people that I am traveling with, but from the teachers and people that I have met from Arusha. Their lives are very different from mine, but not in a bad way, I am able to relate to them in a way I never thought I could. I am so blessed to be in Arusha and to be with these amazing people, I am sad that this experience is almost over, but I will be back. 🙂