Stories - TANZANIA 2017 - Monday Week 2


TANZANIA 2017 - Monday Week 2

Teachers To Tanzania 2017 | Jul 04, 2017

The kids are back in town! Lots of them… and it's wonderful!

We thoroughly enjoyed our week with the teachers, but it is a delight to hear the sounds of children’s voices all over the campus, and to see their sweet smiles and faces!


Morning devotions are ALWAYS a highlight of the day! The sound of children’s voices raised in worship flowed out of every window all over the campus… from the “itty bitties” to Standard 7!  It was wonderful… none of us could think of a better way to start our day!

Then it was down to Math!  At the end of last week, we all (American and Tanzanian teachers alike) agreed that we needed to spend this week teaching the children all the things the teachers had learned last week.  Godfrey gave the teachers the freedom to set their prescribed math lessons aside for this week.  Today’s topic was Place Value… tomorrow is addition, then subtraction, multiplication, and division.  We’re working on the cycle of memorization AND meaning AND memorization AND meaning… so on!  Tanzanian teaching has been significantly based on memorization; bringing meaning and interactive methods of learning should improve understanding for today… and for higher levels of math!  We each had time to watch and team-teach with the Tanzanian teachers as they introduced these concepts to the children.  There were many “ah ha!” moments… and laughter and learning…  it was delightful!  Last week we were thankful for the dedicated time with the teachers.  This week we are SO THANKFUL for the time to team-teach with them!  We think this extra time will bring the kind of long-lasting changes that we’ve been working toward for many years.  BWANA ASIFIWE!!!!!  (The praise belongs to the Lord!)  And in Tanzania, when someone says this you must reply, “AMEN!”  Today we say AMEN wholeheartedly!

As if morning devotions, true understanding, and student and teacher excitement in the process of learning weren’t enough, here are a few other highlights of the day:


  • Seeing teachers coming to use some of the phonics/language teaching tools we brought that we haven’t even had the chance to get out yet! One teacher borrowed some 3” letter cards to spell words for the children.  She was thrilled to find out we had student sets as well and took them straight to her classroom.  Another teacher saw her using them and borrowed them for his lesson the next class period!  A third teacher heard about them and came to see what we had brought.  We shared two other sets of materials…  and we ended up teaching him how to play Bananagrams!  Godfrey came by while we were playing, and he played with us too.  They were amazed to hear that we play it with our families at home for fun.  It was challenging for them, particularly to play in English, so we showed them quickly how it could also be played in Swahili.  We’ll try it again tomorrow… maybe even with some kids!


  • Cleaning out and creating an inventory (an Excel spreadsheet, no less) of materials on the Teacher Resource Shelves. We’re throwing away puzzles that are missing pieces, old word cards that aren’t full sets, and items that are covered in a solid layer of dust and haven’t been touched in years!  We’re making an inventory of items to be borrowed, and preparing space for the materials we’ve taught this trip.  We’re also making a list of things they will use frequently enough to have in their classrooms.  They’re sharing right now… we’ll send the extra materials with the next trip in late July!


  • Watching Van lead two classes through exercises for TRACK!!!  Students and teachers alike were doing exercises called “high knees,” “grapevine,” “toe touches” power walking, and more… and laughing!  It was awesome!  They loved it… and it was SO good for them… physically and neurologically (they were learning to cross the midline!)


On our walk back home, Kili peeked over the clouds.  It was a great day!  We can hardly wait to see what tomorrow holds. THANK YOU for sending, supporting, and praying!  Keep it up… it’s making all the difference in the world!    Mungu aku bariki!