“Jambo!” is Swahili for “Hello!” and it’s the first phrase the students shout as we enter the classroom at Jitegemee Secondary School.
This high-quality military school is located in the heart of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and is known for its academic excellence. It’s quite easy to imagine how nervous Cadets Chris Lamoureux, Kevin Mills, Madeline Wood, and Olivia Daigle were to be teaching English to such a wide variety of student levels. It was especially nerve racking since English is a second or third language for most of the students.
Nevertheless, we were determined to help the students rise to the challenge of learning English and becoming confident with speaking in front of fellow classmates.
To our surprise, the students were very passionate about their work. They enjoy the activities and are engaged with topics we are teaching. From verb tenses to sports, we cover a wide range to spark the student’s attention. The drive and determination of each student was inspiring because it created an exciting atmosphere that made learning fun.
The students varied in age and grade level, but that didn’t stop us! We simply revised our lesson plans and worked together as a team to accommodate the specific needs of a particular class. Although it has only been a week, already I have developed a deeper understanding of the culture here in Tanzania.
By helping the students learn English, we too gain important knowledge, strengthening our cultural understanding of the world. I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks have in store for us, and of course the students at Jitegemee!