Jambo from Zanzibar!
This is my second time returning to Zanzibar and I have to tell you my heart still skips a beat when I see Tamani in action. My love for the children and teachers have grown which I didn’t think was possible. I feel blessed to be back to the serve the Matemwe community and share my expertise as an experienced teacher from England. This year, my aim is to deliver Phonics training for all the teachers so that they feel comfortable enough to plan and teach on their own. As well as this, I am helping them to become more independent in their own lesson planning and show them different teaching strategies.
Last week was an important week for me as I had changed the timetable so that every morning except Friday phonics would take place. After giving the teachers training everyday, I wanted to have a trial run. I really admire the teachers for taking on board my strategies with open hearts and minds. I have also made a weekly phonics planning format in Swahili and English and I sit with them to help them plan. I am making an effort to learn Swahili so that I can relate to the teachers and children better. I am really enjoying learning the language and the teachers always help me out when I can’t think of the word in Swahili!
I have been busy making a lot of phonics resources with whatever I have out here. It takes a long time but the teachers love the new games that I have been showing them and I try and jump in their lessons when I can to show them some fun Maths and English games. After school, I give the teachers training sessions which normally consists of testing them on their phonics and developing it further followed by planning for the next day and using creative ideas in their lessons. Today it was brilliant as the teachers really impressed me with their phonics knowledge! I taught them how to blend sounds today and also segment the sounds in a phoneme frame. I feel so happy that they are absorbing the knowledge and also implementing in practice. They are wonderful, happy teachers who learn very quickly.
On Friday, I planned for no phonics and for the two older classes to have handwriting.It went very well and most of their handwriting is better than I have seen in UK! At the end of the day, all classes watch videos on a projector so I decided to show them a workout video and we did a short routine as a school. Then,we had our celebration assembly where a child from each class was presented with star of the week certificate and a trophy. They were very excited!
I have never seen such happier children. School starts at 8am but most of them are here before 7am and I can hear their laughs from my room. The teachers are also very warm people and I feel a connection with them already. I feel blessed to be here and thankful to God that I can make a small contribution and share my knowledge as a teacher.
Check out the photos and videos on Facebook to see the work so far.