“I’m packing my teaching philosophy”
This week, Ottawa University students, Hannah Adam and Peter Grant-McKechnie, are packing their bags in preparation for a journey to Longido, Tanzania.
The Faculty of Education students are excited to go and help further the education of TEMBO- sponsored girls who will be participating in TEC, TEMBO’s three week summer camp program. Over 60 girls who are currently attending secondary school, will participate in this program which is designed to reinforce their language, academic and life skills. The program, run by Canadian teacher volunteers, is in its seventh year and has proven to be very instrumental in helping the girls achieve academic success.
Hannah and Peter both specialize in music. Hannah plans to “incorporate her love of music into the activities with the girls.” She adds that she “loves to sing and enjoys making that part of my teaching.” Peter has created a small playlist of some of his favourite tunes. He hopes to have many opportunities to use rhythm and singing in his teaching.
Hannah sees that her greatest challenge will be working through the language barrier. She knows that although the language of instruction in Tanzanian secondary schools is English, the students’ command of that language is exceptionally weak. The girls’ first language is Maa (the language of the Maasai) and then Swahili, (the official language of Tanzania). TEMBO teachers must work hard to help the girls develop functional English subject-specific vocabulary, a necessary requirement for academic success.
Peter who has never before left North America, is looking forward to “meeting the Maasai people and seeing Tanzanian geography and wildlife.” He feels that all of this will be “very mind-blowing and intriguing.” What does he feel will be the greatest challenge? “Teaching in an unfamiliar environment without having any technology to fall back on.”
When asked what she plans to pack for her journey to help with her teaching, Hannah says that she is taking the most important thing: her teaching philosophy. She adds that, “Every student wants to and can learn and it’s the teacher’s job to teach a student to the point where she can be a leader in her own educational journey.”