tiistai 30. toukokuuta 2017

What kind of a teacher I'd be...

I met these wonderful people in a village where I went with a member of Kilitech, which is a organization that has done a lot when working with the local people to improve the situation in the village (see more: https://www.kilitech.org/majengo-village ). After visiting this village I begun to think what kind of a teacher I'd be - and what kind of a person i am. Because: the main thing is, who you are, what are your values, what would you like to achieve in your life, how do you treat other people. The time in Tanzania gave me the opportunity to find more about my self as a person and as a teacher.

Picture: I tried one of the sewing machines in the village - and found out I  could remember how to use this! My mam used to have one like this when I was a kid.

What else did I find out?

I love to meet new people and it's so easy to get to know them. They seem to think it's easy to talk to me. I managed in situations which differ so much from the situation here in Finland. I had no troubles and did not get upset when something happened and had to admit the situation. I made many friends. I never got mad about things that did not work, never were tired about the differences in our cultures, had no need to complain...So I'm a resilient person, or flexible.

For some reason I seem to have the ability to touch others. May be it's because I do not pretend to be something I'm not? And may be the others can feel that I really respect them? May be they see how interested I'm in them? May be they can feel how enthusiastic I get easily? How much I enjoy being with other persons and groups?

As a teacher I'm going to be all this - and something more. I know I'm able to use my creativity when needed, use different methods to support the students, push them when needed, encourage them, enjoy with them. Be happy with them!

maanantai 29. toukokuuta 2017

Teaching in M.I.T.

Here I'm with some of my students and one of the teachers, Patrik. As you can see, the classroom was quite small and usually it was so packed you could hardly walk there. But it was nice - and hot. There were no air condition so you had to keep the windows open and then it was so noisy you had difficulties to hear what the students were saying. For some reason they spoke in such a quiet voice; I noticed that some young persons spoke quietly in some other situations, too; may be that was a way to show they respect you. The relations between the teacher and the students were not formal but not informal - something between, I guess. It was different than in Finland. There was kind of a friendly atmosphere all the time but every one was behaving in a nice way. We had some problems understanding each other - my English and their English were different - but we managed. And I enjoyed it a lot! Some times I met some of the students in the city center when I was there by my self and it was so nice to greet them and to be greeted by them. I felt so comfortable; hey, I have people here - others than people with whom I was living - who know me!

We had interesting discussions during the lectures. I could see the students were clever and eager to get to know more about the world we live. And I was eager to learn from them and they taught me a lot. I miss them and hope to be back with them some day!

Before I left Finland I did my "digimarks" and prepared to use many different kinds of methods when teaching. But you know what? There were no opportunity to use them. There were some computers but they were needed to other groups. One day I got the computer and the projector and was going to have a slide show. But there were no electricity...So I had to use my other methods and that was using the white board again...And we talked a lot. At first the students were shy about talking but the more we talked, the more they wanted to talk.

Memories about Tanzania

My period in Tanzania is over - and I came back home to Finland with so many memories...I'd like to share some of them with you. Just be patient and wait, I'll write here and add some more pictures but it'll take some time; last week I was still doing my latest studies and this week I'm preparing the party to my my doughter and to my son - they are both graduating from the college. And it will be my own graduation, too - I can call me as a vocational teacher! Remember, it's different here in Finland than in some other countries: even you already have a degree, you have to get another to be a "proper" teacher in the vocational school. Here it takes about three years to get a profession from the vocational school, in some countries you just take courses...

I'm missing Tanzania some much I'd never had believed it beforehand...You may ask why and what's that I'm missing. There are many things that made my time in Tanzania so precious: people there, climate, scenery...I loved teaching there, I loved to get to know different people and their culture, the way they were living there. I met so many people who were doing so much good without resources enough.

I had the opportunity to meet people you'd never be able to meet as a tourist. Of course I went to a safari as a tourist and had great time there. That was not the point there to me. I'll tell you more after a time!

tiistai 18. huhtikuuta 2017

A day in Mahapusu, the Juvenile jail

My working place was closed and will be closed until next Monday so I went to the Mahapusu which is a juvenile jail for the young people who have committed some crimes. Their ages vary between 11 and 17 and there mostly boys there but also some girls. The boys have one bedroom which they share and the girls share the other bedroom. Then there is one classroom and a playground. There are usually many volunteers there; right now three in the morning and two in the afternoon.

The reasons why the kids are there are many: robbery, burglary or even murder (that's not common). Sometimes the reason is the family with so many problems it's better for the kid to stay some where else. Some of the kids have been in school but some haven't so when trying to teach them it's not easy. The staff there don't tell you much about the backgrounds of the kids so you have to find out by yourself, can the kid read or write in Swahili and/or in English at all. Every kid here needs English because in the secondary school they have all the teaching only in English.

I talked with the "boss" there over an our and tried to understand the system they have here. We have for some reason difficulties to understand each others but finally we got the understanding. I suggested that we schould make some kind of a plan how we schould teach the kids. I told it's vast of time if we do not do the teaching in a systematic way. So now the plan is that we devide the kids in three levels in every subject - at least in English and Swahili. We also want to have more lessons, right now there is only one lesson in the morning and one in the afternoon. I went to center today to in order to buy some kind of a book for reporting but I didn't remember it...(in spite of that I went to a western store and bought cheese - that's something I haven't eaten here at all. And it was so good!)

maanantai 17. huhtikuuta 2017

Life after safari

There were five of us going to a safari last weekend and I'll tell you more later when I get pictures from other participants. But I tell you it was just amazing, something I'm not able to tell you. It was so beautiful there! We went to Ngorongoro and to Tarangire and saw lions, elephants, giraffes and many many other animals.

This week my school is closed, it's Easter holiday. First they told me it was going to be five days but then last week they decided it will be a longer holiday and the school will begin 24th this month. So I decided to go and visit the Rau Day Care Center for one day and this week I'll go and visit the juvenile jail Mahabusu.

I've been thinking how to prepare my next lessons when I'm back in my school. It's not easy because they don't tell me what do they expect from me. So next lesson will be about Children's Rights and the next about The Effects of Childhood Stress. And again I've made mind maps, also some documents which I'm going to copy somewhere; there is no possibility to do that in my school so I'll have to find a place in town.

When thinking about the matters I earlier mentioned, I have to think about the culture differences between Tanzania and Finland. There is no point to teach some matters the students can not "take into their own life",  to digest them. Such matters do not make any sense to them. I'm going to tell the basic matters and then try to make them discuss and go deeper. That's not going to be easy because they are not used to discuss different matters. Usually there is no time for that ;  students are busy writing everything the teacher is writing in to the whiteboard. They have no books, they do not use computers...
 Below are some mind maps, sorry they are not that clear and the other is almost upside down but you get the idea (I put these here because I want to so my tutor Maarit that I'm studying here...)

torstai 13. huhtikuuta 2017

How to use different methods when teaching...

I can not trust the matter that I'd be able to have the computer and the projector when teaching so I make mind maps of different kinds. This an easy way to show the students the big picture of the matter we are having. It also gives you the opportunity to add more issues while teaching and you are able to go back to some subject easily if for example some one asks questions.

There are always some students coming late to the lesson (because of the rain or something else...) so when using the mind map they can see what's going on and they can catch the teaching.
This is the school where I'm having my internship. It's right in center of Moshi, which is situated in North Tanzania.  The population is about 150 000 and the Kilimanjaro can bee seen from the town and it's huge and beautiful. It's not common for Tanzanians to go and climb to Kilimanjaro: that's something for the tourists. Moshi is said to been the cleanest city in Tanzania and that might be true. People usually burn their trash in their backgrounds or just beside the streets so you can smell the smoke all time. I was surprised to notice that it's not a bad smell.