"Tee-cha" "Tee-cha"

volunteer abroad in Tanzania teaching
After a sleepless night I was worried I was gonna be completely useless at my placement Step-Up Centre, a pre-primary school.

Fortunately, kids have a way of re-energizing you, and before I left I had promised to give them my best no matter how tired I would be due to jet-lag, so I sucked it up, and powered forward.

volunteer abroad in Tanzania Snack TimeWhen we arrived, the full-time teacher, Hussein, introduced us to the children, "These are your new tee-chas, say, Hello tee-cha!" And in unison, 26 sweet little voices welcomed us into their school. We observed them singing together as a group and then got into the lessons for the day.

The kids were divided between 2 rooms, the school used to be a house and was converted to a school by its founder. In one room there were 3 yr olds, and then in a larger room, kids ages 4/5 who were more advanced, were at one long table, and those who were not quite up to their peers were at separate table.

I was working with 4/5 yr olds who were struggling with math, a feeling I know all too well. #WeSpeakTheSameLanguage
I helped them will simple addition (about all I can do with any sort of confidence) and graded their work.

We then played "math bingo" with colored plastic straws cut into pieces and just as we were about to have a winner, one of the children sneezed and blew all the pieces off boards. It was a laugh out loud moment.

It was an amazing and eye-opening first day.

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