The first day of school was Monday September 10, and the weekend before it, I was feeling SO nervous. I’ve never taught a 5th/6th grade classroom before (or any classroom, for that matter) and certainly never one in another country. I planned the first week of school minute-by-minute, all weekend long, so that I’d be ready to be the best teacher ever. Even with the overkill planning, I woke up early on Monday, with my first day of school outfit ready, to double check my day’s schedule. I got to school and to my classroom, and prayed a quick prayer that God would calm my nerves and make this day a great one. The kids started arriving – (I only have five students to start) and the day began. I have two of the missionaries’ kids and the rest are Tanzanian. One of my students speaks no English at all, poor thing. She is a trooper though, and works very hard to compensate for the language barrier. The kids were shy the first day as we got to know each other, and learn what they like, what they don’t like. I am blessed to have a very creative class, which fits right in with my gifts, and so I had them decorate their journals the first day and they loved it. The school’s philosophy is to let the students be creative and self-led in many ways. So we are trying to avoid having them sit in their desks all day, and do as many activities as possible to keep them engaged.
|My classroom before|
I had to think on my feet quite a bit that first day. The students had lots of questions about the upcoming year, and I didn’t always have an answer for them. Even with my crazy planning, some activities took much less time than I thought they would. A small class goes a lot quicker, I think! We would end something, I’d look at my watch and go “Oh! Well we still have more time…ummm…it’s free reading time now!” We ended up playing a lot more games than I planned but I think it endeared me to them, they all had a good time.
|My classroom after!|
|Another after shot - my classroom wall|
Before I knew it, it was lunch, and then their afternoon every day is full of elective classes and fun activities. They go to Drama, Art, Swahili or ESL, Music, etc and so my time with them was pretty much done. I know any teacher reading this is jealous of that, and I am not complaining at all!! My first day ended and I was so relieved to think, “Hey that wasn’t so bad, was it?!?” The rest of the week was much easier (though still stressful at points!) after I got over the anxiety of that first day.