African Modern Arts Project

by East Africa Aid Foundation
Jun 3, 2013

New Energy in Teaching

World Map AMAP School
World Map AMAP School

I recently left Tanzania after volunteering at AMAP for seven weeks.  I saw such incredibly positive change over my time at the school.  When I arrived, I sensed that the three local teachers (for Swahili, math, and English) lacked energy, that they were bored with their routine, and that the children were not learning nearly as much as they could. 

Often children would be left sitting while a teacher searched for the correct exercise books in the overcrowded and unorganized cabinet.  Students would have to wait to start their work because none of the pencils would be sharp.  The kids still loved coming to school and were still getting invaluable instruction, but clearly there was room for improvement. 

            The school felt like a different place by the time I left.  I think the teachers just needed an infusion of new energy and ideas, and to be reminded to expect more from themselves.  After weeks of sharpening pencils myself every day during break and encouraging the teachers to sharpen with me, I was ecstatic upon arriving at school my last week to see the teachers sitting outside, sharpening away.  I said, “Wow!  You’re sharpening today!”  Husseini, the math teacher, smiled and responded, “Not today, Madam, every day!” 

After Saidi, the director of AMAP, had a great new cabinet built, the teachers reorganized all the supplies and materials.  They decided to designate a shelf to each class, and each teacher organized his or her materials the way he or she wanted.

It was wonderful seeing the teachers wrap up their first period class exactly on time, grab flashcards and chalkboards from the cabinet, and dive into their next class.  The best part is that the teachers themselves realized how much better the school is and how much easier their jobs are when they keep their supplies organized, plan ahead, and engage the students. 

The children are excited when the teachers are, and the teachers are engaged when the students are – a wonderful cycle!

Organized Teaching Material
Organized Teaching Material
Learning Flash Cards
Learning Flash Cards

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East Africa Aid Foundation
Project Leader:
Tarek El-Shayal
New York, NY United States

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