Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Nkoasenga Secondary School is led by the vibrant Fides Shirima. Shirima was the only school head who attended the principal’s meeting plus all three days of workshops. Shirima’s laugh is infectious but it’s her dedication to her students and school that’s truly admirable. Mkoasenga has German donors who support the school’s infrastructure and provides teaching supplies. The school has two sets of solar panels that provide electricity for lights and a few computers. The grounds of the school are lovely and as I’m writing this I can hear the hum of student voices and birds all with the sun shining on me.
Several workshops participants teach at this school: Morenje, Innocent and Silas which will strengthen the learning of the 320 students. We split up to watch lessons: biology, Kiswahili and History. We saw a variety of techniques from a Think-Pair-Share to a Jigsaw. It was exciting to see teachers trying out the new techniques. After a chai and ndazi break we left for Miririni Secondary School.
At Miririni, Godlisten spotted us as soon as we arrived and ran out of his classroom to greet us. He was very happy that we arrived to visit the school and led us to the staffroom where we found Uswege and Kessy. We signed the guestbook then marveled at the beautiful scenery and the grounds. The school is high in the hills and overlooks Arusha National Park.
I was invited into Uswege’s Form 4 English class along with Zainab. Uswege did a review of poetry terms then formed the 70 students into groups of six. The students wrote down details of the review using Guided Cooperative Lecture then reported to the rest of the class. Then each group was asked to use their notes to help them analyze a poem: The Dying Child by Freeman Peter Lwamba. It was good to see Uswege using collaborative techniques. He explained that he is adding the various collaborative techniques to his teaching practice and sees the benefit in using them.
We enjoyed our visit to the schools and were impressed to see collaborative techniques and inquiry questioning being used in the classrooms.
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