When we woke up Monday morning it was still dark out side and we began the task of packing the van and traveling to Shiston Secondary School. We were prepared for forty eight teachers from the five ward secondary schools but were worried that no one would show up. We had no idea what to expect or whether the teachers even wanted to be part of the workshop. We arrived at the school by 8:15am and began to set up the classroom, registration table and supplies. The first few teachers were from Shiston and slowly other teachers arrived from the Leguruki Ward until we had thirty two teachers. We were pleased that so many people had made the effort to come to our workshop. Many of the teachers had to travel a great distance either by foot or a ride on a piki piki (motorcycle taxi.) We introduced our day with an explanation of what EBB was then with the help of a local teacher drafted a community agreement that would guide our day. We were also fortunate to half both the Ward Education Officer who spent the day at the workshop, Ndekiruz M. Uriu and District Education Officer (DEO), Mama Mchome there to officially open the workshop. The DEO welcomed EBB and the teachers and her words echoed the goals of the workshop.
Highlights of the DEO's welcome:
- transition from teacher centered to learner centered
- involve students in learning
- have students be a source of knowledge
- she was sure that teachers would benefit from the seminar
- greatest challenge is to work with students who are in our class physically but not mentally
- share knowledge with teachers
- we all have things in common. Canadian teachers will also learn from Tanzanian teachers. We will collaborate.
- make sure to ask question of Canadian teachers and Tanzanian colleagues
- teaching is an art. We all may teach differently but we can learn from others.
- try to learn as much as possible from colleagues and our new friends
- when we plan for teaching we need to think of many factors
We were pleased the high participation from all of the Tanzanian teachers. The teachers were enthusiastic and curious about collaborative learning. We discussed the rationale behind collaborative learning, introduced methods to use collaborative learning in the classroom and introduced inquiry learning and the idea of essential questions. The day was a wonderful opportunity to share teaching methods and exchange ideas about our various school systems, challenges and needs. At the end of the workshop there were eighteen teachers from four schools who requested school visits over the next two days to help support the implementation of collaborative learning techniques in the classroom.
Please look at photos from the workshop: http://www.educationbeyondborders.org/photo/albums/teacher-workshop...
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