A Seasoned Teacher

1 year of teaching, completed!!! 12 months in Ethiopia finished!

June 14-June 20

I have to say, that my last week of teaching was full of mixed emotions. I was working hard to stuff as much knowledge into my students’ heads as possible, getting a little sad that my time with them was winding down, but also getting excited that my summer break was approaching.

I spent much of the last week reviewing and going over main points that I knew were on their final exam. I learned from last semester and hijacked the final test writing. Last semester, I had no idea how to review with my class because I had no clue what was on the test until I was grading my students’ exams. This semester, I offered to find the reading passage and write the questions. I then said that I had gone ahead and typed it, and that everyone else could just give me their questions to add to the final. Usually they just give hand written questions to the school secretary, who types the exam. English is not her first language and there are many mistakes on the exam. It makes an English exam a bit difficult. As a teacher, it helps to know what to review with your students! My students showed amazing improvement on this final exam.

Below I have photos of my students from my first year of teaching in Ethiopia. These students will forever hold a special place in my heart. It is difficult for me to believe that a whole year has passes since I moved to Ethiopia, and that I have completed a full school year of teaching. I saw so much growth in these 9th graders, and am tremendously proud to have been their teacher.

Walking into class, at the beginning of last year, was nerve racking for me. My students were amazingly patient with me. I know that they barely understood a single word I was saying. They were used to teachers speaking a lot in Amharic and then using some English. I only spoke in English. However, by the end of this school year, I could easily make jokes and the whole class would instantly laugh along with me. I loved seeing this improvement in them.

Not only did I see growth in them but I have seen an incredible amount of growth in myself. I recall how nervous I would get each time I would get ready to walk the 2 minutes to school. I would have to psych myself up to leave my house and then to walk in front of my classroom of 50 students. I don’t know if they knew that I was overwhelmed by them or by teaching. I laugh now thinking about it. Now, I walk into class and it seems like the most natural thing in the world. It didn’t even phase me when I was teaching tutorial classes and combining both of my sections, playing jeopardy with 85 students. Somehow, it made it even more fun. I will miss each and every one of them!

I look forward to my next year of service and all the challenges and experiences it will bring. I am excited to meet new people, learning new things, and having a wonderful time in the place I call home.

Until next time,

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