First Week of School Based Training

            Five days. 17 lessons observed. 10 lessons taught. 5 EGRA’s administrated. Countless laughs shared, and many memories made. Skills learned, mastered, and discovered. One terrible lesson (to use the vocabulary word from that lesson) taught. Growth made, anxiety set in, but confidence developed. Those were some of the things I have encountered the last week. And we still have four more days starting tomorrow.
            Let me take a second to break down this week. The first three days were fabulous. I was so confident in my teaching, I had “good” days and I was on cloud 9. I was learning more than I ever could have imagined. Then things went south on Wednesday. My day was crushed when my lesson di not go well. I was devastated. I received cookie cutter feedback from trainers when I wanted clear ways to improve my lessons.
            But here are the facts of life; sometimes you teach and things don’t end well. Sometimes you syllabicate a word incorrectly, sometimes students use the vocabulary word terrible, to describe their parents and friends, and this leads you to feeling like an epic failure as a teacher. Maybe I didn’t do that bad, or maybe I did much worse than I thought I did. Either way I keep pushing, I don’t give up, I am still here, bad day or not, so far the Peace Corps has taught me so much about myself, about teaching, about turning a bad situation into a teachable moment, and finding the good in this bad day. Here was my good from this day; one of my students spelt my name correctly in their book even when it wasn’t written on the board. That same student wants to be president of Uganda one, and several other students want to be pilots, teachers, carpenters, doctors, and so many more things. What beautiful dreams these kids have and I’m so incredibly blessed that I get to witness the beginning of these dreams come true. And to end the day I get to do small group reading intervention with the sweetest tiny humans. We read Rapunzel by Rachel Isadora; we do phonics, read a fluency passage, and learn new vocabulary words. And it’s always exciting and such a joy to watch them get excited for me to read to them and for the to retell the story to me.
Despite Wednesdays teaching disaster week one has been incredible and it’s officially over. I have learned so many new teaching techniques and perfected old techniques. Teaching in Uganda is one of the most rewarding things I get to do in this crazy life of mine. And bragging moment, I had the most rad reading intervention group. Those tiny humans loved reading Rapunzel everyday. They sat close to me and hung on the books every word. And each day when the group was over and we’d stop reading for the day they were so sad and wanted to continue. But on Thursday we finished Rapunzel and they asked to read the book again. So I’m left in awe of the incredible reading group I have had and the love of reading we share. Let’s bring on next week! I’m reading for you!

Here’s to you Uganda! You are beautiful and my greatest adventure, you push me, grow me, stretch me, and give me anxiety, but most of all you show me love, passion, joy, and desire. Uganda you will forever have my heart.


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