Week Two: School Based Training
*Sorry long post*
Nze Chantelle. Nva California, kumpi ne Sacramento. Kati mbeera Central Uganda. Ndi musamasa, nsomesa abana.
One of the three Peace Corps goals is to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. With that, I will do my best to incorporate Luganda into each of my posts.
For my English speaking friends: My name is Chantelle. I am from California, near Sacramento. I now stay in Central Uganda. I am a teacher, I teach children.
As part of our Peace Corps Education sector training, we have been participating in an intensive school based training (SBT) for the past two weeks. This afternoon we completed SBT and are now preparing to move onto our homestays, where will concentrate on language training. On the way, I will also and visit my future site.
Through it all, I have had of a lot of mixed emotions. Saying goodbye to my P4 kiddos was really hard. And yes, I realize that if it was hard for me to leave these kids after only knowing them for two weeks, it is going to be impossible to leave after two years. Side note: please don’t be surprised if I extend for a year. Anyways, my pupils were incredible and it was an extreme blessing getting to teach them for two weeks. I can’t believe it’s finished nor can I believe that I will no longer be going to be teach at Kira. This weeks’ lessons all went fairly well. Some lessons I was more “on point” than others, but they all went rather well, ultimately leaving me feeling overall good with how I taught. I have ways to move forward and I hands down gained a world of confidence with my teaching in Uganda. Most importantly, I fell in love with my tiny humans and the Ugandan classrooms. I am thrilled to move to my site and begin teaching at my school! Only a few short weeks left!
Before I close the chapter of my SBT experience, I want to throw out some shout outs. First, thank you to my kick ass P4 co-teachers. Our cohesiveness was out of this world; our fluidity in our individual teaching and even more so our co-teaching was unlike anything that I have experienced. (Shout out to PC Uganda for picking a team I couldn’t have put together better if I tried!) To my co-teachers: I am so thankful that I also get to call you all friends. Thank you for making this a rad past two weeks that I will never forget. Another shout out to Justin, one of our cohort’s trainers and our fabulous P4 mentor, for the duration of SBT- you were patient, helpful, caring, unbelievably encouraging, ridiculously good at always meeting our needs, and of course giving feedback that will foster our growth as teachers. Thank you to all the other Peace Corps staff members and trainers who gave me feedback to help me become a better teacher. You were all encouraging, kind, and so helpful with making my lessons just that much better. Thank you for confirming my purpose and position as a Peace Corps volunteer; your encouragement that my passion is visible, is an incredible feeling. Thank you to my other fellow Peace Corps Trainees who watched my lessons and gave me feedback to perfect my craft, but also gave me kind words about lessons. And last but not least, thank you to Kira for welcoming us all with arms wide-open and loving hearts. Getting to teach P4 was incredible and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
So let’s keep going, another emotion I am feeling is pure excitement about getting to visit my site and meeting my supervisor and counter part (essentially my mentor teacher). Knowing that I will get to see my home for the next two years is so overwhelming, but incredible. I have a home that I get to live on my own for the first time. And it’s where my dream of living in Uganda is being fulfilled. Bring on future site visit; it’s going to be an incredible time! The unknowns are out there, and I can’t wait to begin to encounter them! In other words: Get me to my site, yesterday.
My last emotion is incredible sadness. On Saturday, I am saying goodbye to my fellow Peace Corps Trainees. I won’t see them for three and a half weeks and when we do see each other again, it will only be about a week before we will be separated again. My cohort has become my people, my support system, and the people I go to when I need. I have also gotten close to the Peace Corps Volunteer Trainers and they are all living much further from me than I’d like. Needless to say, I’m not ready to say goodbye. Especially because I don’t know how long it will be till I see them again. Each of the people I have met have become family and let’s be real, goodbyes to family suck.
We have been in Uganda for five weeks. It has been the best five weeks of my life. Truly an incredible adventure, so here’s to the next four weeks before swearing in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. This adventure is only beginning and it’s already surprised me, pushed me, and grew me in more ways that I could put into words.