Gail Misek and friends, Jennifer Mac Arthur and Graham Mulligan, have been planning their return trip to Africa for months. We are teachers and preparation is an obsession with us because if you don’t have an idea of what you want to accomplish when you stand before thirty eager kids, you are sunk. We met and discussed issues and goals, impressions from prior visits, ideas of what could or should be included, almost anything that came to mind while preparing to come to Kenya to engage in professional training of teachers. The book 3 Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortensen, argues for the outsider to take time to listen and show respect before presenting your own words and ideas. This is our metaphorical ‘second cup of tea’. We have visited two of the three schools we will see this trip, Male Primary and Agano Junior Academy.
In many ways we are the learners in this journey although we carry the label of teacher. We have lesson plans and materials ready and are excited to get going, especially meeting the students again, now a grade older. The teachers, too, will seem like old friends or at least acquaintances that are somewhat familiar. Our real goal is to effect a change that is positive for the students and the challenge is to find the ways to do that most effectively.
We begin in Male Primary School with an ambitious plan to teach Public Speaking to Standard 3 -8 in a week. Our schedule is demanding but we look forward to the challenge.