My time teaching in Yaounde, Cameroon is finished for now. During my eleven weeks at Central Government English Primary School I grew as a teacher, and as an all around human being, in so many ways. When I first stepped foot in the school compound I had goals of classroom and behavior management. I had dreams of different pedagogic techniques to try out, and a never ending list of materials I wanted to make. I was really able to dedicate myself 100% into my teaching and work towards my goals and dreams.
When it came to trying things in the classroom, my cooperating teacher put full trust in me and allowed me to try anything I wanted. Wow! What student teacher can say that, I was really lucky to have the opportunities I did. My goals and classroom and behavior management were deeply researched through trial and error during my eleven weeks. There is no one classroom management technique that is going to work for all 35-40 young children in the classroom. I had my overall green, yellow, red system I wrote of before, but then I also developed and used more individual techniques for students who needed more “teacher love and attention,” :).
One of my biggest areas of growth while I was teaching, was my practice in regular education whole class instruction. This was the first time I had my own regular education classroom to myself; before I had either had the support of a peer clinician, or relied heavily on my cooperating teacher. At CGEPS I was challenged to be on my own from the start, and I surely enjoyed the journey. Creating my own curriculum everyday, in all subjects, was brand new to me. I really got the chance to be creative and integrate many different types of lessons. I really enjoyed planning Physical Education, Health Education and Art because I got to integrate subjects like English and Math; which is what we learned how to do successfully in all those millions of methods courses at UWO! Ha, I was actually glad I had to take those two different teaching elementary art methods courses that I use to curse back in 2010. 🙂
My final moments with my students, the faculty, and my many new friends were very tearful, but at the same time full of hope. I’ve never been apart of such an amazing experience where I got to give as much as I received. I cannot put into words fully how I feel living my new home behind for now. All I know is that it is not goodbye, but see you later Cameroon. I fell in love with your country, your people, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our relationship.
^The 2 photos above are from a workshop at the Ministry of Education. I was fortunate enough to be asked to present on teaching young children to read using the Phonics method. The presentation went great and I really enjoyed strengthening my relationships at the ministry.