The first-year housekeeping students gathered excitedly outside the building, eagerly awaiting to start their first day of classes. After an insightful and busy first week at PROJECT-E, I was nervous to start my lesson plans. Would the students be willing to speak to me in English? Would cultural differences be stressful, amusing, or remarkably different between the two groups? As a new instructor, I was very nervous but excited to see how my teaching would go!
After calling in the students, I was struck at how motivated and keen they were on learning English curriculum. As a fairly large class of twenty students, I would expect that classroom management of the group would be extremely difficult. However, it seemed that the opposite was in fact true – the students were ready to take on the hard challenge of learning new vocabulary, dialogue, and learning customer service skills. I was impressed that the students started to tackle the daily lessons with much enthusiasm. They successfully introduced themselves and had many questions on how to converse in English properly. An exciting and humorous part of the journey was seeing the students attempting to interact in dialogues when presenting various plays. Mixing up phrases and confusion of how to say certain words left both the student and myself laughing.
However, teaching at the centre had many challenges. Frequent power outages meant that equipment would stop functioning properly. This meant that one had to use creativity when it came to teaching the students.
Seeing the direct benefit of education and empowerment on young girls is an inspiring experience. It is inspiring to be part of this movement. It is with great enthusiasm that instructors can join in the good work of seeing how PROJECT-E is changing the lives of local Ethiopian women.
written by Shella Zaidi