I’m so excited to be able to post a brand-new, circa 2020 “Teacher Feature” at long last!

Teacher Features were meant to be glimpses of our incredible tutors in their own words: tidbits on what drew them to their work at Toa, what they’ve learned on the job; and of course where they come from, what their early experiences were like.

Unfortunately, we were terribly late to debut the idea, so the ones previously posted on this blog are from 2016 – basically, a lifetime ago!!  But due to the pandemic and closing of schools, we finally found the time to put pen to paper and re-launch the series now.

Since it was Rose Assey with whom we inaugurated the Teacher Features, so it will be Rose again.  Here she is – 2.0 – Rose Joseph Assey, Head Tutor, Kiboriloni Primary School, in her own words:

When I was a little girl in school, I used to love studying and playing with the other children in school.  Also, I loved when our school participated in tournaments against other schools in all sorts of games, though my favorite game was netball.

My dream work was to become a teacher as both my parents were teachers.  When I completed O-Level secondary school, my parents took me to a vocational school, where I did not last as I dropped out to go join a teachers college.

Before joining with Toa Nafasi, I used to teach at a kindergarten named Second Chance in Msaranga.  I really loved and enjoyed teaching little kids but mostly I loved playing with them.  I’m really happy and excited to work with Toa Nafasi as I am doing what I love and enjoy doing.

I heard about Toa Nafasi from a teacher who used to work for Toa Nafasi.  I then sent my applications and was called for the interview.  Luckily, I was selected and started on probation for three months.  Thereafter I was successfully employed, and ever since my life has not been the same.  I became independent and I could also support my mother.

If I was not working for Toa, I would be a regular kindergarten teacher which means less fun because at Toa, the psychology is quite different.  The kids are taught in a different way from regular classes and in that difference is where the fun is.

I hated being whipped from childhood but as a child I believed that a child cannot learn without being whipped.  So when I heard that, at Toa Nafasi, kids learn without being caned, I was curious to see and I’m truly amazed that kids learn without whips – just games and extra attention!

My biggest accomplishment with Toa Nafasi has and will always be the knowledge that I now possess, the understanding and appreciation of differences among kids and people generally.  I have seen kids who, in regular settings are considered incapable, become really capable kids and able to go their way.  I can’t wait for this disease (Covid-19) to end so we get back in schools and help these kids to become better individuals.

There are several good things that have happened to me during my presence in Toa but the one that is outstanding is that last year, we went to SEKOMU for the IASE Conference.  It was a beautiful experience as I went with my fellow colleagues to Lushoto where I saw many amazing things.  First was the climate as it was very beautiful though cold but very nice.  There where hills everywhere and going up the hills gave me chills which was thrilling and very amazing.  I remember that in school, we were taught about the Usambara Mountains but I had never seen them!  Anyway, while we were there I met a lot of people from all over the world.  We also visited Lutindi Mental Hospital which was another amazing thing to see and learn about different people and have the chance to ask about their backgrounds.

During my time with Toa, above all else I have learned that kids need LOVE more than anything else and only through LOVE can a kid learn effectively.  I have also learned that nothing is impossible and if it seems like it is, just try it a different way and use a different technique.

From the experience that I have had with Toa in dealing with kids who struggle in learning, parents should not segregate kids according to how they perform in school or anywhere.  They should treat all kids the same with genuine love and support them.  And teachers should not hate kids who learn differently but they should tolerate them and be considerate, and both parents and teachers should consider children’s rights.