Staff Spotlight: Ms Anna

A creative and engaging educator and Joseph's favourite teacher!
A creative and engaging educator and Joseph's favourite teacher!

When you support St Jude’s, you aren’t just providing free education to the poorest and brightest students in Arusha. You’re supporting almost 300 talented, dedicated staff members committed to fighting poverty in their community. 

Meet Anna – at just 26 years old, the impassioned teacher, is earnest, forthright and a quiet inspiration to our Primary students. 

Ms Anna was chosen for this month’s staff profile by our Appeal Ambassador, and Grade 4 student, Joseph. 

“She knows where she came from; she told us that she started learning under a tree, so she reminds us we are having a free, private education and should always study hard, for everyone,” Joseph said.

Now it’s time for you to hear from Anna herself…

Lifting up future leaders: Anna and her adoring student, Joseph.
Lifting up future leaders: Anna and her adoring student, Joseph.

What is it like to be a teacher in Tanzania? 

Sometimes it is hard for teachers to feel supported in Tanzania. I have always done my best and I love to teach.  I think attitudes towards teachers are slowly changing and it is becoming easier. 

Why did you apply to work at St Jude’s? 

It is a very happy place to be. I love all my students so much – I always wanted to work at this school because it helps our community in such a big way, with so many students and families.

You went to a government school and now you teach at a private school.  What are the key differences you’ve noticed between the two?

Government schools didn’t have enough resources or materials for all of us to learn well. Here at The School of St Jude, we have everything we need for the students to receive a good education. As teachers, we need to be able to have examples of work to show the students; we need books and supplies for them to learn. It is very hard for teachers and students in some government schools without these things.  

A self taught teacher: as a young student, Anna spent her break time teaching herself English.
A self taught teacher: as a young student, Anna spent her break time teaching herself English.

Did you learn to speak English during your time at government school

It is really challenging for children in government schools to learn English because, in primary school, lessons are taught in Kiswahili. I taught myself to speak English and dreamed of becoming a teacher. I learned by reading books under a tree in the school yard. My friends and I used to have discussions about our studies at break times. Some of them spoke a bit of English, so I was able to learn from them. My mother is a teacher and she helped me too. 

Did you have any teachers who inspired you? 

I had two female teachers who really inspired me and encouraged me. I knew I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. Now, I try to use the qualities I learnt from them to inspire my students. A student once gave me a gift and thanked me for being one of her favourite teachers. I felt so proud – like I had made a difference to her. It helped me realise I was doing a good job. I always tell my students stories about when I was at school. I want to be a role model, especially for the girls. 

What are your hopes for your students? 

I would encourage my students to always follow their passions and believe in themselves, even if they fail at something. I always tell them their strengths and encourage them so they can have more self-confidence, especially when they face challenges, which we all do in life.

Life lessons: Ms. Anna and Joseph sharing stories after class.
Life lessons: Ms. Anna and Joseph sharing stories after class.

What is Joseph like to teach?

Joseph is so enthusiastic and always raises his hand to answer questions. His class is one of my favourites to teach because they are so charming and love to have discussions. I want Joseph to always grow and develop, to have confidence in himself, to be a leader, to be doing whatever makes him happy in the future. I wish for him to stay as enthusiastic, curious and hard working as he is forever, he will be a great man for his community. 

Help Anna to educate her charming and curious classes –  donate to our 2017 Appeal

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