“Before I heard of Mwangaza in 1998, I lectured and students listened. I thought I was the source of all knowledge. I have come to know that teachers and students are all learners, that we are learning from each other,” admitted teacher Elidaimea Mbise. Mr. Mbise has taught mathematics in Lutheran schools for over 12 years. He was quite ashamed to admit that he was going about teaching the wrong way, but he was quick to check himself and change for the better. “The students need to be taught by different strategies. I now know how to involve students from the start to the end.” Mwangaza helped him realize the error in his form of teaching, but they did not want him to feel bad about his mistakes. A teacher who can admit his or her faults and strive for change is a worthy teacher. Mr. Mbise had many valuable assets in his favor, including his vast knowledge of mathematics. At the seminars, he learned to channel his knowledge into constructive learning techniques to become a well-rounded, successful teacher.
Now, Mr. Mbise is far more confident in his ability to teach his students, but that is not all he gained from his Mwangaza experience. He is part of a select group of teachers responsible for educating their colleagues across the nation. Mwangaza wants research-based teaching strategies to reach every corner of the nation, a dream only made possible through teachers such as Mr. Mbise. This a leadership role he takes very seriously, as it has sparked an unknown confidence in him. “I’m now comfortable with leadership. At first, I felt worried. But as time went on, I felt okay. I now have the confidence.”
His confidence is well-founded, as he does a fabulous job. He knows he has Mwangaza to thank for his newfound pride and skills, and without the help of donors, Mwangaza would not be what it is today. “They want Tanzanian teachers to develop professionally, and they believe in us,” he said. “Mwangaza is doing wonderful work. Donors’ money is not getting lost.”