If you read the previous post, you know that I had my first Uzima outreach training today!!! I have been working every day on Uzima communications (blog, newsletter, and photo-documentation), New Life scheduling, and even some New Life communications, but today was my first outreach training. The audience was Msufini Secondary School and the subject matter was passive, aggressive, assertive, and passive/aggressive communication. The lesson plan has been adapted many times through the week. At first, I planned to conduct the lesson co-teaching with Princely. Unfortunately he’s out of town so I flew solo on this one.
|practicing in the New Life office|
Yesterday afternoon I learned that the training was not to be given for the audience of 40 I had planned for, rather for over 200 students: the whole secondary school.
I remapped again last night and this morning and arrived at the school feeling relatively prepared given the circumstances.
My lesson went well. The kids were nervous and shy. Hopefully I will be able to overcome that obstacle in the future by requesting smaller groups. That way they will all have to participate and then they’ll realize it’s fun to communicate, and it’s all uphill from there (the good kind of uphill).
The interactive activities were most effective. Through physical participation, they overcame some nerves. Specifically, I led an exercise called Rag Doll where 8 participants came up and split into two groups of four. Each group had one “rag doll” who the other three group members had to mold into an aggressive, passive, assertive, and then passive/aggressive person. Then the class identified certain qualities that made each character exude each category of communication. It was fun and made them laugh. The only one that got a little out of hand was the passive ragdoll because the three molders started tossing their ragdolls around to show passive behavior instead of giving them a passive stance.
This was an example of where the language barrier was a challenge. It took me a while to get them to stop tossing the two students around because I didn’t know how to ask them in Swahili. Luckily I had a translator there to help me out.
|Ragdoll in Action|
(notice the conga...my dress ripped as I was getting out of the car...whoops!)
The need for translation made the process somewhat slow, but it was worth it. Though the students are meant to be fluent in English by secondary school, these kids were not. Much of my lesson would have gone to the wind without my translator there to help, so I am extremely appreciative. I still communicated the first half of the lesson in the time allotted and this half was the most important part.
What’s more is the headmistress of the school wants to continue the training and has asked us to return next Friday. Looks like we passed the test!