Stephanie Wachira is a second year student at University of Nairobi’s School of Medicine. She applied to work for School Series as a mentor during her holiday. She is a natural leader who likes to counsel and mentor her peers as well as those younger than her.
Here is her account of her experience working with School Series:
I had decided even before I did my final exams that I would look for a job during my holiday. A friend told me about School Series and what they were doing in high schools and I was impressed. It seemed like the kind of work I wanted to do.
Teaching was a new experience but the training prepared us well to face the students. My first training session was interesting. Betty was really pleasant and she engaged us a lot. She set aside some time to list down the topics in tool 1 and 2 gave us a guide on how we could teach them. I used this system all through when preparing for a class. It helped me cover the tools within the prescribed time and at the same time to organize my thoughts.
My first session with students was in Uthiru Girls. I concerned about how I would find my way to the schools we were going to. I had never been to the parts of Nairobi where most of them were, for example, Uthiru Girls High School and Nembu Girls High School. I boarded the wrong bus and ended up somewhere in Uthiru town asking for directions to the school. I got late and was so worried I would be dismissed on the spot. Angela showed me a lot of patience that day which made me know that I had reasonable supervisors. I vowed never to be late again.
My next challenge was to win over the students. For my first week I had a partner in every session giving me time to settle in and interact with the students in a low pressure situation. I took time to learn the students in the different schools, to know their attitudes, and outlook towards life. After that, it became easy to deal with different classes of students according to how they presented themselves. I must confess I had a wonderful time with all the students in all the schools!
What I liked the most about my time with School Series was the training sessions. For me they were sessions to empower me, so I could go out to the schools and empower the students. I must confess, I grew as I taught those students!
By Stephanie Wachira