Hi, I am Pippa, and I am the newest member of the TFFT team based in Arusha. I am Australian by nationality, but I have been raised, by wonderful parents, with a love of different cultures and a desire to travel and experience the world as it really is.
I personally never expected to end up a teacher, but having had some amazing teachers in my primary and tertiary years juxtaposed with some below average ones in my secondary, I realized the difference that a good teacher could have, and that there was a need for teachers who had a real passion for sharing their love of learning and a strong sense of advocacy for young people.
I have loved my time teaching, having had the privilege to work with some truly amazing and inspirational teachers and students in a variety of settings over the years. To be involved in guiding, inspiring and supporting students to find their own paths and reach their potential is an honour that I have never taken for granted.
Early in my teaching career, I found my life turned up-side-down when I moved to Vanuatu, a small archipelago of islands in the South Pacific, to live and teach as a volunteer. My values and assumptions were challenged and I discovered what it truly meant to be alive. Not for a moment have I ever regretted that decision, even though it significantly changed the shape that my life took.
Unsurprisingly, the idea of working with a different culture again has been on the edge of my mind ever since, recognizing the amazing wealth of experiences and opportunities out there. This year, I hit a point where my life goals needed a serious rethink, and I knew I needed to make some changes the put my life more closely in line with my values. So when I found out about the position funded through the Australian Volunteers International program at TFFT, it felt as though it was just what I had been looking for. My time in Vanuatu helped me to see how difficult it can be, even for dedicated and motivated teachers, to build on their skills and practice when the existing infrastructure can’t easily support it, so the discovery that there was an organization dedicating resources to trying to change that situation in the Arusha region was inspiring to me. I had been to Tanzania in the past and cherished my time there, so I could not pass up the opportunity, even though it meant leaving behind my life in Australia, to go and share my educational skills and experience with local colleagues and in turn learn from them.
My role is to help build the Teacher Training Program further, to connect with more teachers, and to do it in a context that is appropriate to them, and meets their immediate needs. I have had considerable experience in running various forms of professional development, worked on resource, textbook and course creation, examination assessment, and had numerous different educational and leadership roles throughout my career, so my hope that these skills and experience can be put to the best of use here at TFFT. With high aspirations and the knowledge of best practice behind us, we in the Teacher Training Program plan to help (and hopefully inspire) local teachers to develop the skills to reshape their professional context so that the education experience here is the best that it can be for both students and teachers alike.
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