Get to Know: Emanuel Mrema, Mentor
Emanuel Mrema is a Social Sciences Mentor at Natiro Secondary School in Tanzania.
What made you want to become an educator?
Emanuel Mrema: Three things:
1. Personal inspiration: I wanted to become an educator in order to educate my society, so I can have knowledge on how to overcome the problems and challenges that our society faces in daily life.
2. Inspiration from my role model: I like the way my teacher used to teach me [when I was younger], and I wished to become an educator like him.
3. Surrounding environment: I got different ideas and opinions from the surrounding environment that challenge my society, and from there I realized that the community needs educators.
What else did you like about the way your teachers used to teach you?
EM: I liked the way they used drama and singing songs that relate to the topic taught. Some of them were fun, kind, and were concerned with daily activities of students.
How long have you been teaching and in what type (s) of learning environments? What grade levels/subjects are you currently teaching?
EM: I have been teaching for seven years in the environment with different challenges. I am also teaching Kiswahili and Bible Knowledge. It is Social Science. Most of the people from my environment were carpenters, masons, and farmers, so all these activities are more practical. I am encouraging their children to engage and work hard in the academic arena, both in theory and in practicality.
What positive changes have you observed while implementing Quest Forward Learning?
EM: Positive changes that I have observed are:
- Students are more active/more engaged.
- Students are curious for more knowledge and skills.
- Students can manage themselves looking for answers and sharing them with a mentor.
- Students’ confidence is changing every day.
- Students have the ability to speak English with each other.
- Students have self-reading habits.
- Students have communication skills and collaborate with each other’
Who is your mentor at Quest Forward Learning, and how have they influenced you?
EM: My mentors are Leveri Mlaki, Daniel Mlambo, and other colleagues from the Opportunity Education Foundation. They influenced me through the Quest Forward Learning principles.
Tell us about your most memorable day in the classroom.
EM: The most memorable day in the classroom was when my students produced an artifact from their locality and act on it. As I am a Kiswahili teacher, I was teaching ‘LAFUDHI NA MATAMSHI YA KISWAHILI.’ Some of the students imitate different ways of speaking from different tribes in Tanzania. So they did a role-play where they managed to speak and pronounce as some of the citizens from those tribes, as in the way they speak Kiswahili. It was so interesting!
What is your favorite part about being a mentor?
EM: My favorite part as a mentor is when the learners produce their own work related to the topic and environment and present it in the classroom. Dealing and working with people is the greatest aspect of my work. It makes me able to cooperate with my students and other people through different issues. This makes me feel happy.
What’s your #1 tip for other mentors?
EM: I encourage them to be engaged in active learning and use the Quest Forward Learning principles.
What other hobbies/skills/talents do you bring to your role in the classroom? Do you have other interests that you pursue outside the classroom?
EM: Other hobbies are singing, drama, dancing, drawing also playing games like football, taking care of garden and environment conservation
How would you describe your personality? What makes you laugh or smile?
EM: My personality is calm and funny. Singing makes me smile and watching comedy makes me laugh.
If you could design a quest, what would it be?
EM: If I could design a quest, it would include active learning, a variety of resources, and all the principles of quest design. I would like students to learn about environmental conservation. Students would learn to take care of the environment, such as planting trees and flowers, watering and taking care of them. Also to learn how to treat waste.
Emily Russin is an Editorial Consultant at Opportunity Education, editing and numerous OE publications and articles. With more than 20 years of experience editing and writing for print and online publications, Emily also works as a freelance manuscript consultant and writer in Seattle, Washington.