29 Jan Ravine Strategic Learning Center in Tanzania
Ravine Strategic Learning Center is a learning center in Mbeya, a small town in South Western Tanzania. Our Wycliffe Bible Translators team is comprised of about 15 units (families, couples, and singles) working in a cluster project to translate the Bible into thirteen local languages.
Please contact Marie Christianson for more information.
We teach children from kindergarten through 8th grade (approximately ages 5-14). We combine ages when possible (often for history and science), but we teach Math and Language Arts by level–and therefore sometimes individually.
There are four families with school-age children. Of these, two families use the learning center as their children’s primary education. The other two families currently homeschool, but participate in our group days, which occur on Wednesday and Friday, at the learning center. New families are also a distinct possibility in the near future.
A Need for a Teacher
There are currently two teachers at this small learning center. A third teacher is soon needed to cover all the different grade levels and content areas. Please contact Marie Christianson for more information.
Desired Qualities of Teachers
We would like new teachers at our learning center to be individuals who enjoy the challenges and freedoms of our non-traditional setting and can adapt to teaching classes of multiple ages and students from multiple countries.
The teachers need to be willing to teach any of the core subjects at any grade level (K-8). We expect them to have their preferences, of course, and we value the specialties each person brings to our team. However, all teachers need to be able and willing to teach all levels and all subjects at some point.
Teachers are expected to take ownership of their classes and to plan for each semester as a whole as well as day-by-day. Formal lesson plans do not need to be submitted, but teachers must be well prepared.
Most of all, we want new teachers to have a heart for missionary kids and will strive to be an example of following God in the midst of an international life full of transition.
We are seeking credentialed teachers (or one working on their credentials) with at least one year of teaching experience.
Donation, Faith Support Required
All Wycliffe missionaries, including teachers, need to raise their own prayer and financial support. A single person at RLC would need something in the range of $2,500/month.
Curriculum Materials Used at RLC
We use a variety of homeschool materials, adapting as fits our situation. We use Math U See Math Curriculum, Sonlight Science, and many elements of Sonlight materials for Language Arts and History.
Evaluation of Children’s Progress
Each year we administer the California Achievement Tests online with all full-time learning center students from grade 2 upwards. (This is also open to part-time students.) We encourage all families to use national achievement tests to evaluate their children’s progress.
Our parents range in teaching experience from those who homeschooled for years before the learning center existed to those who came to Tanzania with babies, not knowing what their options would eventually be. Some degree of willingness to teach is a must for all parents who move here. With the learning center coming on line the amount of home schooling will likely diminish and parents will likely need to be involved at the Center to some degree.
Each semester we look ahead to the coming semester and assess our needs–how many students, of what ages, requiring how many classes, etc. We inform the parents of what type of assistance will be needed for the semester and they decide how best to meet the needs.
The Domestic Side of Teaching and Living at RLC
We all rent houses around town. Singles sometimes share a house if they choose. We will help new teachers look for housing options when they arrive.
It’s very normal (and culturally expected) to have house help, which can be whatever you set up–from weekly cleaning to daily help with shopping, cooking, and cleaning. This is very helpful and even essential, living in a place without dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, or easy meals.
We can get many foods here, and the produce is excellent. What we eat is all made from scratch. Everyone is responsible for their own food, from purchasing to preparation, so devoting some time to training a house helper is invaluable in the long run.
Safety and Potable Water
Mbeya is a lovely town with friendly people and feels very safe. As in any other area, there are cautions that are recommended. (For example, it is not the wisest idea for me, a single female, to walk around outside by herself at night.) Tanzania as a whole is a peaceful country.
Tap water is not safe for drinking, so we all filter our water. Bottled water is available for purchase when needed.
Transport is a matter of personal choice. There are many options for public transportation here. However, if you live in Mbeya town and commute to the learning center in Ifisi it is recommended you consider purchasing a car.