Like most senior education majors, Hannah Schaap ’13 of Mahomet, Illinois, is spending her final semester student teaching. That experience has been unique. While most of her fellow student teachers were gaining their field experience in local schools, Schaap was teaching in Nairobi, Kenya, for the first seven weeks of the semester.
As part of Trinity’s new Semester in Kenya program, Schaap fulfilled half of her student teaching requirement at the Mulandi Primary School while living at the Daystar Academy with other Semester in Kenya students.
On her blog, Schaap describes this transition period between being student and becoming a teacher, and the challenges that came along with teaching a third grade class who “seemed terrified” of her. As the weeks passed, Schaap developed a relationship with those students and wrote, “A lot of them were really sad and kept asking why I had to go home.”
After returning to Illinois recently, Schaap said, “The most meaningful and exciting part of teaching in Africa was getting to see how other children learned. It was incredibly different than how American students learn, but amazing to see how each one of them is a child of God and deserves to be educated.”
Schaap has been completing her student teaching at a 5th grade classroom in Hoover Elementary School in Calumet City as she prepares for graduation and her future as a teacher.
This summer, Schaap, who ran on the track and cross-country teams and continued to run during her time in Kenya, will be participating in Bike the U.S. for MS. The transcontinental route will take Schaap from Yorktown, Virginia, to San Francisco, California: 70 miles per day for 60 days.