Contact SLIK Director Fred Roberts: 520-591-1816

Learning, Teaching, and Living in Kenya

SLIK’s primary focus is to provide an opportunity for high school students to serve as volunteer teachers at one of many primary schools near Batian’s View Experiential Education Center near the town of Naro Moru, Kenya. To help the Americans prepare, they have classes about Kenya’s education system from the headmasters of the schools they will be volunteering. Later, Kenyan teachers assist the students at their respective schools in lesson planning, teaching techniques, and classroom management strategies. The Americans eventually prepare their own lessons and teach classrooms of 20 to 35 excited young Kenyans.

The school day begins at 7:45 and ends at 3:00 PM. The Kenyan students then remain at school until 5:00 PM for tutoring, club meetings, athletic and drama practices, or assisting with school maintenance projects. The American can be involved in this part of the school day as well, supervising the young students and lending a hand when needed. This is the best opportunity for the Americans to work with the Kenyan students in small groups or in one on one tutoring sessions. At the end of the school day the students either walk back to Batian’s View or are picked up by vehicle.

While the busy school day may be over, there is still plenty to do at Batian’s View, where the students stay while in Kenya. Following a late afternoon chai break (spicy Kenyan tea), the students have time for long walks or runs, pick-up games of soccer at a nearby secondary school, or to challenge themselves on the ropes course high in the trees at Batian’s View. The time can also be spent working on lesson plans, preparing lab activities, or simply relaxing and reading in one of the many hammocks strung between the trees on the property.

After a delicious dinner prepared by the chef and staff at Batian’s View, the Americans have lessons in Kiswahili, Kenyan politics, or to hear stories from elders who experienced Kenya’s colonial era firsthand. Several dinners, however, take place in the homes of Batian’s View’s neighbors or Kenyans who are a part of the SLIK program. During these meals the students experience warm hospitality, traditional Kenyan meals, and have another opportunity to learn about everyday life in rural Kenya. The long day often ends back at Batian’s View with epic card or monopoly games, ping-pong matches, catching up with family via email, and hanging out with new friends listening to music.

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My Time in Kenya Was...

Logan Tiggleman, 2023

Logan Tiggleman, 2023

"I must admit that on my first day of teaching I was super nervous and had gotten myself into something that was way out of my league. My students, however, were so happy to see me that there was no way I couldn’t also feel happy and even better to feel so relaxed. Class by class I fell into a comfortable rhythm and could soon call on each student by name. Looking back, I think I turned out to be a pretty good teacher and while I was the one in front of the class holding the chalk, I think I learned much more from my students than they learned from me."