Monday, January 25, 2010

I am a Teacher!

So far I have done two different English lessons with real French students! Last week I did a beginner's lesson, and today I did an intermediate lesson. My first lesson topic was about going to the movies and today's lesson was cooking. I have enjoyed both of them. What I don't enjoy is the teacher training droning on about all this technical stuff that is no fun at all. I want to have more practice lessons. What is frustrating, and only a tiny bit helpful, is his very picky critiques of how we do our lessons. I mean, some suggestions I can understand and do think are helpful, but others I just think he is being a little too picky. I think my self-evaluations are more helpful than him. Anyway, the other student, who has been a primary school teacher for 20+ years, says I look like a natural teacher. Today, both Jacques and Cathy, the French couple I am staying with, attended my lesson and enjoyed it a lot. Jacques usually never comes to any lessons and I begged him to come to mine. He said he was too embarrassed. He has only been to a couple lessons in the past, so I was sure that no matter what I said, he wouldn't come. But, as I was getting ready, I saw both Cathy and Jacques walk in the door and I was so excited that he had come, all my nerves disappeared! I didn't feel the least bit nervous. No shaking or any worries messing me up. I did worry a little because my timing on the activities did not go exactly as I had hoped, so I am afraid I rushed a little bit. Anyway, altogether both my lessons were successful and enjoyable for me and seemingly enjoyable for the other students. The other intermediate student there was a man named Saidou from Mauritania. That is just north of Senegal so I have been anticipating getting to talk to him a little bit. Since I spent almost four months in Senegal, it was nice to see someone who has been there and lives near there. We did an activity where they were put into pairs and had to make a list of ingredients and share with the class. Then class would then guess what dish it was. His dish ended up being the famous ceebujen. That is the fish and rice dish of Senegal and now I know it is also famous in Mauritania as well. This isn't surprising since the Wolof people can be found in the Gambia and other surrounding countries near Senegal. Ceeb is the wolof word for rice and jen is the word for fish. I believe that u is a form of and. Don't quote me on that, but it does make sense. I am hoping next time I will have a chance to talk to him more about Mauritania and Senegal. I am thinking of returning to Morocco for a couple weeks after the program is done. I don't have any job prospects at the moment and I would rather not stick around here in the middle of the French countryside. Not that it isn't beautiful, but it is winter, and I am in need of a change of scenery. I will be happy to see Zineb and all her family again!

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