08 juin 2015

Protests in the Classroom

             Recently, just for the fun of it, I thought I'd get my kids riled up about something. So I started a nice, light and cheery series of lessons about world problems: racism, discrimination, poverty, starvation, the environment, war, deforestation, animal cruelty, you name it, we talked about it. After a brief spate of "this isn't our problem, why are we doing this, miss?", they got really into the subject and started coming up with interesting ideas. I taught them a few expressions... [Lire la suite]

25 mai 2015

Salouvas for All

    Clockwise from top left: Samianti, Nisma, me, Nadhrati, Moinécha, Moinécha's boyfriend Matthias (who ended up in the photo for some reason), Hoby, Chaharazadi, Djaha, Nabaouya, Laïla and Nassifanya. And the odd unrecognizable fuzzy student.                    My kids have been lovely recently. Some of them, anyway. It started off with Fatima, who gave me an envelope at the start of one lesson, saying that I absolutely must wait until I got home to open it. Inside... [Lire la suite]
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06 avril 2015

Stop Hitting the Teachers.

                 Recently, things have been heating up at school. We've always had stories of kids threatening teachers: a common threat here is something along the lines of "I'll kill you and your family", and that happens pretty often, especially when a kid has received an exceptionally bad mark or has perceived something as extremely unfair. Various teachers have been called names, or had their car tyres deflated, or a car window broken. A month or two ago, a sports teacher was... [Lire la suite]
30 mars 2015

Dictionaries in an English lesson.

                This is what happened when I asked some of the girls in my class to give out the dictionaries. They walked all round the classroom with a couple of dictionaries on their heads, handed the dictionaries out to the other students, went back to the cupboard and put another couple of dictionaries on their heads, then started again. Keeps your hands free, you see.            
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23 mars 2015

Dictée Bolé

                                                      This weekend, I took part in a quintessentially French way of spending a fun Saturday afternoon. As part of the Language Week, a local association had organized a Grand Dictation in order to promote language awareness among schoolchildren and adults. In the morning, the schoolkids had their... [Lire la suite]
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16 février 2015

What do you want to be when you're older? Dunno, miss...

             Saturday was Job Forum day at school. Some well-intentioned and better-organized-than-the-others teachers had been collecting people for a few months now, people who came from different job horizons and who had agreed to come to our school and talk about their job to the students. Cue huge organization. The visitors had been attributed rooms, teachers were standing guard in each room and corridor, supervisors were going round with walkie-talkies, and each class had two... [Lire la suite]
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15 décembre 2014

The teacher is in the hammock.

             A colleague used to draw these cartoons about Mahorese women, known as bouénis. This is one he drew for me, turning the bouénis into English teachers... hard at work!         
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08 décembre 2014

Rain at School

                           It's been raining quite a bit recently. This is the effect of all this rain on my school: quite impressive, actually. Everything and everyone gets soaked five minutes in, the kids go swimming in the puddles, bags and books included, and you can't hear a thing because of the water pounding down on the corrugated iron roof. Even falling on concrete, rain is very noisy stuff, and when there's that much of it, you truly and... [Lire la suite]
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24 novembre 2014

Transfer time.

               It's transfer time. The server opened yesterday, so I've been busy choosing where I want to go next year. Not that I actually get an awful lot of say in the matter, but I do get a chance to express my wishes, if in vain most of the time. In French education and civil servancy in general, transfers are based on a points system. You get points for staying for chunks of four years in the same school, as they don't like it when you move around too much. You get points for being... [Lire la suite]
17 novembre 2014

Labattoir

                                      The 11th of November was Armistice Day. A bank holiday. I'd been looking forward to sleeping in and having a nice lazy day, knowing I would be playing bridge in the evening and that I had a bit of marking to do. A colleague of mine, however, didn't quite see it that way. He had invited two kids per class to come to the Armistice Ceremony, celebrated on the small island at 8.30, and... [Lire la suite]