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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08 septembre 2014

The beginning of the end: my last back-to-school rush in Mayotte.

            School started again on August 25th. In Mayotte, the teaching profession has one of the highest turnovers I've ever seen. This year, only three new colleagues joined the English-teaching ranks in my school. Two had been teaching in various lycées before this year, and were still recoiling from the shock of collège. The kids are small... energetic... very noisy... don't understand this... aren't mature enough for that... and the new colleagues weren't quite sure what to make of them. The... [Lire la suite]
07 octobre 2013

Those who can, cook. Those who can't, eat.

         I've been teaching my students about food recently, as you saw in the recent blog post about the European classes. They love learning the English words for their local fruit and vegetables: cassava, breadfruit, chicken wings... they're shouting over each other to get the answers out. Unfortunately, they shout it out in Shimaorese first. When I complain, they shout in French. So I point to the giant "WHAT'S THE ENGLISH FOR...?" sign at the back of the room. Everybody suddenly goes quiet, you can... [Lire la suite]
16 septembre 2013

A European In Mayotte

         In my opinion, healthy food is the best. I don't think junk food is better, because it's too fatty and unhealthy.Personally, I like healthy food because it's full of vitamins, it's more natural.I wouldn't say it's the cheapest or quickest but nevertheless, it's important for our health.           Several - if not most - middle and high schools in France have what's known as a European section. In middle school, this means five hours of English per week instead of three,... [Lire la suite]
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15 avril 2013

Who let the kids out?

          Last Thursday, I was called in to replace a sick colleague on a school trip. The idea was to take a class of 14-year-olds to visit the remains of a sugar-cane factory, a copra dryer and a museum about ylang-ylang flowers and vanilla. Two teachers, twenty-nine students, one bus. Should be interesting. The class was - and still is, for that matter - my worst class, which didn't help. They were the other teacher's worst class too. Bright kids, but just so noisy... the sort of class where you can... [Lire la suite]
24 décembre 2012

Rich gentlemen have it, boys!

                  On the last day of school, my class - MY class, the one I'm the main teacher of, the one I theoretically have the power of life and death over (or at least a say in what happens to them next year) - seemed rather excited. So did everybody. The holidays were to start in four hours, after all. They chatted to each other, both to their neighbours and across the room, got up and down, refused to sit in their places and seemed somewhat disinclined to calm down. ... [Lire la suite]
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24 août 2011

School has started.

         School started today, with the teachers getting together and meeting the heads. Quite an exotic-looking school, with coconut trees and banana trees growing in the playgrounds. The rooms themselves are pretty run-down, with flaking paint, windows that either don’t open or don’t have any glass in them, fans on the ceiling which don’t work because the fuses have blown and there aren’t any spare, no curtains on the windows because the school doesn’t have enough money... There are two TVs... [Lire la suite]
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