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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13 octobre 2014

The United Gingdom, a guided tour. From the Palace of Wismmister to Wenstre Game.

        I've been working on the British monuments and flags with my kids. The test was at the end of last week, just before the holidays which have just started. The moment of truth, when I get to see what they've remembered from my naturally scintillating lesson.   The British flags have been rebaptized. We now have the Sans Gorge ("no throat" - St George), the Simpatic ("nice" - St Patrick) and the Onion Jack. 10, Downing Street has become 10 Darling Street, 10 Well Street, 10 Dunrens Home or 10,... [Lire la suite]
15 septembre 2014

Cats and Miss.

             School's been back for three weeks now. I've met all my classes, and there's everything from sweetness and light to ear-splitting caterwauling in there. These are some photos of my school. Right at the top is the tropical almond (Terminalia Catappa, if you're interested) tree. Everything happens under that tree. That's where the kids line up to be taken to their next lesson, that's where they go when the fire alarm rings, and that's where the parent-teacher meetings begin... [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 avril 2014

Look at the makis!

      I teach kids in school, but I also teach adults in a training centre about half an hour away. My current groups belong to a local construction society, so we spend hours talking about excavators, compactors, bulldozers, the difference between a Manitou and a Fenwick, where a site manager comes in the company hierarchy and how to work one's way up from pushing soil to wearing a tie and having one's own office. Very interesting, actually. There are groups of trainees in there every day, with lessons ranging... [Lire la suite]
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23 décembre 2013

Going Swimming At School

         The rainy season in in full flow now. This is a short video taken by one of my colleagues at school, a day when 9.2mm of rain fell in two hours accompanied by a pounding thunderstorm that made the headmistress decide to cut off the school's electricity because it was getting too dangerous. There are a lot of electric sockets very close to the ground, and most of our electrical wiring isn't protected by anything. As soon as it started raining, the kids ran screaming and shouting into the nearest... [Lire la suite]
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25 novembre 2013


             I'm working on crime at the moment with my students. In the first lesson, they came up with crime vocabulary in French and looked up the English words in the dictionary. Experience must have spoken because the first words they said were "rape" and "pedophile". What a start. Unfortunately, these are real problems here. They studied "newspaper articles" about hypothetical burglaries at "10, Upping Street, London" and filled in the above "Help Catch A Thief" page describing the guy... [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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