to sir, with love

June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

For the past two days I’ve been feeling as spent as the money I’m not making. Believe it or not, I have a few other activities going on in addition to uploading photos of landscapes and recapping a vacation. My wallet is an empty cookie jar and it’ll take more than a sing-along to find the culprit. The search for a paid gig continues alongside a freeloader’s diet and renouncement of luxuries.

For the moment my only solid job is as a voluntary teacher at a language school in Salé. Three days a week, I squeeze into a grand taxi and head towards the water tower that is otherwise a shape in the Salé skyline. I get out at the roundabout with a bank and walk into the quartier populaire, which loosely translates to people saying, “ohhhhh…really? you teach there?” But hey, produce is cheaper over there (including the first figs of the year which I transformed into chutney). Maybe it’s not a lonely-planet worthy destination, but the students are nice enough, if not a tad bit bored. For two hours, my twenty students (ages 10-16) guess at vowels like Wheel-of-Fortune and as I awkwardly phrase questions in reverse like Jeopardy (what is an adjective?). The appreciation for teachers that I already carry hit the daily double as soon as I started my first lesson. My pupils (I never saw myself using that phrase) clearly suffer from an under-funded education system, and accordingly, I have no support apart from the director and secretary. In developing my lesson plans (also, I never saw myself using that phrase) I need to keep in mind that these students are still at a basic level of French as well, which presents challenges. By way of broken darija, French, and arm flailing, we finally arrived at English adjectives. Where we’ll go next is anyone’s guess.

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