Something momentous happened today. I willingly and happily put on a sweater and wore it for most of the day. That’s right. I was too cold. Let that sink in for a second.
Although I handled the heat of a Moroccan summer with slightly more dignity than I thought myself capable, I can’t say I wasn’t looking forward to the return of cold/being able to move around without breaking out in a sweat. And it looks like it’s finally happened!
Along with the cold has come work – real earnest regular work involving youth at the Dar Chabab. Because of a number of factors – summer, Ramadan, the start of the school year, and 3id Kbir – work has been slow to start for me as well as a number of volunteers. In addition, my Dar Chabab needs some population building work, so I don’t have a population of kids on hand to coerce entice to my activities.
Just after 3id, however, my classes began! I’m now teaching four hours of English every week, two hours as a beginning course and two hours as advanced discussion. My beginning class so far has around 20 students, while my advanced class is closer to 10. Not having much of a background in teaching, I’m spending my time looking up lesson plan ideas online and attempting to relearn the proper name for various verb tenses.
My students are both male and female and range in age from 9 years old to about 35. Most are in their late teens and early twenties. I did Halloween lessons for them, which they seemed to enjoy.
I’ve also attempted to start a Saturday game day and a girls’ club, neither of which have thus far attracted any participants, but I feel that is more of an advertising failure on my part than a lack of interest. Three of the boys in my advanced class also approached me about starting a sports club today, so that might also pop up in my weekly schedule.
This week contained two holidays and therefore cut into my class attendance. Tuesday was Islamic New Year and Wednesday was Green March Day, but after this week I believe we will get a bit of a break from the seemingly constant stream of holidays that have been happening since Ramadan.
On the whole, I’m glad not everything had started up yet at the Dar Chabab because I spent part of last week and the weekend struggling through a bout of food poisoning. Nothing puts a damper on being excited to teach class like being chained to your turk. Thank goodness I am now completely better and will be obsessively washing each fruit and vegetable that passes my lips from here on out.