Here are some photos from our certificate party for the Fall 2015 English and Spanish classes that I taught with my counterpart Youssef! Certificates are a big deal in Morocco and are added to CVs. Pictures handing out certificates are a must. Students were told in advance that if they attended nine out of ten of the classes and participated 100% that they would receive a certificate of participation.
Our students have really improved their conversational English and Spanish skills; they are both better listeners and speakers. They have also expanded their vocabulary and improved their grammar, which improved their performance in English classes in school and will be helpful in the Baccalaurette exam in June. I also hope that knowing English and Spanish will enhance their future employment opportunities.
I also gave a certificate of recognition to four boys, Mohacine, Abdelwahed, Simohamed, and Mustapha, who walk 3.5 kilometers from their duar (farming village), to get to the youth center. And, they are always on time, ready for class with a pen or pencil, notebook, and a positive attitude! It takes almost an hour to walk just one way. They said their school sometimes provides bikes or transportation when villages are 4 kilometers away. On our last hike with the hiking/environment club, I saw their beautiful village! It has 200 inhabitants, mostly farmers who raise goats and sheep for meat. The houses are made out of mud and straw and are surrounded by fields of cactus and olive trees.
Youssef, my assistant teacher, has also improved his English and become a more confident teacher. When I was away on vacation, he taught two classes successfully and we have agreed that he will lesson plan and teach two classes when I’m away in April at a camp for children with disabilities. He has been very appreciative of the opportunity to work with me.
The party was lots of fun! The students brought pastries, cakes, soda, and fruit. After the Director of the youth center, Youssef, and I gave our thanks and we handed out the certificates and took lots of photos, we put on international pop music and danced. Hahaha! I also gave my students photos from our Halloween party last November and other cultural events. And, best of all, the students would like to do another 10-week session of classes. I’m excited to keep getting to know them!