The Land Where the Sunsets

The PlazaMorocco…

Images, words, phrases, emotions run through my head with that country’s name. My first two weeks of summer was spent in the land where sun the sunsets. This gorgeous place that changed my persepective and gave me a bigger understanding on Creation (and just how beautiful and broken it all is).

logistics:

Upon arrival I was SCARED of whatever it was that I was doing there. I still wasn’t sure even after travelling 2 days to get there! We arrived on a Saturday and Monday was the day we would be meeting with the people that brought us out there. Two days of exploring, trying to shop, learning the language and eating food was a perfect amount of time to get us excited for our real journey. Monday night rolls around and 25 kindgergarten teachers, 1 association president and 1 state official discuss with us (2 teachers, 1 social worker and a project manager) what they are good at, what they need more of and what they’re frustrated with. ┬áSo we had two weeks to do 2 hour workshops with the teachers and give ideas and help the teachers collaborate with each other.

During the day my teammates and I would venture out with two wonderful guides and tour kindergartens in the area. We visited many schools during that two weeks and truly got a look into how schools were run. The biggest difference is that kindergartens and public schools are not the same. If you want your child to attend school before first grade you must pay for them to go to a private kindergarten school, where the students range from three years old (one school even had tiny 12 month olds) all the way up to six year olds.

The biggest issue we heard about was discipline and how to do it. I shared my many experiences with this topic and tried to help the teachers understand that the stories they were telling me happen in my classroom too! It was actually an eye opener to me knowing other people deal with the same things as I do in the class. Sometimes you get so isolated from other teachers being in your own world! Anywho, our workshops went by so quickly and the teachers really seemed to be listening to what we were saying.

After two weeks of journeying throughout the city, meeting and bonding with teachers it was time to go. I never thought two weeks would be enough time to fall in love with a place and a group of people, but I was surprised to feel truly sad to leave. I wasn’t done teaching them yet and they surely weren’t done teaching me yet. They threw us this huge surprise party and got us presents (dresses and plates) and we laughed and danced and sang and cried and hugged. It was an eye-opening experience that I never thought would be the outcome of the trip. I saw teaching from a different perspective, not just a middle class American teacher who needs more technology and never has enough.

…that wasn’t even close to my full experience. Part 2 is on it’s way.

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