Teachers for Global Classrooms have given me the opportunity to see a country I never thought I would see. Morocco has exceeded my expectations ten fold already and I have only been here for a week. What is surprising about that statement is when someone talks about seeing a country, they usually refer to the landmarks and tourist locations of the place one is visiting.
What has been the best part about Morocco is the people. Being about to go into schools and interact with students and teachers has been the experience that is the most memorable. Whether visiting a school in Rabat, a teacher academy in Casablanca, or an English class party in Guelmim, the students and teachers have been genuinely happy to interact and engage in conversation with me. Sure my American status helps with that eagerness but that is just the icebreaker. After that, kids are kids, teachers are teachers, people are people.
They have the same hopes and dreams as my students do. Teachers are wanting to do what is best for their kids. Moroccan teachers love their kids just like I do. Students are curious about my students just like my students are curious about them. They ask the same questions and inquiry the same way we all do. NOTE: If you are skeptical of that, check out my instagram at SGHistoryTeach and see the videos and responses. Students in Morocco are experts at Instagram and Snapchat just like my students and the Moroccan teachers are trying to integrate technology in meaningful ways just like I am.
Teacher training is serious business in Morocco just like it is in the United States. I have heard the pedagogy this week in Morocco more than I have in the last year in my own country. Teachers in this country are serious about becoming better educators and providing opportunities for their students and they do that all while earning the equivalent of around $900.00 USD a month which is woefully underpaid in a country where things are not that cheaper. Yet they are still committed to being great teachers and want to go better at their craft.
In the end, travel provides the opportunity to make connections. We learn about places and the history of the country but the real learning is from the people