Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kids are Kids

First week of school is almost a wrap. And, I've learned a few things. First and matter where you go, it seems, kids are kids. Period. They all smile a lot, talk a lot, laugh a lot, and sometimes drive their teacher crazy. And they are smart. And some...not as smart. But overall, many similarities from U.S. to here. Except that here, I'm teaching kids that know/are learning 3 languages. If they are native Moroccan, they surely speak Arabic (primary language). They most likely also speak pretty fluent French, or a combination of Arabic/French (as one of my kids called it). And since they are attending this school, they are also fluently speaking English. Ah-mazing if you ask me. The start of the year is tough for some of them who don't speak a lot of English at home. They easily slip into French mid-sentence, or Arabic when talking with their friends. I've had to come up with 'discipline/consequences' for not speaking English in school...just to help reinforce their thinking about it. But, on the playground and at end of the day while walking to the gates to go home, they can speak whatever. My rule is when you are outside, you can speak whatever. So, the minute we are out that door, they smile and make sure I hear them say "We can speak Arabic now!"  Today, I asked a couple of boys to teach me a few phrases in French and Arabic. Which was funny just listening to them. They say things so fast, I can hardly pick it up. I asked how to say "hello, my name is..." in French, and they told them. And then I asked how to say it in Arabic and Othman said "oh, it's harder." I asked what it was, and another boy said  what sounded like 'is me'. Technically it's 'Asmy'...but sounds like "Es me". I laughed and said "that's harder? it sounds just like you are saying "It's me"."  He just shrugged and smiled. Then they asked if I have facebook and one boy chimed in and informed them that I do have facebook because he had already looked me up. Haha.  Facebook...the universal language!
5B - my fabulous fifth graders

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