Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mademoiselle Kate

So, I was feeling a little bit depressed last night and this morning. I asked myself, “What the hell am I doing here?” I was lonely. I doubted myself. How will I be able to last 9 months? What was I thinking?

Then I went to the school and was introduced to Monsieur Kofi, the other French teacher. He took me around to different classrooms and introduced me to more of the teachers and some of the students. I sat in on his French class for the very beginners. The children are so cute! They’re maybe six or seven years old. They all stared at me curiously as I walked in, and continued to sneak glances at me when they thought their teacher wasn’t looking. I watched as he taught them some numbers... un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six. They chanted the days of the week and the months of the year. They raised, lowered, opened, clapped, and crossed their arms at his command. At the end of the class, he told them to quiet down because he wanted to tell them something.

“When I came in to class this morning, I was not alone. I had with me this lady here. Her name is Mademoiselle Kate. Can you greet Mademoiselle Kate?”

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle Kate!” they chanted, staring up at me with their big brown eyes.

“Mademoiselle Kate has come here all the way from America,” Monsieur Kofi explained, and the children gasped. One little girl’s hands flew to her mouth, and she bounced in her seat with joy at the thought of America. I smiled at her. I smiled at them all.

“Mademoiselle Kate is going to teach you French...” and a squeal of excitement echoed throughout the classroom. “Would you like her to be your new French teacher?”

“Yes, sir!” their little voices rang.

“But, she will only teach you French on one condition: You must behave yourselves. You must be quiet and listen to her teach. If you are loud, and run around the classroom, she won’t teach you. Okay?”

“Oui, monsieur!” they said unanimously.

My doubts and fears vanished. I was filled with a sense of purpose. I shall soon have the privilege of being these kids’ teacher. What an enormous responsibility! Can I handle it? Only time will tell. I think that once I get into teaching, I’ll be kept so busy I won’t have time to be sad or homesick.

I’m also feeling optimistic about making new friends. The other teachers at the school seem to be very nice. Some of them look like they could be around my age, although everyone here looks younger than they are, so it’s hard to tell. Also, I was invited to go to a concert at the British Council tomorrow night by the father of one of the students. I said yes, of course. I’ve been here for two days, and I haven’t seen anything besides my house, the school, and the road from the airport. I’m quite excited about getting out of the freaking convent!

Also, I quite enjoy hearing people talk about taking me to places outside of Accra. They talk about forests, waterfalls, villages, beaches, beautiful places they want to take me. I hope I’ll actually be able to go!

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to shadowing the French teacher tomorrow.

1 comment:

carissarose said...

you write so well, kate!i can picture everything. i am just devouring this because i want to something similar: teach english abroad. and i could just cry, these kids seem so precious!