Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ending my service by returning to training

Last week I volunteered to participate in the teacher training of the new group of trainees that arrived in September. As youth development volunteers part of our job is to teach English to Moroccan youth and not everyone who is a volunteer here has much experience teaching English.

Teaching our own language is not quite as easy as it sounds. That is why Peace Corps gives trainees information on how to teach. Breaking down English is somewhat foreign to us as native speakers as we are used to just talking, not giving much thought to what we are saying. There are many things about English grammar that our students want to learn, that we don't even know how to explain.

I spent a week with the training group in Ain Chegag, just outside of Fez. I quickly fit in with the five members training there and enjoyed having lots of laughs with them. I had forgotten just how tiring the training phase of Peace Corps service is. Long days learning language and living with a host family.

In the mornings I sat in on their Moroccan Arabic lessons. I remember how it felt to have to learn a new language from scratch and how frustrating is was to understand nothing.

In the afternoons I went over things like classroom management, lesson planning, and hopefully gave them some tools to use while teaching youth in their own towns.

I mostly talked about my own experiences. Going back to training, the place that I began, was a perfect way to wrap up my time here. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with them. It was a good way for me to reflect on my two years here.