Bringing Morocco back home

At last I have:
   1) had missing luggage returned
   2) gotten over jet lag
   3) washed all my clothes
4) almost gone through my photos (though only just begun to get them in any order)

I have been weaving bits and pieces of my Morocco experience into my school day so that my entire school is getting a taste.
* I shared Moroccan candy with students and rose water and “the hand of Fatima”  tokens with my faculty and staff.

* I have worn my Moroccan shoes
* I have displayed my Moroccan maps and school charts in Arabic (or Darijar aka Moroccan Arabic) , French and Amazigh .

* I have played my Moroccan music and shown videos of traditional dances and let my students practice

But this is just touching the surface of the possibilities I can bring to my school from my experiences.
Coming back so close to the end of school and dropped right into the standardized testing frenzy, it was the best I could manage.

Next year we will be able to hit the ground running as a school of global communicators.
 – As one of our professional development focuses, we have purchased copies of The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners for all our faculty

– each grade will have the chance to sign up for a pen pal using PostCrossings.

One of my colleagues who I have worked closely with in the past actually approached me about helping her students learn how they can help others around the world.  We are searching for a balance: trying to find something that will resonate with young children and have an authentic tie to SDGs 
We have discussed such possibilities as: clean water (I read her class The Water Princess and it made a big impression);

or world hunger

or  how recycling can help world wildlife

If anyone out there has had success working with younger elementary students K-3 in this, please please share what you have done!.


Always need to know

Which way to pray.

The main religion in North Africa (which includes Morocco) is Islam. One of the very important parts of this religion is to pray at 5 different times of the day. When a Muslim (person who follows Islam) prays, they must always face towards their holy city of Mecca.

To help travelers out, some hotels have these little signs.

Can you guess what they do? Continue reading Always need to know

Back to Rabat

My co teacher, Lynn, and I had to say goodbye for now to Oujda and our wonderful host teacher, Keltouma because we had to return to Rabat to meet back up with the rest of our TGC (Teachers for Global Classroom) folks and share all that we had learned.

While there, we had a bit of free time. And one of the things I LOVE to do when in different places is just to wander around their grocery stores looking for things that are the same and things that are different from home.

Here is something I found. I wonder how many of my elementary students can figure out what makes the name of this moroccan bag of grain is so funny to an American?

Another thing most teachers like to do is to look in bookshops in different places to see if there is anything interesting to bring back to our students. Looks like we found somethings!

For Miss Spencer’s kindergarten class

One of my kindergarten classes asked me what I was doing at 12:30 pm their time last Friday.

Hello to Miss Spencer’s class
I am sorry I am late getting back to you. But we have been very busy!
Let’s see, what was I doing about 12:30 pm your time on Friday March 22?
12:30 your time would be about 6:30 pm Morocco time.
We were still in Oujda with our host teacher and we were at a wedding party!
I was learning to dance Oujda style and getting a henna design.
Henna is sort of a temporary tattoo.
Here are a few pictures.

All dressed up to go to a traditional wedding henna party in Oujda, Morocco
traditional henna designs


Last day in Oujda

 Who are these folks? You have to read the rest of this post to find out!

We, my co-traveling teacher, (Lynn O’Brien from Lebanon, Indiana) and I were so lucky to be able to spent a week with the wonderful people of Oujda, Morocco. This is not a an area of this amazingly diverse and beautiful country that is seen by many, and it should be!

Way out here in North Eastern Morocco, where you can have at least four seasons in the day, we were brought into the schools and homes of some of the most generous and friendly people on earth. We were invited to share in whatever was going on, and that including two wedding parties!

Today we got the opportunity to participate in a master’s class on Communicative Intercultural Education at Mohamed 1st University. Then we met with an associate dean who is doing work with traditional storytelling; I had the opportunity to talk with him about the possibilities of digital storytelling too.

Later we went to a local weekly market that was overwhelming with color and sound. One of the characters you see frequently is the water seller. There are no public water fountains in  this area. These vendors wear a very distinct costume. You can buy a cup of water for yourself or as I learned to do, you can give them money to honor someone and have the water seller “play it forward” so that they give a free cup of water to the next person.
A lovely way to remember someone by.



Teachers teach wherever they find themselves

Working with Moroccan students in a class debate


sign outside elementary school in Oujda, Morocco

“Rise to the teacher and honor them for they are almost a prophet.”

We need to work with these amazing young people who are finding time while studying very hard at University in Oujda to volunteer in this outstanding and diverse  science program .

Meeting some of the future teachers of Morocco

Not only are we getting the opportunity to actually go into high schools to meet with current Moroccan students, we are also getting the opportunity to meet with their future teachers who are in advanced educational training.
Thank you to the Ecole Normale Superieure in Rabat for welcoming us.

Notice the bulletin boards there – even though this is in Morocco, it looks pretty familiar to this American educator’s eyes.

Also these Moroccan teaching students know the value of a good universal meme to get the point across.

And here, a fellow Alabamian, Abby Becker, shares some of her alma mater’s (UAB) chap stick and wins more friends.