Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Houria GLOW Camp

I had been patiently waiting for this break, planning for it for two months now, when my friends ask me where I’m going to spend the two weeks break they start laughing when I say that I’m going back to AKKA, that hellish village in the south where they know I spent some really bad times last year. and where there isn’t much to see or do. but for me that place is more than that it’s the place where my amazing friend lives, she is a volunteer there.
We planned to start a GLOW Club last year in the village, where we would do activities once a week. we had our first meeting with the girls back in June we promised that we will have more meetings by the start of the new school year,  but since I moved to another village we weren’t able to have the club, and I felt really bad that I couldn’t keep my promise. This break felt like the only opportunity I have to do even a little something to compensate for the girls, so instead of a GLOW Club we decided that during this break for three days we are going to have a GLOW Camp.

GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World, I had never heard about this term before but I really liked the idea of it, a GLOW camp or a  GLOW club is a place where girls learn, have fun and share their thoughts, especially that in those villages girls are either in school if they go to one or in their houses cleaning, cooking and watching Turkish TV series.
Our three days GLOW Camp had the objective of Inspiring girls to recommit to their passions, talk about gender norms in Morocco, and feel comfortable enough to learn about their bodies and health. Each day was filled with activities that we tried as much as we can to make fun, first day was about Setting Goals, second day was about Challenging Gender Norms, and the last was about Health.

first we planned that we will have 20 participant in the camp, my friend visited each girl’s house to make sure that they will show up during the days of the camp, but only three were there at time in the morning of the first day, and we had to knock on the girls doors again trying to convince the moms to let their girls participate in the camp, we were glad that in the end we had 15 girls, that I think was the hardest thing we had to face during the camp.

I’m happy that this camp did see the light after all, it wasn’t easy to convince my family to go back to AKKA, they couldn’t see why it was important for me to go there, I felt like suffocating trying to convince them, I hate that they have all this power over my life, me going there at some point lost all its meaning, why would I go there talk to girls about freedom and dreams when I myself at this age still ask permission of my parents to do anything, my every move should be approved. I felt bad during the days of the camp, I couldn’t stop my brain from thinking about this over and over again but I tried to keep a smile on my face and did my best so the girls learn something and enjoy their break because they deserve that.


Sunday, November 26, 2017


On the road to my village, we just left Awrir, its surrounding is so beautiful, it's Sunday so people are out with their families, soon we'll reach places were you wouldn't think people still live. I'm not dizzy yet, I still can write those words and listen to the old music on my phone that I forgot again to update.

I'm back from a break which was amazing, when I think about all the things I did and the people I met I can't really complain that it went by so fast, it was just as long as it should be, I rested enough to go back motivated to teach my kids and learn from them.

But, there should be always a but, home felt sad and cold, there is something that happened to my family when all of us the kids grow up and got jobs, it's like if we shifted from anger or happiness to sadness and silence. My relationship with my family wasn't always easy, I had my fair share of hardship with mom, dad and my brother, but now it is all different, different that I don't know how to deal with it or how to define it, I feel that especially with my parents, they seem happy for me but also tired, happy because I'm follwing the plan, they worked hard for that that's why they are tired, I can't talk around them what if I say something or do something not following the plan?
I guess that all of this is normal, we ended a chapter as a family, and there is silence waiting for the start of the new chapter and mostly the new chapter includes us the kids getting married and founding families, for some reason I don't like this, those chapters, isn't it enough that we only have few years on this planet why divide them to chapters and call it this is how things are, this is not only sad but extremely boring and some other adjective that I can't think of right now.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The same stupid conversation

I work, why do I need to justify why I'm working, like are you that conserned about my well being? cause if you really are you would know that me staying home where I'm sound and safe like you claim would drive me nuts. I know I'm living in bad conditions but it's my job, it's up to me and only me to accept those conditions or not. I had one of those conversations with another person yesturday, the same stupid conversation about manhood and womanhood and what's right and wrong what's my role in this life because I'm a girl, and as always the conversation ended by him asking me if I was muslim and that me reading so much books is no good.
I don't blame anyone having those opnions , whenever someone visit me here in this village where I work now, it seems so natural to start this conversation, like why a girl would accept this?

I work as a teacher in a village away by 7km from the road where rarely you can find transpotations if you miss the ones in the morning; I live in a tiny housse with 2 other teachers, the three of us in one room, first we had no water but the people in the village were nice enough to find a solution; they were afraid that we will run away from here like another teacher did, before us they had two other teachers who would teach their kids near to nothing, they stayed here two to three days every week, life is hard here even to them who were men.

People here are nice, not only because they want us to teach their kids which is not some kind of charty we are doing it is our job but because they are nice and generous by nature.
It's hard living here I won't lie, sometimes I get so upset that I spend most of my day sleeping, but I grow to like it, its people, nature around us plus there is internet, and I got attached to my kids I'm doing my best to be a good teacher they didn't choose to be born here and they deserve education like any other kid in this world. 

My space in the room, I have a wall better use it

the source were we bring water 2km from the village

my salma

peopel send us food all the time what can we ask for more

I accepted this job because it's making me grow, it's making me a better person, trying to explain this to someone who thinks that woman's place is her housse near her parents or husband and kids is not something I would like to go through again but I still do it maybe someone will understand or at least know that we exist and we can take full responsability for our decisions right or wrong.

Friday, September 1, 2017

My Start of the School Year Success Plan

Building a Classroom:
Creating an Effective Physical Environment

Making the room welcoming to learners;
  • A welcoming classroom is a room where students feel ownership that’s why students work needs to be displayed on bulletin boards, and built over time;
  • It should also reflect what students are as people, that’s why in the first day of school I’ll let them draw their dreams and write their goals in the future and hang it on the walls of the classroom.
Making the classroom visually engaging;

  • Bulletin board reflects student accomplishment so it should be visually pleasing for that I’ll use construction paper under it.
  • Also to use the bulletin board as an interactive learning tool I’ll hang on it focus questions, an example of fiche de lecture so they can return to it when needed, and also some useful vocabulary
  • To make the room as print rich as possible I’ll put on the walls posters, quotes, colorful maps.
Providing a physical arrangement that is safe and supportive of learning;
  • I have limited space, so I’ll use the space I have for different type of activities, and I’ll teach my students an effective way  to transform the class to adapt the type of the activity, depending if we want to work as a whole group which fits the form U or small groups or individually.  
  • I’ll put tags of everything in the classroom so the kids know where they can find the needed supplies and also learn vocabulary.
Building Appreciation for Others: 
Promoting Fairness and Respect

Modeling respectful interactions;

  • By being a good example for the kids.
  • Avoiding comments that may hurt a student.
  • Making an immediate and clear statement about the importance of respecting each other when hearing a student make an insensitive comment.
  • Using a calm voice and never yell at a child.
Facilitating student’s acceptance of differences;
  • Ongoing discussions and activities about respect.
  • Brainstorming and verbalizing what respect looks like by songs, role play, picture or even lessons that promotes listening to each other, sharing, and working as a team.
Planning for conflicts;

  • Having expectations and consequences set up in advance.
  • Class meetings to discuss conflicts or difficulties that students may go through, to try and find solutions as a class.
Building Collaboration: 
Promoting Social Development and Group Responsibility

Developing leadership in students;

  • Class jobs are a good tool to develop the sense of leadership in students so I’ll make a list of jobs that my students can help in doing just like cleaning up, book distributing and collecting, taking care of the class library, attendance and the line; and choose every week students who will take care of that.
Offering leadership opportunities;

  • Ask a student to create and deliver a mini lesson.
  • Let students became teachers, so they can tutor the struggling students. 
Establishing learning groups;

  • When an activity is planned to be done in groups, I’ll make sure to teach the students how to work in a group by modeling and also by giving every kid a role in the group: the supplier, the director, and the speaker. So the students work in a cooperative way and became self-directed learners.

If this post seems like an assignment, it is I started a MOOC on Coursera, and I kind of proud of what I wrote that's why I'm posting it, let's hope this plan will make me a better teacher.