On my last afternoon in south Morocco, I visited the beautiful Sidi Ouaguag middle school in Aglou. I got to spend two hours with the English Success Group, a name selected by the student members. They are the most motivated students at the school, picked by their teachers to join the group, which was founded and is run (for free) by Mr. Brahim Elkabous. They meet every Wednesday for 2 hours, for extra activities and practice in learning English.
Once again, the students were an excellent audience. They welcomed us with dates, milk, and cookies. They listened attentively and asked good questions. Elena and I each gave short presentations on our schools, and I shared some Alaskan photos too, a big contrast from life in Morocco. Then we got to watch their presentations about their school, activities in Aglou, Moroccan food, a presentation and skit about protecting the environment, and a fashion show of traditional clothing.
Brahim had created a fun trivia game, similar to Jeopardy, and we joined with students to play. At the end of class, the students got to have a quick look at their IEARN exchange project that arrived – a box of items from a class in Belarus. (Note to teachers: I just heard about IEARN recently, and it’s worth looking into.)
As always, our time went by too quickly, and we seemed to hardly have a minute to connect with students when it was time to leave. However, next I had one of the most touching experiences yet. After we took a group photo outside, nearly every student took turns standing next to Elena and I, wanting their photos taken with us, with their cell phone cameras. I felt a little awkward – who am I to be so admired by these students? But it was very sweet, and it made me feel so grateful that I had gotten to go to the south, and that I was able to meet another group of awesome students who were so motivated to learn and interact with us in English. And again, I admired the generous hospitality and warm welcome of the Moroccan people.