Video of the drumming and dancing

On Friday afternoon, the 100+ kids who come to the Tene bi center had a little end-of-term party to show their parents and community leaders what they had learned. Although it only lasted about two hours, this was a pretty major production in a pretty small place.

Younger kids handbell performance

Each child attends up to 10 classes a week, and each of these classes put on a little show. There ws drumming and dancing, boys basketball and girls volleyball, English and French (that’s me!), geography, handbells… And, of course, costume changes for the students presenting for several classes.

Older girls French class demonstration

When I started thinking about what to teach in my French classes, I knew I wanted to teach practical, useful things. No farm animals that they’ve never seen or that kind of thing. So far my classes have covered colors, numbers, articles of clothing and parts of the body.

At the end of class on Monday, I asked the girls what they wanted to do next week and it was a tie between kitchen items (spoon, bowl, pot, etc…) and make-up (mascara, lipstick, eyeliner, etc…). Practical and useful? Depends on how you look at it, I suppose!

Art work from Jeana and Amanda's classes

Since I’m supposed to be ‘the French teacher’ I try no to speak Wolof with the kids. So most assume I don’t understand it and don’t know what they’re saying to each other. (Insert evil teacher laugh here.) Yesterday we were doing a coloring activity with the younger boys class and I walked over to one of them to see how he was doing. He didn’t realize I was there at first, but when he turned around he looked really surprised. As I walked away I heard him say to one of his friends, “She just walked over here and stuck her big belly in my face!”

More handbell!

Aminata taught her first dance class on Monday. I was dying to watch to see how it was going, but from the window in my classroom I could only see the tops of a couple heads and the occasional arm movement. At the very end of the hour, I let my kids go a couple minutes early and ran over to the window to take a look. There were two rows of girls, about 10 to 15 years old, all watching Aminata and following her movements as best they could. It was great.

I have no idea how long it took them to get in those rows and start learning the movements, but at least the last part of the class looked like they were getting the hang of it!

Parents and students at Tene bi
The newest teachers on the block
Explaining that we're going to show the parents that they've learned parts of the body, articles of clothing and colors.
"Thank you to all the teachers at Tene bi." (signed by older students)