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students on strike..

4 November, 2010

This morning, I went to class.  Upon arrival in my classroom, I found the place to be empty  which is not unusual because no one comes to class early, and usually, people are about ten minutes late.

I began by writing the date and the objectives for the morning session on the board, as well as starting off with some new vocabulary words from the academic word list.  As I neared the end of this, four young women entered my classroom and engaged me in conversation.

They are not my students, but I am happy they came to my class.  They were coming to say hi and to inform me that my Semester Five students are on strike.

The Semester Five students are those who, surprisingly enough, are in their fifth semester.  In the Moroccan University system, students doing their licence (similar to the bachelor’s degree in the States) are on a three-year track.  These students are then third year students, taking classes in the fall semester.  And these Semester Five students have decided to go on strike because they are having “problems with the administration.”

After speaking with my students three weeks ago, when they refused to come to class because I was not teaching in Arabic, and then today speaking with my Dean of Faculty, I have realized that short of continuing to come to class ready to teach, speaking as slowly as possible, targeting lower-ability-level students, and writing as much as possible on the board, there is nothing I can do.

My Dean suggested that I come back for afternoon classes, rather than save myself the time and cab fare by calling to see if the strike was over or not.  I did as he said and had a repeat of the morning’s would-be class.. ho-hum.

Students going on strike is not uncommon; at least two other ETAs that I have talked with have had similar situations that interfered with their ability to teach.  And the Semester Five students say that they have problems with all of their teachers, not just me.

Starting next week, I also have three new classes to teach.  I am really hoping that my new students, as well as my original students, will actually come to class.

Here is a photo of my empty classroom:

a classroom with no students

One Comment leave one →
  1. The Mother permalink
    7 November, 2010 18:30

    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. It’s too bad the students don’t realize the only one they are hurting are themselves. Hang in there!
    As always, I miss you and love you!

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