Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Greeks come to Morocco!

No, not the geeks, the Greeks have come to my middle school art class in Morocco. After realizing the seventh graders love worksheets, the opposite of American students, I have been putting stacks of worksheets on the desks of my middle school students before they enter my room. Today, they had stacks about Greek vase art. They also had a reading comprehension about Monet just to keep them really busy while one student took a test on art terms.

I only removed one disruptive student to the office, so I think I am making progress. (As opposed to 6 or 8.) I said to him as I walked him to the office, "You are trying to shame me by dishonoring me as your teacher." He made no complaint. I finally know his lingo! When I came back, I said, "Who is next?" It's something my dad did years ago in an inner city school. It's been part of my family lore for years, but today I finally used it myself. No one wanted to be next. Thanks, Dad.

Eventually, I sat and cut out large, orange, Greek paper vases for them to decorate, and they began to ask me questions. "Do you hate Morocco?" "Are you just staying two years and then going home?" "You must hate Morocco." I said, "You can't possibly know what is going on in my heart and mind. I love Morocco. I have no idea how long I will be here, but I came all the way from Seattle, Washington to teach you art. I came for you." I was very firm. 

After that, a girl offered to help me cut out the Greek Vases. A little, tiny moment of joy in the seventh grade class. Everyone actually had connections with Greek mythology. Boys wanted to tell me about some of their favorite characters. I chatted with one beautiful Moroccan girl about how the Greeks believed in many gods as opposed to her belief and my belief in one God. She smiled and agreed. (They all believe we Americans are Christians - they think that is a given. I guess it is a stereotype.)

Thanks for praying. There is hope for seventh grade art? (With worksheets.)
Note the Roman numerals; this must have been made after Rome took over Greece? Do you think that's an Egyptian eye from the last art history worksheet?


  1. Great descriptions & photos. You had a wonderful day-I am so glad!

  2. Oops-that comment was meant for 'meet meat'!

    The Greek pots are so creative and sounds like you've made good progress since the shame/honor presentation. Great conversation at the table w/the kids. Continuing to pray!