How I became a French Teacher in Kenya

Our perspective on the employability skills of the young people

My name is Zina Jeanne d’Arc Angela Harivonintsialonina, YAC participant 2019 hosted by Kenya YMCA in Kisumu branch.

Zina Jeanne d’Arc Angela Harivonintsialonina

I believe am a talented young person , God  gave me some talents that  improved when I became a YMCA member. I like dancing, cooking, also do event organizing. A model in our  Y-FASHION back in Madagascar but the teaching skills, I have never had them ! Of course, I do help my younger sisters and my cousins with the school works, but I have never thought being a teacher, because all we know is that teaching needs patience and personally am not  patient, teaching is not just standing there in front of your students and reading or explaining the lesson, it needs some methodology, you must know how to transfer your knowledge to  students.

That is one of the challenges that I faced, when I came here, they knew that I am from a country where the people can speak French so the first thing that they asked to me was to teach the members of my hosting branch how to speak French, being able to speak French will help them to get a good job and taking a French courses is very expensive that they can’t afford it was a good opportunity for them to have me in the branch. When I came there I didn’t know my skill was very needed in the area. It was not just at the YMCA that I taught, I also teach also in two primary schools , Nyamasasria primary school and St Mark Niabera Primary School in Kisumu.

When the day came for our first session, I was afraid and didn’t know how I was going to do It, but I had to do It. It was so difficult for me to teach them the pronunciation, the French alphabets  are very different from English , one of my problems was also that I didn’t remember how I learnt this language because I started learning it when I was 3 years old. The session was for 1h30min, at the end I felt so tired, my voice was gone and I just wanted to relax. During the session I felt like my students didn’t get anything, am not sure may be I expected too much from them. And I felt so bad, it was like I failed. Then I talked about it to all of my friends who are teachers. I asked for advice and they gave me some tips which could help me. I took it as a challenge then I tried every time we had a class to find a way to make it fun and interesting, I also know that my students were very interested in learning French, even if it was difficult to all of us we support each other  and that gave me the motivation for it.

It’s a great experience, I learnt so many things, like understanding, being patient, being passionate in teaching. According to my students I am such a good teacher. I also learnt that nothing is impossible when you believe in yourself and when you put all your heart in the things that you do. But I am not really a teacher , I can say that I am a French facilitator. 

Now, as we work hard we have reached some point, I can say that we have good results  and all of us can be proud of ourselves for the work that we did. 

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