Hope Inhabits Us

March 14, 2019

On this day, our cohort of Global Educators had the privilege of visiting Ecole Normal Superieure, or ENS. This is a research institution, a vocational school, and a teacher training college.

During our visit, pre-service teachers at ENS gave us a tour and presentations on Moroccan education and pre-service training. In return, some of our cohort gave presentation on American systems, particularly for language teachers. This was an exchange in the truest sense.

My greatest takeaway from the entire visit was the spirit and attitude of each of the Moroccan presenters. They were optimistic and ready for the challenges of education today. Their enthusiasm for improving teaching methods was contagious, and they were planning creativity and innovation in their future classrooms. I spoke at length with a couple of the presenters. One pre-service teacher told me of a workshop he enjoyed that integrated theatre games with language learning. You know that thrilled me!

In our own country, I often worry about the future of our students and education in general, due to dwindling arts programs and unhealthy testing practices. Then I meet dynamic teachers (like my Fulbright TGC cohort 🙂) and hope is restored. Likewise, in Morocco there are challenges, but hope is strong when future teachers are full of enthusiasm and creativity.

A mentor to the pre-service teachers introduced me to his organization, Global Bus Foundation. His name is Lhoussine Qasserras, and he is a co-founder of Global Bus, an organization that teaches students 21st Century Skills to create positive change, instruct leadership, and promote peace. My guiding question was being answered for me everywhere I looked.

If people like these are the future of Moroccan education, the future looks bright.

Meanwhile, contracted teachers all over Morocco were on strike. There is a lot of unrest in the world of education in Morocco. I’m still trying understand it all.


Most of the time, I am simply "Mrs. Olmos," a busy classroom teacher in a rural district in Southwest Washington State. I teach English, WA State History and Drama to students that range from grades 7-12. I believe in allowing students to use their own creativity and individual voices to enrich learning experiences in my classroom. A typical day in my room includes student-led conversations, collaborative projects, and art supplies. Beyond the classroom, I dedicate myself to many areas of educational leadership. Currently, I am a Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms and a member of the leadership team for the Washington Teacher Advisory Council. I am proud to be a National Board Certified Teacher, and a facilitator for National Board Candidate cohorts. Over the years, I have served on committees, panels and cohorts at the district, state and national level. My areas of interest include English Language Arts standards, curriculum and assessment, teacher preparation and certification, equity in rural education, project-based learning, and arts-integrated instruction. In my spare time, I have dogs, horses and and a husband to share my life on a small farm surrounded by green hills and rivers. It's a beautiful life.

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