Middle and High School French Teacher
A Learning Educator
For Penninah Nakyeyune, middle and high school French teacher at Lincoln, learning is not just for students. That’s why, as she supervised Grade 10 researchers doing year-long personal projects as a culmination to their International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, she took on an assignment of her own.
Inspired by students who tackled subjects like helping companies market a new brand or building a motorcycle as a flexible means of transportation for teenagers, she traced her own pedagogical research tracking student approaches to their task. “It’s a beautiful way to celebrate knowledge that has been created by the students,” she says of the personal project process.
For Penninah, her whole presence at Lincoln is about learning: she wants to know how an international school runs so that she can go back to her home country, Uganda, and start her own academy there. Fascinated by the way LCS encourages students to ask questions and engage with learning, she hopes to counteract the “culture of silence” in Uganda that trains students to be unquestioning recipients of rote knowledge.
At Lincoln, Penninah’s French classrooms are never silent. “Language learning has to be interactive,” she says. “As long as it’s the teacher talking the student is left out, so there’s got be dialogue instead of just ‘repeat after me’.
“Learning has to be fun, it has to be enjoyable,” she says. “If things are presented in a meaningful way in a fun and relaxed environment, then students do their best.”
Penninah loves how her classes become small communities where teacher and students learn together. “I am not working by myself,” she says, “I am part of a team, which makes everything that I do better. Teaching French at Lincoln is fabulous.”
Theory on language
: it’s a social skill and all about communication, helps beginning students get over their need to be perfect and just dive inOvercoming challenges
: learned Spanish in university classrooms in Mexico while completing a masters degree on the teaching of French in Mexican schoolsSpare-time creativity
: loves to make geometric art out of paper she layers and cuts