New teacher profile: Mssr. Ndiaye
by Emi C.
At MRHS the last few years have been rocky for the French students. The disappearance of Madame Alexander for an extended period left students worried. The following year students had expected her back, but she never showed. This led to a year-long temporary substitute and the unfortunate news of her passing not long after. For these students, the pursuit of learning French was a seemingly endless roller coaster. But a new teacher arose in the concurrent year: Monsieur Ndiaye.
In light of picking up where the kids left off in late April ‘22, Monsieur Ndiaye took over as the French teacher. Originally, after graduating secondary school his intent was to study law and become a bank advisor. He enjoys learning all the laws in France and Senegal; but not everything in life goes to plan. The need for fluent English was a hindrance for him, so instead he moved to the United States to become a French teacher. This was his second dream. “J’ai quitté le Sénégal pour les Etats-Unis parce qu'il y a plus d'opportunités de travail ici qu'en Sénégal.” He left Senegal to come to the United States because of more work opportunities. “Il est toujours difficile de quitter son pays. C'est qui était difficile pour moi au début, c'est la solitude.” It’s always difficult to leave your country. That's what was difficult for me in the beginning, it was the loneliness. With this chosen path, he had a long journey ahead of him.
Moving from Senegal to Colorado he studied and graduated from UNC (University of Northern Colorado). There he learned to read and write English while pursuing his second dream. For a while after getting his degree, he lived up in Washington contracting as a substitute. Being in Washington, he enjoyed the experience because he got to be a teacher. But, with his enjoyment of the mountains and greenery here in Colorado, he moved back this past summer. His contract in Washington had expired and the opportunity as a French teacher at MRHS had just arisen.
Despite the hardship he faced when moving to the United States, he has adapted to the cultural change here while still enjoying things from back home. Here he enjoys basketball because it's very easy to understand the rules and what's actually going on. But, he also enjoys “le football,” or ‘soccer’ from back in Senegal. With continued re-adjusting his music taste blends artists from back home and many other popular types as well. “A part Baaba Maal, j'apprécie Michael Jackson et Tupac;” apart from listening to Baaba Maal, he also likes Tupac and Micheal Jackson. He also enjoys genres such as Rap, R&B, and Pop. And, even though he’s far away from Senegal it is admirable he embraces both cultures of the places he’s lived in. While the United States might’ve been a new home to him, he still enjoys dishes from back home: “‘Tiebou Dieun,’ c'est-à-dire du riz aux poissons avec des légumes.” It is a dish of fish and rice with vegetables.
Through the constant shuffle with the students and the ever-changing situation, they are finally learning to adjust back to consistency for the first time in a few years. And while the kids have had to learn to re-adjust with constant change, they are finally settling in. Many of his students feel that Monsieur Ndiaye has landed on his feet despite the complex situation he was handed, and is adjusting rather well. And while he had challenges set out for him when coming to Mountain Range, he hasn’t let those setbacks influence his love for French and teaching it.
With moving around so much, having to embrace many types of cultures includes learning different languages and or becoming very experienced with them. One thing is for sure though: he has no preference of languages he speaks but whenever he gets a chance he enjoys speaking any language. He also thoroughly enjoys reading books written in French on his own time as well as drawing over long school breaks. If he’s not reading or drawing he loves exploring and visiting different places in Colorado; soaking up the sunshine in the summer. Exploring to him also means hanging out with his wife and two children: a son and daughter.
Overall, Monsieur Ndiaye made it to the Mountain Range and has begun settling the dust of struggling students seeking to learn French. While being a new teacher and adjusting to the move back to Colorado, he has made a great landing. Not only does he teach French, but he blends it with learning cultures of different countries. From Senegal to European Countries like France, it creates a well-balanced experience within a language class. As a new teacher he has been great getting and having him become a part of the Mountain.