Ms. Kawtar Bhih Abdelgany currently teaches Honors French 5 and will teach AP French next semester.
Register Forum: What inspired you to become a teacher specifically for the French subject?
Kawtar Bhih Abdelgany: I simply [want] to make a difference and do so in a different, innovative, and fun way. My journey began by wanting to help start a language program in a private school in Atlanta, Georgia nine years ago.
RF: Where did you learn to teach French?
KBA: I grew up in Rabat, Morocco which is a predominantly French-speaking country. I graduated in Morocco, [majored] in languages, so it’s not only French that I teach, I also teach Arabic. [I studied] at Mohammed V University.
RF: Why did you decide to teach at CRLS?
KBA: I had applied last year for a part-time position because I am new to the state—this is my second year. I wanted to [transition] into a school system that I’m all new to. What actually got me attracted to Cambridge was the academic reputation and diversity in the city.
RF: How are you planning to take on taking on the AP French curriculum next semester?
KBA: The goal is to go beyond preparing my students for the French Language and Culture Exam. I want all my AP students to attain the highest scores, and end this school year with more confidence in the language and a deeper love for it, so they may continue learning and using it outside of school for years to come.
RF: What is your favorite section to teach in French? Grammar, reading, writing?
KBA: I enjoy all of it. There’s one thing that it’s missing that I really would love to implement in this class: poetry. Memorizing poetry and learning from the words adds such an in-depth thing to the language that helps you. And once you memorize a poem, it stays with you for life. I still remember a lot of poems that I learned back in Morocco. I plan to introduce poets and their art to my AP class.
RF: What topic could you give a 20-minute presentation on without any preparation?
KBA: Religion. An inter-faith presentation. Talking about all different religions and how we are so blind to the fact that they are all very similar and if only people would realize that we would have saved ourselves wars for so many years.
RF: If you could meet any person in the world, who would it be, and why?
KBA: I would say Muhammad Ali. He had a huge and very positive impact on the world, not only in the world of sports. I think the thing I admire about him the most is his fierce answers in all his interviews and his strong belief in God.
RF: What is the most interesting period in French history?
KBA: Nowadays. The identity of being French nowadays is so diverse and open. This era is more significant, in my opinion. Since the end of the Second World War, France has developed an approach to dealing with ethnic problems that stand in contrast to that of many advanced, industrialized countries. France is at its best [now], compared to all the other eras.
This piece also appears in our December 2019 print edition.