Once on this Mountain: Mr Modeste Date

As our academic year progresses, we welcome many new staff members. The Woodstocker caught up with some of them to chronicle the first chapter of their adventures.

Kouame N’Guettia Modeste Date has more than eight years of teaching experience, he joins as a French Language Teacher. He is with his wife Stella and son Nelwin. Mr Modeste holds a Master’s in French Language from Le Mans Université in France and brings residential school experience from Unison World School, Dehradun.

Where are you from?

I’m from the Ivory Coast which is in the Western part of Africa.

Why did you shift to India? 

Long story… Basically, my motivation for coming to India was to discover the culture. I also read about Mahatma Gandhi, so I wanted to know about the country he came from. 

What subject do you teach and if you didn’t teach this subject what would you be teaching? 

I teach French. If I wasn’t teaching French I wouldn’t be a teacher. I would have been in the army because I studied criminology mainly to become a soldier. But somehow life has changed my mind and I am into teaching. 

What is different about Woodstock compared to the last place you worked at? 

That’s a beautiful question. It’s the environment. I always wanted to be in an international environment where I can feel different cultures, I can feel different mindsets. So the environment and the location of Woodstock which is unlike other places. 

Have you noticed anything different about Woodstock students? 

Not really, I am someone who is very open to students so I always try to understand their perspective and not make judgements. I don’t impose my perspective or thinking on my students. I am very friendly with students and open to listening to them. 

Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve this year?

The goal of a teacher is to primarily see their kids succeed in the subject I teach but in all other subjects also. That’s my goal, to see my students happy at the end of the academic year and feel proud of themselves for having chosen Woodstock as a school to learn in. 

Are there any fun facts you would like to share? 

I don’t know if this is fun or not but I’m a dancer. It’s mainly an African style of dance.  I listen to a lot of African music, so, yes, I’m a dancer. 

What is one thing you enjoy about Mussoorie? 

The first time I saw snow in my life was in Mussoorie, so it’s what I always keep in mind when I think of Mussoorie. 

What would you say is your personal teaching style or philosophy? 

I won’t call it a personal teaching style because a lot of teachers apply the same thing but I prefer interaction in my class. I give the opportunity to students to talk, whether it is relevant or irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. I want them to express themselves in my classroom. Once there is a connection between student and teacher, everything goes smoothly. Then when you focus on academics they understand because you have given them time to talk about something else or something personal. So I always try to have a connection with my students and the rest will follow. 

Are you happy you shifted to Woodstock? 

I am more than happy. My son, who is everything to me, he is my world, my motivation, my breath. His being in an international environment is a gift so I’m more than happy.  

Isha is a Staff Reporter

Edited by Kyra

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