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07 July 2014

MOMMY?!

While in waitrose today I heard the familiar sound of crying and saw a child out of the corner of my eye. Its a normal occurrence and I didn't pay it much mind as I was on a mission to find something for a party later. Even so, I had this nagging feeling and was a bit dismayed about the fact that it's commonplace to ignore those crying children when they appear to be lost, or left as it seemed to be in this case as I would find later on. On the one hand, it happens so often that you realize is futile to walk up to a child who (1) doesn't speak English, (2) the mom/caregiver is either right there and ignoring the child leaving you to think there is noone around  or (3) they are right around the corner and the child hasn't caught up. In which case they will come back to get them...eventually. And while it's also commonplace to touch a stranger's child here, I don't feel its my place to step into a situation that is deemed normal here.Who am I to vilify you when there is very little chance anything bad will happen to your child?

Today I broke protocol and stopped to ask the child if they wanted their mommy, to which they replied yes. The child kind of looked western so I thought they might genuinely be lost.And I find it quite unnatural to ignore a child who is obviously in distress. I took their hand and tried to verbally calm them while walking down the store,looking down each aisle, and talking to the child. I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to steal the child and I certainly didn't want a confrontation with the mom though I felt there was a low chance of that. Anyway, no mom one way. While doubling back I made sure to watch any women who may be mom and a lady walked up who said she was the child's teacher. I explained the child was crying and alone so I stepped in. She took the child-who I keep referring to as such because he/she had such beautiful,curly hair that IDK what the gender was,lol-and went the opposite way only to double back because the mom wasn't there!!They left the store and by the time I checked out I didn't see anyone.

I just find it so hard to believe that child was in the store alone! insane. And not to mention the chance that that wasn't the teacher. Though I wouldn't know anyway.I also thought about the incident the other week where a man exposed himself to a woman in the store.A rare occurrence but still. (sigh) By now Im sure that moment is long gone out of the child's mind but has lingered in mine long enough that I figured Id write about it.

28 June 2014

Bonding Over GMO's

When school is 'over' you eat.Its just what you do. One day might be Egyptian food,another Indian, and American of course.Every year we serve the same. Breakfast.And every year has been the same.We could never figure out why they wouldn't eat the breakfast outside of the fruit and donuts. So we always made sure that was available since we knew they'd eat it.

This year we prepared the new teachers and I expected there to be so much food left over. Im pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that we have an English teacher who is muslim and speaks Arabic....but they tasted the food!They really liked the pancakes and we had to explain what it was made of, how you cook it, eat it, what you can serve it with,etc. The amount of syrup they put on them was laughable.not even a spoonful! They wanted to see the box it came in and  wanted to know the steps.The principal even sashayed to the room wanting to know who brought this thing she was holding and eating like a burrito,lol.For her to come down,it was obviously good.If they ever go to IHOP,its over!

These pancakes excited even the secretary bc she gave me money to bring something for all the teachers to eat the next day.Leave it to me to exceed the amount she gave me but thats neither here nor there.Those who tasted the dip and bread pudding loved it and some took it home for later.I guess food is good for bringing people together.At least until the plate is clean.

Two more weeks of childless school.No eating because Sunday starts Ramadan.I mean,you can eat in your room.Just not with muslim teachers.First working Ramadan,we will see how it goes.

masalama!

07 June 2014

Absent much?

I had to scurry and put in for my absence.God forbid, I get docked for it as a result of procrastination! While doing so,I wondered about my number of absences. There was a job I was interested in last year that wanted to know how many  days of school you missed and why. I was a little nervous because I didn't know how many days were acceptable and Im not even a chronic absentee teacher.

Fast forward to today, I learned that I am well below the average for the US.Im happy about that. I have averaged about 6 a year over the past 4 years and I do believe most were in the first year for post surgery reasons. Ive even gone to work with no voice! The second day I realized how ridiculous it was and went home,lol.

I was told that they used to pay for sick days not used. I wish that were the case,Id have a pretty little bonus every year!

25 May 2014

If Only

maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

They had a 75% off sale today at a jewelry store and there was a sick diamond wedding ring there for 8500 dirham.


Sigh.


Yeah,I have a wedding ring but Im on the quest for an upgrade. More importantly I suppose, is the quest to pay off more debt so that when we do find the one,we can get it!


Responsibilities.




05 May 2014

Arab Hip Hop Song









I thought this was cool.

21 April 2014

Im So Lame

I didn't want to go to work today.
I don't want to go to work tomorrow.
But Ill probably go.


I feel like Ive swallowed a porcupine and I don't feel like talking.Something I have to do at work.Actually,Ive worked a couple times with no voice so it is doable.Still, I don't want to!
Of course, I could stay home tomorrow, and it probably would have happened if it weren't for
several things that happened today.
1.the substitute wants to bake cake tomorrow as we are on the community helpers unit
2.we got new stuff in school today!!!!! computer, carpet,plush seating for the reading center
3.there was something else but idk at this moment.

anyway, I am SO EXCITED that one computer is going next to the reading center so that we can finally have a listening center!!!!!!!! Im so happy, Ive been wanting this for about three years. I was about to make some cds for some books I acquired from the library but this is a better option because we have book with cds that correspond with their arabic letters. the stories can also play in english and the story is visual.I can also download videos from youtube for them to enjoy.They are going to LOVE IT.

That in addition to the kitchen we just got the other day.I probably don't even need a voice for the rest of the week,lol. Pretty soon our school will look like a regular school!

I also had a relative come in to tell me how pleased she was with her nephew's progress in class.Now, he spoke english before coming.He was actually better in it than arabic which was strange. Needless to say, he is catching on to literacy concepts like wild fire.Im happy that she came in for he feedback. it was nice to hear. All the parents that come in make mention of their child loving class.Mission accomplished *wink*.




14 April 2014

Always A Student

I love ECE.

Love it.


For awhile I began to feel my brain was going into atrophy. I felt like I wasn't making a difference and that I wasn't able to use my skill set. That is when the itch started. I feel like Im always reading something or watching a video about something. It doesn't help when I find tons of great ideas that I can't use because my environment is different from those that aren't esl.

The itch is gone and I feel like things have picked up.Unfortunately, this can all change next year.I won't even think about that right now.In the meantime, I have some very important decisions to make about how I am going to teach for he remainder of the year as we are piloting a new way to run the classrooms which allows for more focus on small groups without the distractions that come along with active kids all around you.Ill be able to speak on that once I have started.

Anyway, I found a website today that has FREE videos for anyone who wants/needs to be reminded they aren't crazy when they are trying to do something that is developmentally appropriate in their class, for someone who has been placed in KG without prior experience,or if you just want to brush up on some things. I have personally found that teachers are quick to say "i know____________" when maybe they don't or perhaps there is a better way to do something.There are also times when something may not be appropriate for various reasons.Whenever I feel that tug of apprehension I like to check myself because I don't know everything and there are lots of things I want to improve on while modifying it for kids who don't speak English. Ugh, so much to do, so little time.

For now, Im going to watch some of these videos and glean what I can.I find that I can use something in practice but I would like to better articulate my reasons for doing things. Its kind of like when I played an instrument in class but couldn't read the notes.

enjoy and share the videos!


Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

08 April 2014

Perspective



Ive been spending some time in this building lately and yesterday I began to think about the life that was going on beneath me. At the time, I found it interesting. Just thinking about the fact that I live in another country and I honestly don't know when I will cease to be an expatriate. Fast forward to today, Ive been busy finding anniversary gifts for my husband and I just finished enjoying a new recipe of couscous, curry paste, and chicken mixed together for a delectable,spicy dinner accompanied by a glass of South African medium sweet. Life is just so comfortable right now and I appreciate that. There definitely was not the ease of life at home that I enjoy now.

I took the above picture not really knowing what Id do with it but  as I began typing I realized that its all about perspective. Well,not all, because your placement has a LOT to do with  how well you enjoy this experience BUT you CANNOT discount what you bring to the picture. If you have inner peace, the small (big) things won't take you on roller coaster rides as often.There is ALWAYS a roller coaster to get on here. I decline and let others go along for the ride.

Basically, there is dirt there and if you can't, or refuse to, see through it, maybe living abroad isn't the place for you. Some say that every place has its issues and I think thats true and some places are better suited for you based on your personality.theres also the idea of wishful thinking and visiting a place is NOTHING like living there for an extended period of time. thats how China almost go me,lol.

Anyway, i feel like I'm rambling.

Just know that beyond that dirt, there are interesting lives going on below (I was on the 18th floor). there is beautiful blue water that is about 10 mins away from this location, and there are goals that I once thought were unattainable right at my fingertips just because I'm on the other side of this dirty glass window.


03 April 2014

shwaya arabi

Being here for so long makes me feel like I should be speaking more Arabic. Some people here will ask you why you don't know more.I even had a rude guy tell me how he speaks English and that I should be speaking Arabic. Im sure it didn't cross his mind that he has many opportunities to practice using English because that is what is used everywhere. In regards to Arabic, not only is it not often used in public places but there are different dialects so words I learn at school may have no meaning if you are not Emirati.  Anyway, I started my list with about 70 and have and will add to it as words cross my mind.Im sure when school starts again Ill remember some more!
  1. ana:me
  2. ma araf:i can't/i don't know how
  3. sawili:do it for me
  4. athini:give it to me
  5. bes:stop
  6. shwaya:little or slowly
  7. mafi:none
  8. badoon:without
  9. badoon sote:stop talking
  10. isma:listen
  11. imshi:walk
  12. tabur:line up
  13. bucara:tomorrow
  14. inshallah:God willing
  15. sabah al khair: good morning
  16. ana habuk:i love you
  17. el ab:play
  18. behedu:nicely
  19. el ab behedu:play nicely
  20. mahba:i don't want
  21. nefsa/nefsashay:the same
  22. culiyoom: i think it means every day but i don't remember
  23. lahzahm:you must (i think)
  24. la ahfahm:i dont understand
  25. shoo?:what
  26. shoo yani?:what do you mean?
  27. yani:mean/i mean
  28. shutaba?:what do you want?
  29. khalas:finished
  30. ma khalas:im not finished
  31. sharik:share
  32. raja'an:please
  33. fil:for
  34. bayt:home
  35. saf:class
  36. haluka:carpet
  37. put 33 together with 34 and 35 to tell the kids what something is for.ie this is for class so you can't take it or put this in your bag,its for  home.
  38. fil haluka :go to the carpet
  39. hatha:that
  40. shoo hatha?:whats that?
  41. shoofi:look
  42. shoofi hanee:look here
  43. asaf:I'm sorry
  44. bes mamza:stop playing
  45. awal:first
  46. howal:try (if they say ma araf and won't do the work)
  47. sabura:white board 
  48. lo samanti:excuse me (i think )
  49. ba'ad/marathania:again
  50. la:no
  51. na'am:yes
  52. shukran:thank you
  53. afwan:you're welcome
  54. abala/mualimat:teacher 
  55. madeera:principal
  56. habibi:love
  57. kabir:big
  58. wayad:a lot
  59. mam noor:not allowed
  60. mumtaz:perfect
  61. halawah:candy
  62. haram:something that is bad/forbidden (i.e. drinking alcohol but is used for lesser offenses as well)
  63. wallah:i swear but people use it to say 'really' also
  64. labneh:yogurt
  65. sucar:sugar
  66. bedoon sucar:without sugar
  67. sura'a:fast/quickly
  68. ham am:bathroom
  69. my:water
  70. al ban at:girl
  71. aloowad (i think):boy
  72. shatrin:excellent 
  73. baboon:poop (but its not good to say)
  74. zega:pee (also not polite to say)
  75. sowi kitha:do it like this
  76. when hatha?:asking where something is
  77. fahamtu?:do you understand
  78. fahamna:yes i understand
  79. wajub:work
  80. wajub fil baht:homework
  81. wajub fil saf:classwork
  82. laish:why?
  83. chub:shut up
  84. gum/gumi:get up,move over,stand up depends on context
  85. warga:paper
  86. nunu:baby
  87. most of the colors
  88. some of the days of the week
  89. MORE TO COME AS I THINK OF THEM.pretty sure i can get to 100

Spring Break

If I told you how I was spending it, you wouldn't believe me,lol. So I won't.

nothings going on for SB but its getting close to that time of year when you are planning all the places you will hit when you reach your home for the summer. Watching hulu has me waiting to get to Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Maybe I should start saving now!

In work news,we had so few kids the three days before holiday, I was able to get so much work done in the classroom.I was so busy that I figured Id do my plans over holiday. Probably a mistake because the momentum I had is gone.Not to say that I don't feel like doing them because Im a planning kind of girl. But I knew what I wanted to do then.Now I have no idea what I was thinking about then.Ill get on that next week some time.



In personal news, I haven't forgotten about my portfolio and preparing for the next job. As it stands, Ill do another year here and prepare myself a little better. Im still within my original 5 year plan so no worries . . .I suppose.


next on my to do list? write all the arabic words I know.Wonder how long it will take!!

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