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


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 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!!

18 March 2014

Darn Tide!

I was feeling some kind of way today after I found out my teacher wants a transfer. I understand her reasons so there is no argument there. But there are things at play that I don't think she understands and I haven't found a way to explain them to her.Actually,I won't find a way because its like trying to tell someone something negative about their close friend. Yeah,so I'm going to leave that one alone.

The reason I was feeling some kind of way is because part of the reason I was leaning toward staying was because of the situation in our room!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't imagine the kids going from their independent activities and the level of freedom  they have to the alternative that Im sure will happen without her as my coteacher. I am extremely disappointed.extremely.


I came home today to check the school I was eyeing only to find that the posts have been removed.Im sure that means the posts have been filled but I will keep my eyes out. (heavy sigh) Everything happens for a reason. Who knows what next year may bring. On the bright side, my school improves every year but there are so many variables I just don't even try to imagine what will come next.Thats basically impossible!

Its only March.
Ill keep telling myself that.

17 February 2014

Turning Tides

6 months ago I wasn't to happy with my situation. I was feeling stifled in terms of teaching time and a  host of other things and my main focus in life was to get OUT.  I must say that the year has progressed rather nicely and Im not feeling the same way about the year. Thanks to my coteacher, who understands what the kids need and provides those things even when someone says otherwise,we  are having a great year! I can't say that I would feel this way with another teacher.

Our classroom runs smoothly and the kids are self sufficient. Today, two kids decided to make a book in the science center. The books were pre made with the title and had two pages for them to draw animals or write. They were provided with real pictures of animals to choose from and had been given instructions previously about their options (to draw animals they saw at the zoo, animals from the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or to use the pictures if necessary). We also started this week putting familiar picture word cards on the word wall.I waited until I felt like doing so would mean something to them and they added the words in small group.

Anyway, two kids drew pictures and,of course, came to show me. I prompted them to write the names for their animals and to go to the word wall to help them. I have about 5 kids who are ready to do this independently. They were able to label their animals and I was SO PROUD. THIS IS KG1!!!!!!!!!
Mind you, Ive always had kg2 AND they were classes who had not been to school before. Well, except  one year.

So yeah, Im at the point where I feel like my school is having a growth spurt and I may be interested to go along for that ride. Some very cool things are happening with 6 classes piloting a 'new' plan to teach and I will be one of the classes to do so. It involves creating center points around the school where children will commune with other classes (kg1 and 2) for learning centers to include the beloved science room Ive been working on! IF it goes well it could be the new model for the school.

I do have my eyes on one school in particular. Im going to knock and see if they answer this year.Maybe Ill hold out for them and in the meantime continue to roll with the punches.This is year 4 and the goods continue to outweigh the bad for me.

24 January 2014

Portfoliogen - Create a Free Customized Teacher Portfolio Website in Minutes!

Portfoliogen - Create a Free Customized Teacher Portfolio Website in Minutes!

Im currently working on my e portfolio.

06 January 2014

New Year New Me

im not one to obsess over capitals and punctuation but this time its not a case of keyboard is screwed and i have to order a new one from america or pay 80+ dollars for one here.

so simple bullets will have to suffice for now.

  • found my color foundation in revlon color stay.that never happens.wouldve bought them all but they only had two.and let me add i like it better than mac studio fix.*gasps!*
  • went to body pump FINALLY.10 dollars a class.what was i waiting for?!but I'm a light weight and lost my dinner
  • 20 some odd days till he gets back from his china stint :-)
  • our principal is back and making sure we know it,lol.
  • its been two days and I'm trying not to let the fact that there isn't enough teaching time disturb me
  • and we are off again sunday!the perfect opportunity to start my e-portfolio!
  • we have two new malls in the city!idk why but I'm going to at least one this week just to browse

i should probably do a review on a product here soon.maybe my new camera...but not before i get this keyboard taken care of.this took way longer than it should have!

29 December 2013

Where Have You Gone?

The month is almost over and it seems Ive not written much. Not because I haven't had the chance. Just being lazy about it. Not much is going on. School ended on a high note with a few mishaps-flooding of the school, still working on the science room,fog (no students),practicing for National day,etc. So much and yet so little seemed to happen this term. I didn't even get to pass out my most improved certificates. I do hope that the new term provides more opportunity for teaching. I also hope the principal comes that I think about it, I miss her walking around school looking at us,lol.

This is the last week of our three week break. Time to start going to bed at a more reasonable time. I also need to finally finish getting rid of clutter and cleaning up as the Mr. will be making his return soon! We have plans to do more than sit in front of a screen.

ooooomg, Im certain this year will be ending before I know it. Im done posting about where Im going or what Im going to do because I just don't know. Who knew some things would be so difficult. Maybe its just not my time. I can live with that. Doesn't make it any easier going down memory lane-looking at old pictures,videos, and student work. I REALLY miss teaching at home. Maybe I should learn Arabic. That may help,haha.

23 November 2013


We tend to hold on to things we don't need. Because, well, "we might need it one day". Especially as teachers. Often we DO use these things. In my case, too many times I don't. I have gotten so much better over the years. Before moving here I went through an extensive purging and it felt good. I think about it often here. I haven't had to do a major cleaning, though, since I don't have that many things. I  do find that I have collected little things from different places. Not from travels, but because there are often free things passed out like candy here.

I know I have too many things. As soon as he was gone, I took over his closet space as if I couldn't make it without it. What was I doing before he left?! I figure now is the perfect time to go through our space and ease the burden of having stuff. My thoughts started with the fact that I don't want to be a slave to material things. Of course, we all like stuff but I go back and forth with that and won't go into it right now. The other thing is that I don't know what the future holds and it is so stressful to me to have to move because the little things cause my ADD tendencies to go into overdrive. I end up just packing the large items and leaving the house to have my husband do as he pleases with the rest. I just can't stand to watch it be thrown out,lol.

So, starting this week, I have begun the process of purging. I expect that I will feel better about the space once it is finished. Some of the items are worth posting on fb for free pickup. The rest is trash. And I won't fall into the trap of holding it for the day I finally get around to posting the items. If I do that, it will only move locations in my house.

Now off to set the mood with some hot tea,scented oil, and mindless tv. Bob's Burgers is so stupid funny.I just started season 1.

wibiya widget

Why are you interested in coming to the UAE?