04.10.2009 - 09.10.2009 32 °C
School started last Sunday and for the first two days the children were quiet and unassuming but I'm starting to see their personalities coming out gradually. I like most of them and especially like the 'naughty' boy so I may have a better route into dealing with any problems if they occur. Right now he's behaving as well as anyone else and it's only his track record that's the issue. The level of English is very good amongst most of the pupils but it's amusing listening to them explain complicated ideas with a restricted vocabulary. I have been quite surprised by the extent of their Arabic speaking in class though. I think I'm going to start punishing them pretty frequently for it.
School this week has been a bit hectic but not nearly as bad as I would have expected. I've been away from Primary teaching for a few years now but I've realised that it doesn't really matter who or what you teach because the basic organisational aspects are the same. Some days I have a pretty good timetable, with enough free periods to get things done but Thursday, the last day of my week is a bit of a killer, with only 1 free period out of 10! The early mornings are also hitting me hard. I'm up at 6.10am each day, get to school around 7am and leave at 4pm. I haven't needed to take marking home with me and I'm going to try to maintain that.
The government's fear of a swine flu epidemic kept us off school for a month and starting from this Saturday we're having to work 6 day weeks to make up some of the time until Christmas. All of my children have assured me that they will be in school on Saturday but we'll see how long they keep it up!
As expected, the long days at work leave little time to do anything in the evenings. Al Rehab seemed a little boring when we had lots of idle time but now I look forward to the opportunity to sit at the outside food court with a coffee, to chat to my friends, the other new teachers, whom I never see during the school day! I am happy here and I am grateful that school is only a pleasant, ten minute walk away, through the apartment buildings. The only thing I'm struggling with a little is the wave of discontent among other teachers. We all come here from different places and with different expectations but I've always tried to steer clear of people who moan for moanings sake. Right now I'm trying to avoid all negativity because I will be staying here for 2 years regardless of any gripes and I'm keen to be happy and stay positive. We''ll see if I'm still saying the same thing after a few months!