Have you ever had a minor problem just snowball out of control? I have. During my first week of school it happened in an epic way…
I have 18 students on my roster this year. A big leap up from only 9 last year, but still manageable. The first week is always the toughest, and on day 3, there was a bit of a mix-up that turned into a full-scale problem.
The school I work for sells notebook packages for each student. I decided how many notebooks students would need over the course of a school year and ordered exactly that many for my students. Parents then pay for the notebooks to be delivered to the students in class, or pick them up when at school. All fine and dandy. Students all have the same kinds of notebooks and there is no envy. (Of course there are always parents that insist on purchasing cheaper notebooks elsewhere, but it’s not a major issue.) This year, I’ve ordered exactly 222 LE (about $31) worth of notebooks for each student.
Over the course of the week I’ve met several parents who are concerned about not having purchased notebooks yet, and I assure them that this is normal, and the real work of notebooks won’t begin until the next week. No big deal.
Midday on Tuesday my students are all gathered in the hallway trying to get themselves ready for Arabic class. As I’m herding cats, er… children, into line one of my students, Sh, looks up at me and asks, “Miss where are my notebooks?”
Categories: Egypt, Teaching
Tags: adventures in (mis)communication, Egypt, Humor, International school, life abroad, notebooks, parent, school supplies, Student, Teacher, teaching
In my humble few years of overseas living I have noticed a trend in the types of people who end up living and teaching abroad. Some people are totally gung-ho about moving overseas and embrace life to the fullest. Others have one or two hang-ups that make working with them a little difficult. Here’s my list, in no particular order:
Ten Eleven Twelve Types of Teachers Living Abroad:
1. The Party Animal
Usually a younger teacher, this creature of habit shows up to Monday morning classes hungover and full of stories about last night. The Party Animal doesn’t usually last more than a year as complaints from parents roll in when they catch on that Mr./Ms. Animal is more interested in what happens after the school day is over.
Positives: Always knows the coolest places to hang out.
Negatives: Can’t rely on them for any support or help during school hours.
2. The Newbie
“I’ve never done this before,” is the phrase you will hear most often when hanging out with the Newbie. They’ve never lived away from Mom and Dad, left their home country, eaten exotic foods, or ridden in a taxi alone.
Positives: If the Newbie is adventurous, you can get into all sorts of fun trouble with them.
Negatives: Teaching a Newbie the basics of living alone overseas can be exhausting.
Every kid learns sooner or later that when Mom says “we’ll see,” she really means no. Mom just doesn’t want an argument at the time, so she postpones the decision until later, sometimes indefinitely.
“Mom, can I have an ice cream after dinner?” asks a hopeful child in a busy restaurant.
“We’ll see…” says Mom, glancing around the crowded room.
“Mom, if I’m really good, can I have an extra toy?”
Mom doesn’t want the kid to start freaking out because she said no, but also has no real intention of letting the kid (or kids) have their extra toy. “We’ll see…” also has the benefit of an implied request: “We’ll see how well you behave and then make a decision. If you don’t behave, my decision will be no, but I’m not promising a yes if you do behave.”
Sorry to leave everyone hanging, but it’s been a crazy few months here. I’ve been busy with work and blah, blah, blah…
Here’s Day 2 of the trip!
Categories: Egypt, Life Abroad
Tags: cruise, Egypt, expat, Expatriate, fun with friends, International school, life abroad, Nile, pictures, Temple, travel, Vacation