Week 3 – Games, crying and settling in

It wasn’t an easy week at work!  My preschoolers cried their little eyes out, some of them separated from their mamas for the first time ever.  I won’t be working w/ the more experienced Kindergarten class anymore, due to a schedule change – but have no complaints since, technically, I did volunteer to take the wee ones w/ my colleague Monique.  I knew it’d be more challenging, in terms of classroom management and meeting our pacing chart requirements, but I figured the cuteness would make up for their animal-like behavior!  They are adorable, of course … and considering my lack of experience with preschool classes upwards of 24 students … I have been keeping an open mind.  Then again …

Last week, during snack time, I literally had to stop a young girl from squatting down and peeing right there in the corner!  Earlier in the week, a few boys who I tried to calm down with a soothing voice and a pat on the back actually threatened me w/ raised fists – another made motions like a gun with his hand.  Don’t make me get all jihadist on your ass, little man, that’s no way to gesticulate toward your teacher! ;o)  Hehe, they’ll learn.  (note: the first meeting I had with my Arabic-speaking colleagues at the school, they all thought it would be hilarious to welcome us with the jihadist war cry.  LOVED THAT.  I can work with a sense of humour!)

Yeah, school’s been fun so far – we mostly played games last week – but next week’ll be an entirely different story.  Our weekly goals could be a challenge, but if the Arabic-speaking teachers in the classroom help with translation and behavior, I think we can make it work.  It’s not an easy situation for them – some have been teaching KG for upwards of 15 years.  Having all us young Americans roll in with binders, clipboards and lists of objectives has got to be a bit of a shock.  But most are warming to us, little by little.

Back on the home-front, life is pretty sweet.  After a long day w/ bugers and tears, and an hour-long commute that follows, a moment on the beach is just what the doctor ordered.  I go for a walk along the soft white shores and everything else melts away.  Pranayam (breathing exercises) in the steam room’s a nice trick as well.  It still completely boggles my  mind that just 60 of us get to live in these amazing surroundings, and so many others are off stranded in apartments in the middle of nowhere!  Granted, I’ve heard their accommodation is pretty sweet, but we have all these amenities – and our buffet alone is supposed to cost $50 a pop!

The dessert buffet at our humble little five star <cue waistline crying!>

Other than getting adjusted to work, this was a pretty low key week.  I interviewed a friend of mine out here for an article on courage.  That should be posted in a week or so.  I also managed to catch a killer flu from a coworker who came in with a fever, fully sweating balls.  Cheers, Ms. Wissem!  ;o)  I certainly hope that explains why I had another nightmare last night – this time I find two babies on a bench and try – with very little direction – to take them on a subway ride back to London.  Disturbing.

Off to recover before the new week starts.  It’s a 5am start to the day out here – wish a sister luck!


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