ImInKuwait: Week 3
The first day was very exciting! I had the opportunity to meet with a few parents on Sunday (new students mostly coming from other countries/new schools) and it went great. I think the parents are going to be fine, I hope they do not give me to much trouble.lol The first impression went great with all of them.
Monday was the official first day. It started with all of the teachers waiting outside for their students on one of the many soccer fields at our school (it was only 36 degrees in the morning). I am really getting use to the heat. I usually do not sweat right away now, it is sort of refreshing to go outside after being inside with air conditioning all morning/day (strange right).ahahha
After gathering the students, we walked together and made our way into the classroom. It was all a bit overwhelming at first, seeing it was my first time in the classroom. It all seem to run very smoothly. Living in Kuwait comes with a variety of surprises and expecting the unexpected. I quickly found that out when I arrived the first day. The adjustments. The appointments you have to take before coming an actual working citizen. It takes time. Frustration. And everything else to do it. This suggestion has continually made true since I’ve been here. On the first day I had 22 students. By Thursday I had 25. 10 girls and 15 boys. Interesting personalities to say the least. I think I am going to have fun with these kids this year..
A lot of the students come from different places around the world. Portugal (no english). Dubai. Washington DC. Chicago. New Brunswick. Kuwait. Abu Dhabi. France.And Germany. About 75% of my class is or have been living in Kuwait for some time. This is good because I can learn from them as well! With being a teacher you must have a good memory, and I found that out very quickly with names. I really thought I’d struggle with this area, but its been fine! The remembering is not the hard part. The pronouncing is what is difficult. I’ve been practicing the rolling of my tongue and short letter sounds. The names are very unique. Some have traditional arab names you cold probably guess what they are.
Throughout the week our class worked on our hopes and dreams for the school year. “What is it that you want to learn, be better at, achieve by the end of the school year”. I started with: My hope and dream for this school year, is that we take care of one another, yourself and our classroom environment. I wish that we work hard and try our best in everything we do. The students agreed;-) As we pasted the talking stick around the students talked about trying to get all A+’s on their report cards. Being the fastest runner in PE. Working extra hard in arabic. And finding new friends. It was really sweet to listen to what these grade 2 students wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Lots of potential and space to grow in this group.
A lot the first week was spent on community building. Getting students comfortable with my teaching style. And the students talking to one another as well. And of course laying down the classroom ground rules. Rules are tough for 7 year olds. Sometimes it is difficult to put your words in a format in which a 7 year old can truly understand. A Responsive classroom approach should be the answer. That was done and created right away, as I could see some students testing the waters early.lol I quickly explained why respect and a minimum of tolerance for defiance would be granted or presented in the classroom. Such a teacher thing to do.lol
Overall the first week went really good. Again, a bit overwhelming with so much to think about, but its been nice to start a routine and get going. When Thursday came (weekend Friday-Saturday) a lot of the teachers where happy to take a break and relax for a bit. We had Potlot at our apartments pool side (BBQ and food) that went really well that same night.
On friday I went to the mall with a few friends. I was glad to find an ATM that took Canadian bank cards. It allowed me to take out Kuwait money from my account. It was great. Almost magical.ahaha I bought some swimming gear! I am going to learn how to swim like a fish this year:-) lol I currently swim like a rock. ahah Before leaving the mall we stopped and ate at an indian restaurant that was great! I love how the waitress always ask the women what they want first. They also pour their water and assist their every need before even acknowledge you (a guy). It is great. Shows lots of respect. The food was obviously delish (See pictures) I was also able to take a few sweet pictures while at the mall as well.
Saturday (Today) I will plan and try to prepare for my up and coming week. I like being ahead so the week runs smoothly. I will create a few assessment tools and lesson plan all day possibly. Week 2 is already gone, and we are now working on Week 3. Time flies when you are having fun! Stay tune for next Week 4 in Kuwait!
Interesting facts/observations of the week:
– You’d be surprised at how many Canadians are here in Kuwait. Found another Nova Scotia native Thursday night:-) From the Valley. Went to Acadia U.
– If you go to Kuwait be prepare for some interesting driving. Lots of people are in a rush ( it seems that way) Horns honking. Cars flying by. Hand gestures moving.lol
– Almost to got a phone, but the store was closed. I’m trying to get the cheapest mobile until the Iphone 5 comes out. Everyone is requesting that I get a phone because I am impossible to contact at the moment.ahahah I kind of like it that way.lol I will have a phone very shortly!
– If you go to the mall in Kuwait be prepared to find a lots of signs that “Suggest” not smoking. Key word “Suggest”. And no one actually caring about these signs. I literally saw a man smoking under a NO smoking sign. #yuck
-I went to a corner store, and an individual literally bought an ice cream. Came out side, took it out of the wrapper. Tossed the wrapper on the ground and ate his ice cream? #Strange to see. But that is what happens here. Some parts have lots of litter and others have barely any.. Welcome to Kuwait..