The Love Of Teaching

7 Feb

So I have now been in Kuwait for about 5 weeks.  I am loving it which is evident in the fact that I signed a contract.  Since I have been here I have worked a lot but I have also found some time to do some fun things like ride a camel!  Even though I am having a lot of fun there are those people I am missing at home.  To lessen the pain I have Skyped with my parents, siblings, friends, and my little first graders.  I think I have skyped with my old class about as much as I have with my mom.  After I finished Skyping with them today Tammy sent me a picture of a letter one of my students wrote.  I am very proud that she had all the parts of a letter I taught her about 🙂

letter from Brianna

It reads “Dear Miss Moore, can you come back please.  Love Brianna”

I will be honest in saying it brought tears to my eyes!  I knew I found a special place in my heart for all of them last semester but I guess I didn’t realize how hard is was going to be not to finish the journey of first grade with them.  I understand it will be hard to say goodbye to my students at the end of each year.  I guess the only way to make it easier is to find a place I love and stay there forever so I can watch them all grow into adults.  It doesn’t make me miss room 5 any less though.

 

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Yard Sale Fun

25 Jan
Now that I have officially decided to stay in Kuwait and I know what grade I will be teaching, I have started to prepare myself.  I started following blogs and twitter accounts for early childhood and accumulating toys and other must haves for my new classroom.  I have been going a little pin crazy.

This morning Lissa, Jeff, our friend Dana, and I went to a yard sale.  A lot of it was presale only so we weren’t really sure what we were going to find.  I of course was looking for toys and things for my classroom next year along with anything for the apartment I will move into in the fall.  I came up short with apartment items, but there were more toys than I could even fit into a classroom.  I ended up buying eleven puzzles, four books, a mini abacus, and a toy stroller.

Some of the puzzles are a little difficult for three year olds so I will be giving them away to some of the older grades.

I also bought myself a couple of things.  As Lissa and I were looking through the Disney movies being sold, we enjoyed reminiscing about the ones we watched as children. There were about 10 movies that we really wanted but knew we shouldn’t spend the money on.  We ended up buying The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fern Gully, and Mary Poppins.  Lissa and Jeff bought a pizza paddle and the grand total for the toys and all was only 6 KWD or about $21.00.  This three day weekend has proven to be a success!

Job Hunt Complete

22 Jan

√ Diploma 
√ Teaching Certificate
√ Job

On Thursday, I was offered a position here at AIS as a Pre-K teacher.  I signed my contract on Sunday!  It is official.  I will be living in Kuwait for the next two years!  Get ready for a lot of learning experiences!

To read how we celebrated in a dry country visit Lissa and Jeffs blog 🙂

Dust Day?

21 Jan
Being from Michigan I am used to all types of weather.  The days when you can’t go to school because the wind chill is too cold or the snow days.  I am also used to rainy days when my students had indoor recess.  Here there are yellow and red days.  They both have to do with dust.On a yellow day any student who has an allergy to dust or has asthma has to stay in for recess.  All of the other students are permitted to go outside.

A red day means you keep all students inside!

Since I have been here we had a day that started yellow and turned into a red day.  The elementary was the only part of the school that had a red day.  The rest of the school was still on yellow.  I was happy my students got 15 minutes of their recess in before they changed it to red.  They were crazy being cooped up all day.

A Different Kind of Teaching

20 Jan
Throughout my placements during my education I used many standards.  Michigan previously required elementary teachers to use Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE).  This was at the beginning of my education.  Michigan then got on board with the Common Core and teachers are now supposed to follow the Common Core State Academic Standard as well as the GLCE.  I personally enjoyed teaching the Common Core because it allowed me to focus on a big idea rather than specific content.AIS is an International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) school.  The elementary and early childhood division is called Primary Years Program (PYP).  About a week after arriving I had a meeting, also known as a crash course, about PYP.  I am still no expert but I understand the concept much better.  What I understand so far is amazing!  The IBO mission statement aligns with my philosophy on many levels. One main point is to encourage students “to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”  Like the Common Core teachers are using broad topics not specific facts to teach the students.

Again, I don’t know a lot about IBO but I know I will learn more throughout this semester and I am looking forward to it!

Oh The Places You Go

5 Jan
After 54 hours of traveling, which was only supposed to be 24 hours, I am finally here!  I wrote the previous post during one of my many layovers.  My original itinerary had me arriving in Kuwait at 6:00pm on January 3rd.  The new and not so improved flights got me here at 11:50pm on January 4th.I first flew from O’Hare to Indianapolis.  While I was in O’Hare I ran into one of my Kappa Alpha Theta sisters whom I have not seen in about a year.  So far so good…  My flight from Indianapolis to Dulles was delayed so I missed my connecting flight to Kuwait.  However, when I asked the United woman when I was still in Indianapolis she told me I would be able to make it because my gates were close together.  I’m not so sure she has been to the Dulles airport because the gates were not the 3 minutes walk they were supposed to be.  They were more like 10 minutes apart.  By the time I got to the gate they had closed the doors.

It was then 10:15pm on January 2nd.  They gave me two options.  I could fly out on the 3rd at 9:50pm which would take me to Frankfurt and then from there to Kuwait getting me here at 11:50pm on the 4th or I could fly straight to Kuwait and the flight left at 9:50pm on January 4th.  I chose the one that would get me here as quick as possible.  United put me up in a hotel for the night and gave me 3 meal vouchers for $10 each.  This was great except the hotel only let me stay there until 2pm the next day, so I spent the next day sitting in the airport.

I was more than excited to board my flight to Frankfurt.  Once we were on the plane we then had to get off because they were having door problems.  They had to replace the door.  If it sounds like that would take a long time you are right!  We didn’t take off until 1:30am on the 4th.

If you haven’t been on a United international flight here are some things you should know…
1.  There is no free alcohol.
2.  There is no leg room.
3.  You are pretty much sitting on each other.
4.  It is horrible!

Because of these 4 things I slept all of about 2 hours.  After landing in Frankfurt I had just enough time to make it from gate Z all the way across the airport to gate C.  Talk about a work out.  From there the trip was smooth flying.  Lufthansa was amazing!  They were so nice, the seats were comfortable, and there was free alcohol.  My last drink before entering Kuwait was red wine and it was delicious!

So after 54 hours of traveling and only 11 hours of sleep I hit the hay pretty hard.  Lissa and Jeff left 6 hours after I did and arrived here 18 hours before me and they had an 8 hour layover.  Even with all of the road blocks I am so happy to finally be here and start school with my little 3 year olds tomorrow 🙂

The Adventure Continues…

4 Jan
With the end of the semester and then the holiday season my blog has been put on the back burner.  I have not even updated that I am continuing my adventure in a new place.  Well not just a new place but a new country!  I am moving to Kuwait to live with my sister and brother-in-law.  They have lived there since the end of August and have been working at the American International School of Kuwait or AIS.  They have been keeping a blog called Living in Laymans’ Terms where they write about all the new and fun things they are experiencing.  They love it and have convinced me to come as well.I will be substitute teaching for the semester.  My first assignment is a long term position in a Pre-K classroom which is the 3 year olds.  I am a little nervous because the youngest grade I have ever taught it first grade, but I am up for the challenge.Throughout the semester I will be sure to write about my experiences more than I did over Christmas break.  I will start with my eventful trip to get to Kuwait but that will have to wait until I have had more sleep and actually get to my apartment.