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First Grade/First Week

Another semester started this week, no wait! A new academic year started and instead of college students I have First Graders, future college students. I cannot wait to share this past three days. I have 13 students on my roster and 11 have shown each day. I have a new student coming from the British school on Monday. All of the students currently attending can read and some are at mid-year level. They all know their numbers for recognition to 100. You probably wonder how a class can begin so high functioning. Let me add, we all have full time teaching assistants who are with us every day from 8-4. My teaching assistant is priceless and quite capable. I feel like I have a co-teacher in the room with me. She is spoiling me as she helps beyond what is normally expected in the States. Let me outline my days.

The children are brought into the room at 8:15 and we have calendar, class business and then immediately begin reading. We have reading until 9:50 and then recess/snack until 10:05. Ingy, takes care of walking them down and picking them up. She is spoiling me as she gets me coffee for the break and specialists times. We then begin writing workshop until they go to either 45 minutes of Music or Art. They have both twice a week. On Thursday in the time slot they have PE and they are to be in their PE uniforms. Their first unit is swimming! We have a nice pool! They come back and we have math until lunch at 11:50-12:35. They have lunch inside at special tables downstairs. I do have the first 20 minutes of lunch duty. (That shocked me and I do find that is my only complaint. I do not have time to eat a lunch and it is making me a grumpy person but never to the kids. This would never fly with the Unions. I am not done yet on this situation.) We then come back for more math, then Arabic every day for 45 minutes and planning time with my partner, Barb. On Thursday, they go to IT in this time slot. They come back, and on Sundays we pack up and finish the day at the library. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday is a time for STEM and social studies. On Tuesday they have another session of PE in the afternoon. We have started a study of bats and this is great as we have bats on campus. They leave at 3:00 and Ingy walks them to the bus line and to the side gate to be picked up by family, driver, or nanny. All entrances are guarded here and we are completely walled.

Now this story is ending my blog for this post. On Thursday I noticed one of my rugs is just too frayed to make it through this year. Also my parents have sent in tennis balls to put on the chair legs so they don’t screech. Lastly, I felt the fan blades were not really clean enough. I sent an email to our director of facilities, per instructions, and just asked a few questions; about the rug, who cuts the balls, and about the fan blades. I kid you not, within minutes two cleaning ladies came in, rolled up the bad carpet, cleaned where it had been, and then put in a cute yellow rug with orange stripes and blue dots! Then our floor custodian asked where the balls were and took them. She had them back in 5 minutes, cut. As she left she told me that the blades would be cleaned today, her day off! I still can’t believe this. You ask and something is completed before you blink. I am spoiled! It is no wonder these children can progress when we have full time teaching assistants, and tasks completed for us immediately. We really can concentrate on giving these students our full attention. True, we are in a school celebrating 90 years and the buildings are old, but can we ever teach these eager minds. Let me also add these little characters also speak English well and some are speaking not two but three languages. Amazing!

Living the crazy life,

Sherry

3 comments on “First Grade/First Week

  1. Hi Sherry – I’m Riamei’s mom and we’ve been enjoying reading your blog today. Your description about your class brings back memories to me, as I worked as a Speech Pathologist in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia at an ARAMCO school for almost ten years back in the late 70’s-80’s. I have SO many wonderful memories of those years, and that part of the world. I traveled to Egypt several times and often said it was a country I would thoroughly enjoy living in. I hope you continue to have fun with your adorable students and to enjoy your exciting adventure! Thank you for this interesting blog. -Take Care- Lynn

    • Hello Lynn,

      How wonderful to hear from you. How is Riamei? I do miss her smiling face and wonderful writing. Tell her I said “hello” and give her a hug for me. I hope she is continuing to have a good educational experience. She has so much to offer. I would love to keep track of her achievements.
      As you can tell, we are thoroughly enjoying our adventures in this part of the world. It is too bad our American media gives such a negative tone to the stories reported. I am having horrible issues with my diet (celiac disease) and my new Egyptian friends have come to my rescue. They are truly loving, caring people. We are all of different religious beliefs or non-beliefs, yet we all get along and truly care for one another.
      Well, I better get another blog posted. It is a delight to hear from you!
      Take care,
      Sherry

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