The Start of Year 3- Teaching Abroad

I’m back and this is how I greeted my honey!!

It was my first time flying 12.5 hours straight alone, but I arrived safely back in Qatar on August 1, giving myself enough time to readjust to the time change, and dry weather and to spend some much needed quality time with honey before I start back to work on August 12.  I also need time to adjust to my new accommodation.  Over the summer, Honey moved us again.  This time to a even smaller apartment near the beach, closer to school and a whole lot cheaper.

This is the start of year 3 of my journey of teaching overseas and year 8 in the classroom.  Last year was rough at work so I came up with a motto for this year: Don’t make waves, ride them!  My team and I agreed to start anew which is great and one member in particular even apologized for their behavior last year.  This is a great way to start the year.  Honestly though, I just want to teach and be left alone and that’s why I turned down the opportunity to be Grade Team Lead again.  Let the newbies do it.  Been there done that, I’m good.  With a new school year comes new teachers and new challenges.

This year we are starting at our brand new school and with that comes it’s own set of obstacles.  Administration set the tone for the school year telling us all to be flexible.  Since our school is still not completely ready to welcome students, their start date got pushed back a week so far.

This is what the staff meeting looked like after the announcement.  Of course, we teachers still must go but that’s fine.  Only a portion of our school has been approved by the powers that be, so we will all be uncomfortable for a little while longer as we will be squished in.  I think all of the adjustments that we will go through will make the school year go faster, I’m hoping.

I’m optimistic about this New School Year!



Arabic 101: Lesson 2

Ahlan Wa Sahlan- Welcome, Hello

If you ever want to know what it’s like to be an esl student, become one. ≈Me

I’ve never been a very empathetic person but this class is causing a change in me when it comes to my class of first graders.  Even though they understand a lot of English, they are still learning English as a second language and many of them are spoken to in Arabic at home.  I have to repeat directions several times in class and I’ve become more mindful of how fast I speak.  I’ve been told by multiple people that I speak rather fast.

Darryl and I have had 4 Arabic classes now and my confidence level has gone wayyy down.  This class is intense.  I am having a lot of difficulty with reading the letters and remembering what they mean.  However, I am catching on to bits of conversation pieces when the Arabic teachers at my school talk.  I assume it is a lot like this with some of my students.

Anyway this week we learned the Arabic numbers 0-10. Ten is just a combo of 1 and 0.

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Here is my favorite phrase that I’ve learned:  La Atif– it means I don’t know.  I use it quite often.

Other Phrases:

Ayna taskunu- Where you live?

Ana Askonu fi Bin Omran- I live in Bin Omran

Ahamaloo fi- I work in___

Come (not the right spelling but same sound)- how many, Becum- how much

A few Adjectives: Kabir- big; Jadil- new; Jamil- beautiful;

A few nouns: Baab- door; kitaab- book; cowlim- pen, wajib- homework, Bayt- house/home

Possessive- Kitaab- book, kitaaboka- your book for a boy, kitaaboki- your book for a girl, kitaabohu- his book, kitaaboha- her book, kitaabi- my book

Until next time- Iilaa aliiqaa [Ela licka]- See you


The Abu Dhabi Interview Second Chance

2/2/16 7:10 am- I arrived at the meeting room; three other women were waiting outside the door. I found out there is a Starbucks on the first floor. I grab a banana nut bread and caramel latte. (Btw, this was a waste of money because I didn’t finish either, and they wound up in the trash. I can’t eat when I’m nervous)

By 7:30am I was back at the meeting room.  This time there were 4 other women seated inside including Nancy, my bloggy friend.  We said each other’s name, pointed and then hugged just like we were old friends.  It didn’t take long for the small hotel room to fill up.  It was a regular hotel room, with the beds removed.  I thought that was strange especially since there was only seating enough for around 12 people but there were over 30 of us there.  As everyone began streaming in, I began to take inventory.  There were approximately 40 people, 5 males, 3-5 white women and the rest were, well you guessed it, African American Women.  Interesting!

The Teach Away rep was nice.  She began to take attendance and laid out the interviewing order.  There were applicants there from other teaching agencies as well.  She informed us that there would be 5 interview rooms with interviews occurring simultaneously.  I found my name on one of the list and I was second.  Life’s small victories. I handed the rep my flash drive with all my personal info on it and waited my turn. Everyone was nice and chatty.

After a while, the first 3 people from the 5 list went into one of the interview rooms for a 20 minute orientation via Skype.  The two ADEC reps gave us some more information about the position.  Then the interviews began.  I interviewed with two women whom were very nice.  Here are some examples of questions they asked:

What is your religion? (and you have to claim one)

Do you have any visual tattoos?

Do you have any medical problems that may hinder your ability to perform the job?

How would you

differentiate for ELL learners?

How would you motivate ELL learners who don’t participate?

What reading curriculums have you used?

How do you work in a team?

How have you integrated technology?

What is outcome based learning?

Why do you want to work for ADEC?

Give an example of a time when a student was misbehaving or not academically excelling, what did you do?

How would you communicate a child’s progress to their parent and or to the child?

How would a student-centered classroom look and how would you get your class there?

Of course I over prepared for this interview.  But I’m glad I prepared.  Some of the other applicants shared their interview experience.  Some were not as lucky to get such a nice panel of interviewers and were asked different questions than I.

I was glad when it was over.  By 9:30 I was done. By 10:30, so were Nancy and Shina (another nice applicant that I vibed with). We agreed to get lunch together and waited till 11:15 to leave.

By 11:30, we sat down for lunch at Gyu-Kaku.

It was my first time eating Japanese BBQ and it did not disappoint.  Nancy and I encouraged Shina to apply for Qatar.  We had good conversation and agreed to stay in contact either way.  If one of us does not get the job, we will visit the other.  If I don’t get the job, I am happy I made two new friends.



I feel good about the interview.  It was a good day.