First Week as an ADEK Teacher in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

Recently, Tiyaanah wrote a post about her first experience as an ADEK teacher (read it here). This time, I decided to interview her about her experience as a teacher in the classroom. The next few questions are about her experience and struggles as an ADEK teacher.

For those who don’t know, ADEC merged with (or returned to) the Ministry of Education (MOE). As a result, their name changed from ADEC to ADEK. Don’t get confused. Stick with us.

Describe the first fifteen minutes of school.

I was sitting in my classroom, waiting for my students to show up. I have the younger grades. First-grade teachers had to wait in the classroom because the students are new to the school, so they had to find me instead of wait in the gym.

School started at 7:15 A.M. and my first students showed up about fifteen minutes after that. They trickled in. I introduced myself to every student that entered. I spoke with the parents and left the students with work on the table. Because there were so many gaps between entrances, I was able to work with each student individually.

This was just about my entire day. Lots of parents asked if their child was in my classroom. I had to check my list and see. I rejected quite a few parents and accepted about ten.

Capture your entire week in one GIF and explain why you chose it.

There was a lot going on!

Pssh…I mean, there’s so much.

(This is all she can say at the moment)

I had to figure out my schedule (she wasn’t informed).

Trying to keep my children calm. (Some suffered from anxiety due to being separated from their parents. First grade is like kindergarten for many students, so it is understandable that they want to go home).

ADEC Teacher Classroom
Students often attempt to escape via this barrier. Many are successful.

She word vomits

  • Figuring out how the lunch system worked.
  • There are a lot of students.
  • They all want food at the same time.
  • I have the smallest ones.
  • Many, many other things

What was the best part of your week?

Meeting my students and getting to know my coworkers. (My heart goes out to a buddy named Camen. This is my friend crush.)

What or who was your greatest struggle?

The language barrier was my greatest struggle.

I really wanted to connect with my students from the beginning. It’s difficult to get that connection. But it requires me to get creative, so instead of getting to know them on the first day of school things take longer. (First week of school).

It continues to get better every week. I learn Arabic words (La!), and they learn English words (No!).

What advice do you have for an incoming ADEK Teacher

(Laughter)

The same thing that you will hear very often:

GO WITH THE FLOW

If you try to go against the current, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Things change often, and that’s okay.

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.

-Bruce Lee

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