Finally, Kashif will shut up, and you get to hear all of the good information from the teacher’s mouth. Today was Bae’s first official day as an ADEC Teacher. She will explain her experience in Abu Dhabi as it relates to her Professional Development (PD). Without further adieu, I give you Bae.
Y’all I’m over here just trying to be great and watch “Insecure, ” and Kashif is like, “It’s time.” I’m like bruh. (Side note: Kashif went to high school with a few people on that show, including Issa Rae).
Anway, today was my first official day as an international educator! It felt surreal sitting in a new school, in a different country, and with brand new colleagues. Like for real? Am I doing this?! It was a different experience. I mean what I say: DIFFERENT. Not better. Not worse.
So I arrived at work at 7:36. It was such a smooth ride, only 20 minutes away. No traffic. It was beautiful! My day starts off with me trying to clock in using my fingerprint. It kept reading “Invalid, error!”
Internal voice: Okay, fingerprint scanner, you will not dampen my day.
We took it old school. I signed my name, Employee ID number, and date on a piece of paper. Woot woot!
I chat with the other new teachers and exchange a lot of greetings and handshakes with a lot of veteran teachers. It was great watching all of the EMTs (English Medium Teacher) and AMTs (Arabic Medium Teacher) exchange kisses and hugs because they missed each other over the long summer break. You could feel the sense of community. I was excited.
More Time…And Moooore Tiiiiime
After about an hour of sitting on the couch with the other newbs, our principal summoned us. We’re all excited because we know we’re finally going to get some information. (We live in the dark out here. Figuratively speaking, of course).
We were hopeful it would be our grade level* and school side.**
*This refers to the grade level I’m supposed to teach. I was initially assigned KG (Preschool/Kinder), but things change out here for absolutely no reason at all.
**For an ADEC Teacher, schools are separated by boys and girls. Some schools are co-ed with a boys side and girls side, like my school. Other schools are exclusively boys or girls.
We introduce ourselves. I let her know that I’m ‘Merican and four years deep in the teacherhood (thug life). Soon after our brief introductions, the Vice Principals enter and introduce themselves. They leave to discuss our potential grade levels.
Heart racing. Breath. Need that.
Either I’m too stoked or too nervous. Will I get the boys side? Upper grades? Oh geez, upper-grade boys? So many thoughts are running through my head.
We waited for hours (forty minutes really). The reality TV show sensation kicked in. I’m waiting to know if they will choose me. (Add me on Twitter, so I know it’s real).
Every ADEC Teacher would “jump” every time someone walked past the door. Five hours later (still only forty minutes), they eventually entered. Staring contest commences. Our principal laughed because she could sense the anticipation.
Maury: Am I the father?
They take two of my colleagues to the boys’ side.
Now, which grade would I receive?
Five of us follow the AVP down the hallway.
AVP: Who’s Tiyaanah?
Me: Me. (Sounding cool)
AVP: Grade 1. (Points room)
Me: Okay. Okay.
I haven’t had a classroom in almost a year. It was weird and exciting. After going into my room, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. So I took videos and pics. Then, I started peeking through cabinets and cupboards to see all the teaching goodies.
I will give you the abridged version of the rest of my day. It was filled with me talking to colleagues, visiting other newbies classrooms, asking vets what it was they were doing today, so I could figure out what I should be doing, and opening curriculum boxes. So, it was a very relaxed day. Like I said, it was very different than what I’m used to back home. I haven’t a clue what’s in store for tomorrow. Meetings? Planning? Who knows? It doesn’t matter. I’m happy with first-grade girls, and I’m already in love with my school.
Insha’Allah, it will be a great year.