Week of school, that is, and no, I’m not counting any more this soon in the school year. But getting through the first week is a biggie. As a first-time teacher at an international school, I found the week was full of new experiences. One of them was seeing students walk empty-handed to a building on campus and return a long while later with either a stack of books or a yellow plastic bag full of books. Interesting way to get textbooks into student hands. I am used to a department or grade level team requesting new books or a new curriculum, researching and sometimes trying out one or two possible purchases, and having final approval go through a school district committee for funding. Having parents fund book purchases, although certainly a common practice at private schools, was something I had neither thought about nor seen in practice prior to last week.
My school offers classes to children and youth in grades pre-kindergarten to 12. It has been about 12 years since I worked at an elementary school so being around the youngsters is quite a treat (I write this while thinking I’m glad to not be a classroom teacher responsible for 20 little ones five days a week). Had lunch twice last week during elementary lunch time–boisterous and loud is the best way to describe the behavior. So excited to be back at school with their friends after the summer holiday. My neighbor is a pre-K teacher who offered me a tour of the pre-K building including his classroom. What a lovely place furnished with several activity areas in addition to classrooms. There was one particularly trying day last week when I wanted to leave the library, walk to the pre-K building, play in the “fantasy area” and then curl up in the reading area with a picture book. Hoping to do story time with the little ones second semester, after they learn a bit of English.
The beginning of a school year always involves a bit of stress with getting the library up and running, sorting out class lists (I’m responsible for 38 sections of study hall per week), and in my case this year, getting up to speed not only on the inner workings of the school (building layout, location of staff rooms, hierarchy of administration teams with both host-nation and international principals, etc) but also of learning both a new library classification system and a new library management system. No complaints, though, because what would be the point? Still living my dream.