Hi friends, I miss you all! It has been a busy half year. Why? Teaching in UK is strenuous, lots of paperwork, detailed procedures, and endless marking. I start working at 7am every morning and my day ends at 6pm. Sometimes if the markings are not done, I will have to bring the books home to mark. Each of my year one students faces a challenging curriculum with ten subjects and I am responsible for teaching all of them. Ten subjects? Really? for six year olds? Yup, for some this means more learning and for some, simply overwhelming. The ten subjects are English, Math, Science, History, Geography, Computer, Design and Technology, Religious Education (R.E.), Physical Education (P.E.), and PSHE (Psychological, Social, and Health Education. Each report cards consists of 6 pages of evaluation and comments.
Nevertheless, God’s grace is sufficient. I am thankful that I have attained equivalence in teaching credentials in the UK. The procedures were lengthy and tested my patience. God is faithful and I treasure the chance to be a homeroom teacher again. I have already given up on being a classroom teacher many years ago because of my severe hearing loss. But God has made it possible to hear and interact with my students because they come to sit on the carpet area close to me during learning time.
I have made connections with two of my coworkers. First, there is Tamrit whose classroom is next to mine. She graduated from Education and have started working here two year ago. Two months ago, she told me that she is leaving education because she is burnt out. She and her boyfriend are thinking about moving to Dubai. With her consent, I have connected her to my “church friends” in Dubai. Florenta who is my coworker in year one, has become my friend. When I was interviewing for this full time position, Florenta also wanted the job. She was the one that told me to tell her about the interview questions when I ran into her in the hallway. At the time she told me that she was competing for the same position and that she was teaching part-time as a year one teacher already. After I was hired, she has questioned me about my teaching experience and was not too friendly towards me. During the last term, all teachers have to exhibit some artwork from their class. As the theme for the art exhibition was London, I did a 3D model of the tower bridge, complete with the student’s rendering of the river with origami boats. Florenta has told me she wanted to do a London double decker bus for the exhibition. I told her that I could help her construct a 3D bus. I used my after school hours to help her. The result was amazing! She hugged me and thanked me for my help. From there, she has shared her secrets to me and I am her friend. I have shared with her my Christian faith and she listened with scepticism.
Nest year, I will be teaching year 2. The major difference is longer prep and markings. On top of that, I have no teaching assistants to help me in the classroom. I shared my burden with my children and David told me to just work just as hard as I did this year and no more. There is some truth to this. This year I have spent all my time either doing school stuff or church work. I feel that I have not wasted anytime and my days are rich with meaningful activities. Apart from working full time at school, I am responsible for Tuesday’s prayer meetings. On Friday, I help at the Brunel University student fellowship. On Saturday, I attend small groups. I also teach Sunday School and in the afternoon, I have the women’s fellowship at my flat twice a month.