A beautiful bouquet and necklace from a sweet student.
KSU Class 37585 – English 135 A – January to May 2015
I just want to say thank you to all of the girls in class 37585. You made me smile and laugh. You made me feel like my job is important. You made my difficult semester easier.
Afnan – Alia – Amal – Ayesha – Dalal – Ghadah – Ghusoon – Hanady – Loulou – Maha – Nouf – Reem – Seba – Shaima
May God bless you all and grant you endless success.
Back in March the students at KSU had a week off, while the teachers continued to go in to work for PD presentations and workshops. I’ll be honest and say that I would have preferred to have a week off, but I did enjoy the presentations and workshops that the university provided for us. It was kind of like we had swapped places with the students for a week and instead of teaching class we had the chance to attend class.
On the last day of the PD week there was a beautiful buffet lunch provided for us in the science building cafeteria. Soon after we were surprised with the announcement that we could go home early.
PD training is definitely a fantastic benefit of working at KSU and I’m thankful that I’ve had the chance to work in an environment that allows me to better myself as a teacher.
This semester is hard. I’m not really sure if it is the circumstances or just me, but so far it has been a challenge.
I have a beginner class with 45 students on the attendance list. 1/3 of them are repeating the semester and come to class with their already completed textbooks, which they allow others to copy from. There are at least 2 that can’t read or write their own names and a small handful who belong in a slightly higher level class. I spend a lot of my time thinking about how I want them to learn, but I’m usually not so sure how to actually facilitate that learning.
I enter the class before 7:30 am with a smile hoping that somehow the day will be different. So far everyday has been the same. I try to teach them. For a week I take it slow constantly repeating and practicing the language points, but nothing seems to stick.
Two days ago I asked one of the assessment coordinators to send an Arabic speaker to the class to explain the process of an ongoing project that needs to be completed with this class because after a week of my own explanations (English and Arabic) the students still didn’t have a clue. I didn’t feel so bad when I heard them talking with one another after my colleague left the room. They were still asking questions like “What do we need to do?” and “What is this project about?”
At this point I guess I just need to laugh it off and just continue doing the best that I can. I’ll get through this semester and God willing these students will have learned something from this class.
“To teach is to learn twice”
The good this is that I know I can do this. I know I can manage. I know that I’ll be a better teacher after this semester. ان شاء الله
Thanks be to God for this challenge. Thanks be to God for this reminder. Thanks be to God for this lesson. Thanks be to God for every situation.
الحمدلله على كل حال
All of my close friends and family members know this about me. I’m the person who wakes up in the morning and typically needs about an hour to “wake up”. Before that hour you probably won’t get a coherent or generally pleasant conversation out of me or a truly genuine smile for that matter. I’m not trying to say that I’m awful, but really…I’m just not a morning person.
Recently I’ve realized that some people (morning people) don’t really understand this. It’s not that I’m in a bad mood or that I “woke up on the wrong side of the bed”. It’s just that my body is awake and upright, but my brain is still laying down dreaming. Unfortunately, there is not enough coffee in the world that could transform me into a morning person, it just takes a little time.
I’m just thinking back to the summers breaks when I used to work at my family’s diner. They weren’t the earliest of mornings, but I remember walking in the door and saying to my mom and grandmother, “don’t talk to me yet.” That probably seems incredibly rude, but they knew and understood exactly what I meant. I should really thank them a lot for being so patient with me those days.
Can you guess who the bottom half of this picture is? Hahaha. I’m only joking, but sometimes I feel like this is how others view me. I’m quiet, slightly distant and a bit uncommunicative, but I swear I still I love you all.
Just be patient with me and all of the other non-morning people out there. As soon as we “wake up” we’ll be back to our normal selves. It could be an hour or it could be after noon, but we’ll get there.
It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does you realize how much you miss the rain. I’m someone who typically loves a dark rainy day to sit and relax inside, but I also remember days upon days of summer without an afternoon of sunshine. Living in a place where the sun always shines and the ground is always dry means that everyone waits patiently for rain and when it comes, it is welcomed.
Almost everyone is in a good mood when it rains here. I didn’t understand that before I lived in a place like this, but now I think I’m just the same.
One of my students went to Makkah to do Umrah and when she returned I came to my office to find a surprise waiting for me on my desk.
She left a little gold bag. There was a little note she had written on the back of a small picture of the Kaaba. Inside the bag was a Quran with a pink cover. I didn’t notice under later that she had my name pressed into the back cover. It is such a special gift and something that I will really cherish.
I finally got around to inviting the girls from work over for some late night tea and snacks. I’ve been really blessed to have met such lovely ladies at KSU and it’s amazing how well we get along while we have only known each other for a short time. Here are some of the snapchat photos from that night.
I was surprised by some housewarming gifts. I was given gorgeous serving dishes and a dainty little silver tea set. They’re so lovely and the perfect things for entertaining on nights like the one that I shared with these girls.
Working abroad allows me to constantly meet new people from all over the world. There are people who come and go, but then there are the fantastic people that I know I will have to do my best to keep in contact with when we go separate ways. This is a beautiful thing about working and living in another country. You find people that you have connections with and at the same time there is almost always incredibly interesting conversation as we all come from very different lives and backgrounds.