Wednesday, 27 October 2010

My Rubbish

Aloohaa , welcome to lunatics ward! A place whose people once believed in themselves , over-thought , daydreamed , imagined the world to be a Utopia of their own. People who knocked themselves out. Got mentally-emotionally-physically-wrung out and walked out of their minds in the process ! Yup , it's true that I've turned into a big fat maniac , and I think I'm already starting to develop some DID symptoms ..... if you know what I mean !? I'm a teacher by morning , a student by afternoon ; my students call me teacher in the morning , and I call other people teachers in the afternoon ; my teachers correct my papers , I correct my students' assignments and quizzes ! Quite disturbing O.o

Anyhow , without further ado , and to breifly fill you in. School is going I dunno .. tough and awkward and weird and tiring but still good and so much fun. My supervisor is coming this week to see if I'm ruining the whole Saudi educational system or not .. Bahahahaaa ... fingers crossed! Half of my students are having crushes on me , and it's totally freaking me out and that's only on the grounds of 1)- I'm a nice freak and 2)- my students are a bunch of petite teenagers! It's like they run after me in the hallways and go like ' teacher Abrar .. we love you soooo much ' ' Ms.Abrar , you are so cuuuuute ' I smile clumsily at them while I whisper to myself ' Piss off you light minded ' and I go like " Gooosh , was I this annoying ????" I bet I was such a giant pain in the ass!!!

Speaking of crushes , I was in one of my classes the other day and the lesson was very exciting indeed , and I was jumping all over the place , and the students were thoroughly into it , .. and I spotted one of them who was clearly spaced out , I ignored her and after a few seconds we went in a deep silence as she-out of no where- let out " Teacher , are you American ?? " the whole class burst into laughters. It was hilarious xD I was asking myself  " What gave it away ????? " Think it's my accent :p heheheee It really reminded me of secondary school sweet days .. me having crushes on my teachers and other juvenile stuff :D

To add more rubbish , I'm gonna miss the Islamic and the Arabic groups soo much. They left the school this week coz their training period was over. They were filling the room with laughters and joy and the smell of Arabic coffee they used to fetch every morning. We truely going to miss them a big time ! Also , I'm sooooo loving my English group ; Manal , Asma , and Amal. They are great. So cooperative and helpful , and I was impressed by how good in English they are. I would've never asked for a better company. Al7amdu li Allah :)

For tonight , I was planning to watch Capitalism ; A Love Story once more , but I dunno O.o according to my awakened conscience compass that's been pointing North a lot lately , Moore might be the last person I wanna listen to! So, dunno how things're gonna go. I downloaded a new Russel Peters & Jerry Seinfeld's stand up comedy. Two episodes of Hell's Kitchen S07 , and I'm also waiting for the new episode of House M.D. to come out tonight ,  FTW ! I deserve a big treat , don't I ? One thing more , I really wanna read this book .. like soooooo badly :s

Stay tuned dear readers xoxo

P.S. Don't mind me please , I'm in such a good mood :p

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Teaching Challenges

I've been an English trainee teacher for two weeks now which BTW felt as if two months , and as I said earlier , I've been concerned about this experience since forever. Teaching would be the hugest challenge to take for a quite troubled young lady like myself ! and lemme tell you one of the frustrating things , when people learn about the fact that I'm being a secondary school teacher they go like O.O WHHHHAT?! it always feels like I'm not cut out for it whatsoever! but still , to be honest with you , I find it right at some points :D As a tiny person , I would be a tremendous mockery to stand in front of students who are waaaay taller and larger than me! However , the size issue is something I believe I could handle xD

From the very first day I came in the school , I tried to kick my social anxiety out of the nearest window and to -like every body has been telling me- act bold and brave and yes I would yell at the girl who even looks at me if it took me to ! And here is one fact , it was STUPID! literally stupid :s and then I started to think WHY would I do that ? I just have to be myself , right ? OK .. I was myself , and I was able to do it. I controlled the class and I was calm. I felt good about myself till I started to get followed by almost all the girls in the school to 'Ashfa3' for them because they were running away from their classes. What the WHAT ??? It turned out that my reputation in the school was of such a new freakin' sweet English teacher who is obviously and sincerely loved by all the staff and could present a good 'shafa3a' O.O although I've never done it. Crazy , right ?

Anyways , my very big fat challenge was to -for almost the first time- stand in a room that's masha'Allah stuffed with human beings while trying to make a very good first impression. I think I've pulled it off Al7amdu li Allah. My first class was very good , not awesome but good considering my freaked out state of mind & body ! :D It was actually weird that I felt nervous for the first five minutes and then when I saw those shiny eyes following me eagerly as I paced the class , I pulled myself together and went on. The lesson went very smoothly and my kids were very active and participant. They were asking about the words' meanings and answering questions I ask and asking me to repeat if they couldn't understand. I felt great and I was like ' How come people say teaching sucks and teaching is difficult and bla bla ??????????? ' for real , easy peasy lemon squeezy !

The answer to the question came right away as the period was over. Two students came to me while I was arranging my stuff and the rest of the class was leaving and they said ' Teacher , we didn't understand our lesson today' Uh-oh !! I asked why ? they said that I spoke English all the time. I replied back that if I didn't do so they'll never learn. One of them uttered madly ' English is very difficult , English is devastating , we hate English ya teacher ' I was astonished , but I promised that I'll make it easier for them next time. They thanked me and left. <<--Oh snaaap , this is really getting difficult !

I felt responsible for these girls and the many many others who didn't come to me. I tried to make it easier for them the next class , and I was sooooo happy to see Yasmeen and Manar participating and nodding their heads every time I ask 'Did you understand'. At the same class , in the evaluation part , I was asking my students to give me sentences and do exercises about the rule I've just explained, and there was a student at the back who was nodding and responding 'YES' and laughing all the way , and I was actually noticing that she was turning her book to a page that is not even close to ours! I came to her. I smiled and said ' Razan is so active today , isn't she? ' she smiled and I asked her to do the next exercise. The girl went blue O.O She stood up and started scratching her skull ' uh .. umm ....' She uttered. I asked her whether or not she was with me. Her answer was very quick as she said 'NO' I groaned ' OH MY GOD ! is this another disaster ???!'

I asked her to write down what's written on the board , and she told me she doesn't want to. I dared to ask why , and she answered she will take it from one of the girls. I lost my nerves by then , but I withheld. I told her in a sharp tone to write her lesson. She nodded and I went on my lesson. A minute later , the only thing happened is Razan drawing her chair and making a noise as she goes. She stopped right in front of the board , sat down and started to write. I wasn't amazed as much as I was scared of the action she took! My eyes were popped out and my jaw was dropped. I stopped my lesson and asked ' Razan ? What are you doing ?' she said 'يا أبلة إنتِ قلتِ لي اكتبي الدرس ' I asked her if she can't see from her place , and she said that she could see clearly !!! I dunno , what exactly was that ????

Boy , during these couple of weeks I saw things for the first time in my life. It's a whole total different world from the ones I lived during my life time. In elementry school I was the headmistress's spoiled daughter! In intermediate and secondary school I was in my mother's friend's school , and I was my teachers' beloved student. Likewise in the university , I'm this quiet nerd who usually kept to herself. But now , I AM A TEACHER. I'm resposible for something like 100 or more students from complete different cultures and backgrounds. I have to deal with each and every one of them in her way .. Awesome , right?

Among the new things I faced during these mad weeks is the misbehaved and rude , and sometimes the hyperactive students. I dealt with them in different ways. I sent some to the headmistress and she did what's needed -BTW , our headmistress scares the hell out of the students and BTW , that didn't work- Some of them I was able to discipline by getting them on my side. I ask one of them for example to come and sit on the computer and to click enter every time I ask her to in case of using a PowerPoint presentation. I ask another one to distribute the handouts and it actually worked and was amazingly helpful.

I have noticed that dealing with them this way i.e. the nice way , was more efficient. They were bearing with me , and I could tell from their eyes that they understood and that they're interested! It was really hard to try to maintain respect and control in the class while at the same time I busted my ass off to make it alive and most importantly for my students to feel safe while I'm around. If I was just able to do that , I will be so happy and satisfied.

That's it for now. Will fill you in with the updates soon. Thanks for your time and vaya con dios all :)

Friday, 8 October 2010

There's Something About English Teachers ; A Story Of Mine

To start things off , I had a lousy week. incredibly craplicious and stressful. I didn't have so many classes , but still as usually there was plenty of crap that I had to put up with , and it was eatin' away at me. I tried to work it out last night. My lovely cousin asked to massage me and I wouldn't say no for sure :D I had a bath and lit up vanilla candles. Everything was so perfect , and I was totally relaxed. You won't even believe how appealing my bed and darling pillows seemed .. of course , this was before I realize they were tempting me !

Hooray , I jumped into my bed , and so passionately hugged a pillow 'cause I truly couldn't believe it that my pillows are finally united ! They're befriending me yaaay! This was also before I realize my pillows were talking to each other , and more surprisingly to me *Bummer* "Been a while" said Deb the big one and the boss "Yeaaah" replied Liv , the one I'm hugging " so everything is goin well out there ?" Debby asked. I was going O.O for a few seconds and then I had a talk in my mind ( it's asking me a question , I should probably answer ) "Um.. not really no" I said "Why?" Unexpectedly lazy 'lizzie' inquired. It startled me a little coz I thought it was asleep !!

I let out a sharp exhale and answered " Nothin .. my life is screwed up , and I'm a giant chaos " " How come ?" Liv inquired  "I have to graduate this semester" " And you are depressed because of that ?" Said Lizzie "NOOO.. It's just so stressful . I have a lot of classes that I'm not done with yet , and I have to take them all now because it's growing unbearable in there. On top of that I'll have to take them with the practical training !" " Practical training ???" asked my pillows and I answered " Yeah , I'm going to be a secondary school teacher " " Oooh snaaaap" cried out Sam , a yahoo yet loyal fellow .. I mean pillow! I was comin' along with the whole me-talking-to my pillows situation , and I got carried away " You won't believe how tense and burdened I am .. I've been worried about this since I can remember , and now it's actually happening T___T".

I stepped further and rambled on " You see , our university never ceases to amaze me. They have a new enigma for every single day. Do you know what happened when choosing the schools we'll be training at ?? It was a catastrophe ! Can you even believe that it was completely random .. they used to call out the name of the school and the first two girls who rise their hands are the ones to go to that school !!! What tha ......? What kind of standard is that ?? Why on earth can't those people find some decent policy through which they can deal with such situations ???? Girls were falling apart , melting down and crying. Of course , I wasn't chosen for the school I wanted , but still , and for my good luck , I was put in a good school , I learnt about it later ! Ahhh " I felt a frozen moment in there and I looked around to find the pillows with their eyes seven inches out ! Of course , it felt as if you pressed a vent-without stopping- button !

" Though I had no clue what you were talking about , but it sounded bad " Said Deb " Totally !  I replied " I had a tough time getting over that sick joke ! But still , I was pretty much consumed with the teaching process , the headmistress , the teachers , the supervisor .. but more importantly the kids ..." As it got serious , I panicked . I felt I wasn't going to fit in. I had this notion that I'd suck as a teacher , as a classroom manager , as a communicator ..... Thoughts were waging wars against each other inside my head. I started my drama queening by then and naturally burst into tears.

In a few moments I felt silence and warmth and Deb was holding still under my cheek as I rolled rivers down while Sam was darning all the way ! Liv resumed the conversation and started to pep talk me " I know everything is going down all at once with you , but it's been worse .. much much worse with you , and you knocked it out " I sniffed and wiped my tears. Deb added " Remember that semester when you used to leave home at 7:00 in the morning and come back at 10:00 at night .. not only that , but you stayed up all night doing your homework? " Yeah " I said in a broken voice" Was one hell of a semester " " And you also scored the highest grades ! You can do it " I wasn't convinced though.

Remember that day when you burnt up my back ? " Asked Sam with its face wrinkled up " When you put your lap top over me and watched that mumbo jumbo movie "  " I rolled my eyes " That movie with the maniac English teacher who told his students to Carpe Diem " Explained Sam and I cried " Dead poets society .. wait , he's not maniac !! " " Yeah whatever .. what was the quote you loved ?" I uttered joyfully " Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost " :*****

We talked for a while and I started to ponder as Lizzie reminded me of one of my favourite movies and books as well " Freedom Writers "I realized then that I was being silly. That's what I always wanted ! Erin Gruwell was always such a role model. She was a normal person till she chose the hard thing ; to go to Wilson high school , something that no one would've gone with willingly , but she has. She made the hugest difference in those kids' lives. Not only Mrs.Gruwell , but a huge list of inspirational people .. English teachers for specific rolled down in my head.

I love English teachers , and I would so much love it if I was one because it took the world my great English teachers to change my life. My secondary school English teacher Mrs.Shaikha. I would've never loved English language as much as I do if it wasn't for her. So giving , and so enthusiastic. She is the greatest ! I missed her like crazy when I graduated , but I was determined to be as good as I can in English.

When I got to college , I was extremely uncomfortable being there. Studying English at my university sucked , it did and still does and will probably do. I've got to a point where I could no longer tolerate it , so I dropped a semester and decided to see what I will do with the dilemma. Things didn't work out with me , and I came back. I was meant to be stuck with the same stupidity! This time , I was devastated  and didn't give a crap about a thing till Dr.Hadeer came along and my life started to make sense for once more. A year later , there came Dr.Amani & Dr.Hayat and now there is Dr.SalahThey're all great. You know , I have a nose for good teachers. I fall in love with them on sight even if I've never spoken to them. Creepy , huh ? My friends as always think I'm out of my freakin' nuts!

I looked my pillows on the eyes and sparked " what if I was someone else's Shaikha or Hadeer or Hayat ?  wouldn't that be the most super awesome thing ? " My pillows cried " Totally " Liv added " That's my girl " While Sam went " Mazel tov , can we sleep now? " I grinned and sank into the bed , and I must say I slept my night splendidly ^.^