My Photography

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kindergarten, here I come...

Yesterday I posted an announcement on Facebook:
So I guess it's official... resignation handed in, locker cleared out, new contract signed, legalized, and delivered... this girl is gonna be a kindergarten teacher next school year!!
The post got a ridiculous amount of "likes" within a very short amount of time, and plenty of comments as well. I guess that bodes well for my new job!

Part of the reason I haven't posted much this month is because I've been very busy due to this career move. A colleague told me about this school she was applying toa Turkish school that would be teaching mostly in English (some subjects in classical Arabic) that would be opening in the fall. I went over to the school to drop off my CV, was immediately interviewed by the Turkish principal and was offered a job on the spot! They needed a kindergarten teacher, asked me if I'd be up for that, and while the idea scares me to death I wasn't hesitant with my YES. The negotiations, decision and paperwork took a few weeks, but finally yesterday I handed over my contract, Othman met the principal and it all became real!

So I'll be teaching kindergarten to mostly non-English-speaking children come September, which means that a huge component of the classes will be language learning, this the schools interest in me, given my background in ELT. Therefore what I'll be doing is basically CLILContent Language Integrated Learningwhich is something I've been interested in for a while in my job at British Council. So I'm not going in totally unequipped!

That being said, I'll have a pretty steep learning curve and have been perusing lots and lots of K-teacher websites of late to get an idea of which I'll be doing come fall. The fact that I'll be part of the team that opens the school, and that it's a private school without a state-mandated curriculum is a bit terrifying, but it'll be a good opportunity to learn how shaping a school works! It'll be a really, really great learning experience, and will be a big challenge to live up to!

A facebook friend just posted this... it sums up my feelings pretty well.

My post will actually be more than just a teacherthere will be two Kindergarten classes, and I will be in charge of coordination of both classes, including communication with parents, some extra curricular programs (little concerts, plays, lunches etc.) and other minor management things. The school is beginning small with only K-2 this year, so I'll be in charge of a pretty significant percentage of its activity. I'm really excited about that as well, because ever since working as a student manager for the Huddle (Notre Dame's food court in the student union) I've known that I really enjoy that aspect of work.

All this is great, but even better is that my hours will be much improved (I'll be done at 3 everyday instead of 9!), the school is on Othman's way to work, and I'll get a pretty nice pay increase. Not to mention the invaluable experience I'll get! I'm planning on keeping a class each term with British Council, because cutting ties with them would be a terrible idea, especially after how supportive they were of my going for this new opportunity.

When Othman and I went to the school yesterday we took our his phone and snapped a few photos of the building, which is still under construction, but very impressive nonetheless.

The view from the back courtyard where the
playground will be. There are two subterranean
levels also, one with offices and the cafeteria,
another with a gym and a 450-capacity auditorium.

The front left of the school.
The main entrance, featuring our car and
the Turkish principal!

Front right: the principal again, Othman and a construction worker.

If any of you reading this know anything about teaching Kindergartners (or any kids in a foreign language) please don't hesitate to offer any advice or thoughts with me! Also, if you're in Casa and are interested in placing your young kids in a really unique, English-speaking school (for a much better price than the American schools), feel free to get in contact with me!

Here's to experiences!

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