Things have gotten easier at school, I’ve made some friends, explored Kuwait, and I’m really enjoying my new home.
Three weekends of cleaning out my classroom resulted in a less cluttered environment. I rearranged the desks into table groups so the kids can work collaboratively and there is more room to walk around. While this initially resulted in a louder room, the kids are really starting to understand classroom procedures and learning is happening!
Exploration and helpful friends led me to bookstores around Kuwait, where I purchased some new novels for my students, stickers for “A tests,” and an abundance of Post-its. The kids LOVE graphic novels and are devouring the series Amulet. I had to be careful selecting books, because the Ministry of Education here keeps a watchful eye over the literature that students read. Censorship is alive and well here in Kuwait. Here’s a letter from the Ministry about which books we aren’t allowed to have in the schools here. I wore my “I Read Banned Books” pin during banned books week and encouraged my students to think about what censorship means and whether or not it is a good practice. My principal glanced at the “Happy Banned Books Week” announcement that I wrote in red dry erase marker on my tiled walls and I wondered if I would be asked to remove it, but he made no comment.
I love teaching science and math. We use whiteboards and manipulatives in math. The kids also like coming up to the front of the room to teach their classmates how to solve problems. An 8th grade science teacher gave me a microscope that she wasn’t using and the kids get so excited looking through it. It’s like magic to them.
The kids found out it was my birthday last week so a few wrote me cards and gave me gifts. A parent even sent in a chocolate chip cookie-cake that I was able to share with the other middle school teachers. I feel so welcomed and appreciated.
Until next time, my friends, maʿ al-salāmah.