Well it sure has been a while! School began September 6th, and life has been moving at a neck-breaking pace ever since.
There’s so much I’d like to say about the weather, the culture, the food, the people, the teaching, the parents, my students, the school, but it’s 10:30 on a Thursday (the Middle-eastern Friday) night and I’m too tired to go into all that. I just wanted to touch base and say that I’m still here, doing relatively well.
To be honest, I knew that the first year of full-time teaching would be tough, but I’ve been amazed at how much work it really is. On top of tending to the needs of each student, planning lessons, and grading papers, the school gives us plenty of things to turn in (mostly just in the beginning of the school-year, but since this is the time that us newbies are already having to adjust and adapt in major ways, it’s a difficult time to have to do SO much). I regularly wake up before 5 am and reach school around 6:00. After my girlies leave at 2:30, I’m often working on school-related material until late into the evening, with only a break for the drive home, dinner, and, eventually, sleep. I realized this last week that I was sacrificing my own well-being for this job, and that sanity and health are something one should never give up for anything! My goal for this upcoming week is to attain more balance; actually start exercising, making sure I’m eating three nutritious meals a day, getting at least six hours of sleep a night (and never waking up at 2 am to finish something- EVER!), keeping my apartment tidy. I’ve quickly realized that when I don’t tend to all of my needs and, instead, push myself in one area (work), I burn out and end up ineffective in even that one area.
On a brighter note, I’m happy to say that the people I’ve met here are just wonderful. The new teachers, my fellow fifth grade teachers, my principal, and other teachers in my building. They have all been so supportive. I’m looking forward to the day when I have teaching under control enough to even branch out and meet people outside of my school life. I’m thinking sailing club and Arabic classes would be fun places to start.
Lastly, I enjoy my fifty-nine students and they love me. As the year goes on, I’m sure their honeymoon phase will fade, but so far, they’ve been pretty great.
I’ll try and update more when I can. Know that I am enjoying myself, even though living and teaching here is a challenge. Kuwait is a pretty good place to be holed up in for a first year of teaching; there aren’t many exciting things calling my name, keeping me from doing what I need to do: get that dreaded first year of teaching not only under-my-belt, but conquered! Maybe even enjoy my job and life in the process 🙂