23 August 2010

Day one - minus children

Yes, after almost 3 months of "holidays", I have finally had my first day at East-West International School (EWIS). Orientation started at 9am with a brief introduction to the school and some getting to know you activities, followed by a short break with a snack of bananas and/or bread rolls. My head is spinning with the number of new names (about 40) I need to learn! So far I know the other 3rd grade teacher, the principal, the head of the secondary school, and one or two others. And that's just the staff. I'll have 44 children's names to learn as well (only 22 in my class, but I'll teach them all math).

After the break we got some information to help us plan, like lists of students, class schedules, attendance books, and plan books. Then it was show time! I've often commented about the amount of luggage I bring back with me, but our principal must have had much fun packing her bags. It is really hard to get good quality books here, and especially non-fiction books to support the curriculum, so that's something we often go hunting for in Australia. The other challenge is that non-fiction books for children are often very expensive. It was great to see some of the wonderful resources that our principal had been able to obtain, and to hear the story of generosity of different people.

After that it was time to get together with the other 3rd grade teacher and one of last year's second grade teachers and try to sort out which students would be in each class. Then we put some time into our schedules, and working out who would teach what and when. It's ended up that I will teach Math while my partner teaches Science/Social Studies, although I'll need to help with some of the planning for those since Math planning tends to be relatively simple whereas Science/Social Studies can be very time consuming to plan & prepare for. After that we split up, and had lunch and started considering some of the things we needed to do individually.

My trip home was interesting. I got down to the main road that I follow home, and discovered I'd left my lunch box at school. Ooops, can't have that, so I went back for it. When I got back downstairs with my lunchbox, some of the Cambodian staff near the gate pointed out the my rear tyre was flat! Oh no, I don't know where to take it on this side of town. Anyway they pointed out a place not far away, and one of the other teachers helped me by pushing it across the road for me. Turned out I couldn't get away with a patch this time. I needed a whole new tube, so off the repair man went on his moto to buy a new tube for me, and then came back and installed it. 20 minutes or so later I was headed home (again!). As I neared Toul Kork, the rain that had been threatening all afternoon started, but fortunately it wasn't too heavy straight away and I managed to reach home safely without getting drenched.

Tomorrow will be another busy day, and I'm looking forward to it! I wonder what adventures God has in store for me. Praise God for all His blessings, and thanks to all who prayed for my first day.

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