Saturday, August 30, 2014

Let's Start at the Beginning


My blog is currently undergoing a face lift so I thought maybe I should start like it's the beginning of my blogging adventure.  Which it sort of is because even though I think about blogging to the point of an obsession, I don't put much on here very often.  I hope that will be changing this year. That will be changing this school year.  Inshallah.  (God willing in Arabic)

The Beginning

I went through a pretty rough year in 2011.  I won't share all the details (I feel embarrassed still about the whole thing and a little ashamed).  Basically I started a new school, a split grade, AND a new department - gifted education - which at the time was my dream job. 

So I thought. 

It was the most stressful position I have ever held in my 16+ years of working - including babysitting jobs at a very early age (in case you're trying to add up how old I might be). My principal did not like the gifted department (little did I know until after I was placed - which my district mentor knew but placed me there anyway - yes, I'm not sore about it at all) and proceeded to "pop by" my classroom on a daily basis to evaluate me.  Daily, folks.  Daily.  Oh, the stress.  I would plan, prep, and stress every night to make sure things were perfect.  I would practice/rehearse my lessons.  I met with the district coaches and my district mentor to go over my terminology.  Did I mention I taught at two different schools?  All this stress was primarily from one school - basically a part time gig.  The other school?  Love!  And the principal loved and supported me.  Even at my most lowest days when I cried in her office (very unprofessionally) and sought advice about the other school.

Long story made shorter...I ended up walking away mid-school year.  I just couldn't take it anymore.  I wasn't enjoying my job.  My eczema (a skin condition I have) flared up uncontrollably from the stress.  I decided no job was better than this job.  I still miss those kids and the staff from the two schools.  If it wasn't for that pesky boss...but it led me to where I am today.

United Arab Emirates - Teaching Abroad

That's right, I teach in the UAE.  If you are not good with geography, that is the same country as Dubai.  It's near Africa and Saudi Arabia.  Even though it is in the Middle East *gasp* it is perfectly safe.  In fact, I feel safer living here than I did in my stateside home of Phoenix, Arizona.  There are definitely ups and downs like any job or any place you call home.  

I ended up teaching abroad because I was at my rock bottom.  I was super broke, finding a teaching job mid-year absolutely impossible.  I was working through a temp agency barely above minimum wage and not able to afford the bills or food for the fridge and my dog.  So I thought "what do I have to lose?" and applied for an overseas teaching job.  The rest is now history.

Join me this year as I share my experiences over the past two years (heading into year number three abroad!) and my new journey moving forward as a new mother of an adorable baby girl at a new school and a new grade level.

I missed Vegas this past summer as I was still in school.  Oh yeah, and eight months pregnant and on the no-fly list but I've been catching up on what I missed through A Burst of First's awesome Vegas linky.  Find it here. One of the things I've read over and over is to find your niche.  Mine has been staring me in the face since last year at the Vegas I Teach K conference when everyone was floored when they heard where I flew from and where I teach.  

So I am updating my blog to reflect this little tidbit about me.  I am an overseas teacher living and working in the Middle East.  And I don't speak the primary language of my students and parents (Arabic).  Just a few words here and there but not enough to string a sentence together.  

What topics and questions do you want to hear about in upcoming blog posts?


  1. Hello! My hubby and I are looking to come over to Abu Dhabi (with me teaching for ADEC) - I'd love to connect on Facebook if you're on? I'm - so many questions :D Thanks so much, Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah! I'd love to connect with you but I am currently Facebook-less until my blog designer finishes. However, feel free to email me until it gets up and running - I would be happy to help out!


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