Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Another Day in KG

Monday I was supposed to give you some more Monday Musings.  Well, when I tell you all about my Monday you'll see why I forgot!  Here is a look at a day in KG.  As crazy as this day seems, days like this can happen pretty often here in the UAE.

Let's get started.

8:20 a.m.  
I arrive to school (I come late due to being allowed an hour of breast feeding time in the mornings). My co-teacher is absent today to tour and learn from another school.  The bus monitor has been watching the kiddos until I arrive and has them at centers.
8:30 a.m.
Kids are finishing center clean-up and I've prepared today's math lesson and cued the video on the Smart board (technically a Starboard but everyone calls it a Smart board instead).
8:35 a.m.
An unannounced visitor (ooh, my favorite kind!) comes in.  It's a little girl's mother.  She's brought the older sister (but not old enough to not be in school - I'm guessing she was maybe a second grader). She also has 2 cakes, party favors (hats and those noise makers), barbies for the girls, who knows what for the boys, animal masks, and a huge box of chocolates. Birthdays aren't really celebrated here (or so people say) and the mom doesn't speak enough English to explain what's with all the stuff. Mom proceeds to take over the center tables to lay out all her goodies while the class runs over to grab and watch.
8:45 a.m.
Okay, kiddos are back on the carpet.  Mom has been told the class cannot eat the candy and cake until after snack time.  She seems okay with it and even understands.  Maybe.

The school nurse walks in with a lovely medical cooler.  I forgot it was injection day...students receive their immunizations and who knows what while they are at school here.  I suppose because the parents are awfully busy at home and can't take their child to receive them after school hours. You know since they are home by 1 pm.
9-9:20 am
I herd take the kiddos to snack time in the cafeteria. It goes as usual.  Some kids refuse to stay seated, they turn around in their seats, show others the food in their mouths, spill milk on their selves...the usual KG stuff.
9:20-9:30 am
OMG. These kiddos cannot make it back to the classroom.  The hall is soooo long and the 20 feet is just too too much for their little legs.  Plus they kept getting distracted by someone wandering the hall carrying a giant balloon bouquet.
9:30 am
Surprise! The giant balloon bouquet holder appears at my classroom door.  Another unannounced visitor.  Oh goody. The Cake Party Mom makes her exit (without saying anything) and Balloon Mom barely notices my presence in the room while greeting and hugging students.  Hm.  Turns out she's one of the little boy's mothers (I'm a great detective some days).

9:40 or 9:50 am
I'm starting to lose track of the time now. It feels like I've been tying on balloons to the kiddos wrists for over 20 minutes.  When that was done Balloon Mom brings out a gigantic bag of crazy, crazy UAE masks. I totally missed a picture.  I was going to take a whole class picture but....
Let's go with 10 am
Someone (I have no idea who, I'm knee deep in balloon catastrophy and mask tying) opens the door to say the masks are not allowed and must be removed.  What? Seriously? And we need to move it. Like now.  All the classes in the school are lining up in the hallway.
10-10:45 am
It may be mid-November but it is hot outside.  I am thirsty and sweaty and so are the kids.  They are all asking for drinks.

Did I forget to tell you?  The police came with a marching band and led us "marching" (really more like walking) around the school block.  While the kids held little UAE flags.  We are celebrating National Day two weeks early.  The best part? The marching band disturbed someone's pet horse that lives next to the school.  Not in a barn. Not on a farm.  In a normal house.
10:45-10:55 am
Trying to get the kids back inside.  They are not with me.  They have scattered like leaves in a stiff wind tornado. Finally corral them but the HOF is telling me I must use a different door and half the class is now gone and through the wrong door.  But they are not listening to me.

The HOF is also yelling at me to take away the balloons.  Later another teacher tells me that the HOF hates balloons and thinks they are a safety hazard.
Who Really Cares About the Time...These Kids are Nuts
Well, they are inside the classroom.  Victory. But they are very riled up and Balloon Mom has GIFTS (a gigantic toy car for her son and only one other boy), and some other bags of stuff but who cares.  Look at those gigantor cars and I want to play with it no it's mine not yours why are you taking my gigantic car...
Specials Time (Supposedly 10:50 am)
How in the world we managed to tear ourselves from the car (small tantrum may have been involved and resulting in Tantrum Boy hitting me --not the first time) but look, here we are in library.  I look and feel like a cat that was run over. And I really need to pee.  I keep telling the specials teacher but she is not listening or pretending to not listen when I say I need just 5 minutes...

Oh look, that girl tore off the book cover.
No! We don't color on the books.
Put those crayons away. I said we don't color on the books.
Look at this picture in the book.
No, don't turn the pages like that. You are hurting the book.
We are not playing with the puppets today, it's books only.
Leave the chairs there. Do not carry them across the room.
I said, sit there.  Do not move the chairs.
We don't hit.
It's her turn on the computer. Not yours.
Yes, you can use the bathroom.
No, you cannot use the bathroom. Wait until so-and-so gets back.
Yes, you can use the bathroom. So-and-so is back.
Let me walk you to the bathroom.  You like to play.
You cannot keep the book.  Stop putting things in your pockets.
Back in class.  Still need to pee.  All mothers have gone.  But there is still cake and chocolate and gifts and party hats and noise makers and toy cars.
Cake Time
If you want your cake you'll sit and listen on the carpet.  No, I said sit. You are not listening. Sit! Please sit!
I give up.  You are not listening. I take Not Listening Girl by the hand and she happily goes with me until she discovers we are in front of another classroom door and I am turning the knob...
Fingers dig into my hand, blood is drawn, I let go and she lays on the floor having a mini tantrum. I've seen worse.  I leave her to it and walk back to my room where I've left the other kids alone with all the cake and candy...

Whew! They are all still there.  And some are even still on the carpet.  But another girl is acting up. I take her and sit her in a chair away from others. She thinks its funny. I turn her chair so she can't see others. Still funny. I move her as far away as possible while still being in the room. No. Funny. So I open the back classroom door and put the chair there. Wow! That is not funny. But now she's screaming and having a fit. I let her come back and sit inside but next to the door. She is fine. And quiet.
Cake Serving/Eating
Cake is served and an endless parade of kindergartners take turns (oh who am I kidding, they are running all at once) to use the bathroom and wash their faces. I won't go into what the bathroom looks like except to say a mummy is missing their outer layer.
12:15 pm
Somehow we have managed to get our belongings (minus the gifts - I told them co teacher can help me with that tomorrow) and are arranged at the door. Why, oh why, is the bell not ringing for dismissal? I even open the door and double-check the schedule posted. Yes, it says 12:15 pm.  Five minutes later the bell rings.  I walk the kids to the gym where they line up for the bus.  Some follow me. Most don't. At this point I am just glad they are going home.

Is this how your days go?  Notice how I did not get in one lesson today.

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