It seems it’s interview time again. Teachers from around the world are posting online questions about what it’s like to live and work here. They’re stressing over document authentication, interview fashion, interview techniques, and, you know, the whole “am I crazy to be wanting to move to the Middle East” thing.
This is surreal to me. I was one of those mad posters this time last year, and now I’m starting off my second trimester (and so calm and collected about it all —- much better than the way I started off first trimester).
I want to go to all these people, hold their hands and tell them it’s going to be okay, but first they need to know that, yes, they will go crazy before they become sane again. It’s inevitable. Embrace it, learn patience (no, become this thing called patience), and move forward — before you know it you’ll be typing some blog post about how you survived your first trimester and loving the fact that you sort of think you have a handle on things for second trimester.
I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m at right now. Work can still be crazy, and it wears me down, but I am getting better at what I do here. I’ve implemented new stuff (how’s that for a pedagogical term?) into my teaching, and it seems to be working. The girls and I are getting into our own version of a learning groove, and we’re moving forward.
Is it going the way I expected it to when I first applied for this job? No. Is that a bad thing? No. Are there frustrations I just can’t even begin to attempt to understand? Yep. But, here’s the thing, I am still so grateful to be a part of it all. I’m learning from just about everyone I meet, and while it doesn’t always feel like it I am becoming a better teacher — and a better student!
To my future colleagues who are asking all the questions I asked, I want to say you’ll find most of those answers easy enough. The one none of us can answer for you is “will I be happy there?” That one only you can figure out. I am happy with my life here, even with all the unexpected, not always welcome, directions it has taken me — and all the many more I have yet to experience. I wish all of you the best of luck, and hope to one day be reading about how you’ve settled back into sanity.