What is Your Strategy ?

My former colleagues go back to work in two weeks. Normally, about now, I’d be spending part of my day planning lessons. I always find the coolest things I want to do with my students, and then end up doing a quarter of them because life gets in the way —- but oh what fun it was planning it anyway.  I love the luxury of time to research, plan and dream up ways to wow my next batch of kids.

Instead of planning, I’m attending going-away parties and happy hours. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love how much fun I’m having with my loved ones. My words cannot express how lucky and blessed I feel because of the wonderful people in my life. I wish I could stuff them all into my suitcase and bring them with me.

Here’s a shocker for me, I do miss the planning part of my summer vacation. I can’t plan because I don’t know what grade I’ll be teaching yet. I don’t know when I’ll be arriving, where I’ll be working, or where I’ll be living. Basically, there’s a lot more of what I don’t know than what I do know. Luckily, I do have curriculum packets my recruiter sent to me, so I’ve highlighted and put together a few ideas. I’m also trying really hard to learn some Arabic, but it’s just not sinking in. I’m hoping once I hear it every day and turn to my students for help it’ll come to me more easily. If not, the girls will have fun failing me on the quizzes I’ll have them create for me (Ha! apparently I do have one thing planned).

I am preparing myself for my new students. I’m just as excited (if not more) as I’ve been with meeting my American ones. I have absolutely no clue as to how it’s all going to go, which is such an odd thing for someone whose been revamping curriculum maps and creating new units every July for the past 12 years.

I’m surprised at how calm I am about this because it should terrify me that I don’t know so much.  Instead, I’m at peace while being so excited about all the new that will come my way in just a few weeks. Yes, I know it will overwhelm me and that it will be harder than I ever imagined. I cannot wait to whip out my first lesson and say as-salaam ‘alaykum to my new students and colleagues —- it’s okay if they laugh at me if I say it wrong.  Just as long as they help me to learn how to say it right. I’ll help them with “… and peace be upon you!”





Bettina Bennett

About Bettina Bennett

Bettina Bennett is currently a Cycle two and three educator here in the UAE. She is also a Teach UAE Magazine Blogger and Guest Contributor.

  • SteveJ

    I am so so sorry to write this. I spent all summer getting my professional development in order. I think your students will be ill served by your not being ready to teach – mentally – as well as not prepared curriculum wise. I disagree with the writer’s approach.. But i have been at this awhile and I know what needs to be done.

    • Bettina Bennett

      No need to apologize. I totally agree with you that we need to be prepared. I am ready to teach mentally. My problem is I don’t yet know what I’ll be teaching (other than English) or where, so I cannot yet put together my plan of action. I have a curriculum guide sent over for grades 10 through 12, which I’ve highlighted. But, again, until I’m assigned to my school and work with my new team there isn’t a whole lot to be done. That said when I do get there and do get my assignment you can bet I’ll be working overtime figuring out what needs to be done. Until then I can only appreciate the quiet time I’ve been given — for now.