2012 in review

RainDancer’s blog report for 2012 (Starting June 2012)

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Teaching Seriously Harms Your Health!!

No, I didn’t get it wrong, it’s “teaching” not “smoking”. I really do have my reasons for this title.

 

Imagine a firefighter entering a suffocating burning building with no oxygen mask. Imagine a SWAT member carrying a weaponless attack on a group of Cocaine traffickers. Wouldn’t it be suicidal in both cases?

I guess it would.

Now, imagine a teacher working with a big a HUGE group of underachieving students who -despite of the fact that they are expected to read, write and speak in at least two languages – can’t form a simple sentence in their mother tongue, not to mention that some can’t even spell their names! Imagine that even when the teacher realized this, he thought he could still make a difference and have a positive influence on his students’ levels of achievement, as well as on their personal lives.

Well, this was me, and this idea was just stupid! Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I no longer want to be there for my students in the time of need, it’s just that I learnt that 9 years’ of almost no learning can’t be made up for in 7 and a half months with 8hrs/month of instruction. The idea was stupid in the sense that it yielded results that were the exact opposite of what had been expected. My sleepless nights and hours of delivery didn’t improve much of my students’ levels but it did cause me great health issues.

Here, I need to explain that in addition to my frustrations, my health issues were also directly linked to my tight schedule. I usually taught from 8AM to 12PM and from 1PM to 3PM. This timetable left me with very little time for lunch; I had to go back home, have lunch and return to school within 50 minutes! Therefore, I very often had to eat things that have just come out of the oven. Too hot! OUCH!

Eating unhealthy food, standing and delivering for 6 hours/day and trying to make EVERYONE of my 560 students learn English was my suicidal mission. I was literally killing myself; depressed because of my students low scores and physically sick from those long teaching hours. In short, I was burnt out; physically as well as psychologically.

I’d been leading this sort of life for about 4 months, and then my body couldn’t take it anymore, and that was when I woke up in the middle of the night and vomited profusely. Honestly, I was so afraid. I’d never felt as panicked as I did that night. I thought my soul was being taken out of my body!

Luckily, I made it to the following morning. I didn’t go to school, obviously, and I went to see a doctor. The doctor said I needed to rest and prescribed some medicines. He said I should take it easy and not to work too hard. I nodded in agreement but I didn’t follow his advice to the letter. The doctor gave me a medical certificate that said I had to rest for five days. However, I just stayed at home for two days and decided to resume work when I felt a little better.

I went back to school, and my first session was with a class that was a little difficult to manage. The students were noisy and I was still worried about my health. I told them that I wasn’t in a good shape and that they had to cooperate. The class got quieter for 5 minutes and then it was the same old story all over again! And that was some food for thought.

 

My 2160 test sheets!

“Assessment”, a term I’m getting to hate more as my days as a teacher continue making me a more experienced teacher.

2160 is the key number here. This is the number of test sheets I had to correct and grade during the first semester ONLY. This includes quizzes I had to administer for my classes, as well as the final standardized test which I also had to design, administer and score on my own. So, being the only teacher of English in the entire school, I had to shoulder the burden and not complain about it. I did.

While designing my tests and quizzes, I always try to comply by the fundamentals of ESL/EFL assessment. Therefore, keeping a keen eye on the extent to which my tests are valid, reliable and test-taker friendly was instilled, internalized and assimilated in my subconscious. This, of course, helps make the work easier, however, the amount of sheets I had to deal with was way beyond my human abilities afforded by my 57 kg body. But since I’m a man who’s fully aware of his duties, I just tell myself that “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” and immerse into any task at hand.

The exhaustion such a “pharaonic” task might cause is beyond description. However, my worst nightmare wasn’t designing, administering or even grading the papers. It was how well my students would do. This preoccupying obsession wouldn’t let go, and when grading the test papers, my worst fears would emerge into haunting realities. MANY students failed what I conceived as “Easy tests”. Believe me, nothing breaks a teacher’s heart more than knowing that all the efforts they had exerted were not enough. Although, some students did really great and got A+’s, a lot of other students didn’t even reach average scores.

This is an example of what I had, and still have, to deal with.

Image

This pathetic image portrays my frustrations whenever testing knocks the door!

I only feel better when I think back of the pitfalls of our educational system, where students HAVE to pass even though they don’t satisfy the required criteria and without even passing their tests. I think I’m not the one to blame. My other consolation is the A+’s the high achieving students get.

–Rain Dancer

An Abrupt, Displaced Post.

When I started this blog, I had it clear that I wanted to follow a chronological order in telling my tales. Tonight, however, I’m going to skip a year’s worth of experiences to talk about something that has just rocked my world.

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I GOT TENURE!

Yes, it finally happened. After a 14 months wait, I finally sat for and passed the exam. This means that my probationary period is over. Now, I’m officially certified as a teacher of English by the state. I don’t have to worry about anyone taking over my position.

The educational committee who came to inspect whether or not I was fit to teach decided I was qualified to keep the job permanently. They attended to two different lessons with two different classes and interviewed me for almost one hour. This success, as expected as it was, did make me feel a lot more relaxed. My hard work paid off, and now, I can finally go to work without feeling any less important than any other teacher in the school.

I know that most of my articles tend to be rather pessimistic, so I think this one can be good for a change  😉

Well, I just wanted to share this piece of news with you. Stay tuned for new articles soon.

–Rain

My Emotional Roller-Coaster

Have you ever been in an emotional state in which you couldn’t tell whom you really were? Have you ever been familiar with states of unstable adrenalin pumps that wake you up in the middle of the night and chase sleep away? Have you ever “caught” yourself gritting your teeth while asleep?

…I have.

Sleepless nights

I never lost passion or doubted my love and dedication to the teaching profession. Nevertheless, I experienced some moments of pure physical as well as moral stress which caused me great pain and which, subsequently, led me to change many aspects of my teaching-related practices.

I assume my readers know that I was so eager to teach, and was very enthusiastic to give the best of me when I began practicing. Unfortunately, this zeal and enthusiasm were a bit out of control as I set high and unrealistic expectations. Of course, I didn’t realize that my goals and expectations were unrealistic back then. I just wanted to make a positive change in my students and I refused to believe that they were beyond help as I was informed by some experienced teachers. “They just don’t know how to deal with kids” I’d tell myself.

Now that I think back about it, I realize that those kids were not totally beyond help. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel STUPID; how can anyone, especially in my circumstances, aspire to change students radically in very little time? I’m talking about students who are literally illeterates here!

As a newbie, one always tries his/her best to stick to the literature on teaching, or any other profession, I guess, trying to implement the most up to date principles, methods, techniques and procedures, and trying, if possible, to integrate the most state-of-the-art technological advances.

Now, when you do this, you expect to get the same results you read about in methodology books, watched on teaching videos, and heard about from other experienced teachers. Nonetheless, the reality is sour and the classroom isn’t that magical after all.  It was then when I wrote an imaginary letter saying:

Dear Chomsky, Vygotsky, Tannen, Harmer, Maslow, Celce-Murcia, Nunan, Larsen-Freeman, Krashen, Hymes, Piaget, Rogers,…F@ # $ YOU, none of your S^ & * works!

You can imagine my frustration after trying hard to be a cool teacher just to see my efforts yielding no results. A mere waste of time and effort. Using games, music, videos, role plays… didn’t make my students better ones, it just made me suffer more. My students weren’t familiar with these techniques so they thought I was kind of “weird”. I even happened to hear the following conversation between two students who weren’t in my room but were close enough to be heard:

  • Student A: Look! The students are up and walking inside the classroom hitting each other with a rubber ball.
  • StudentB: what do you think they’re doing?
  • Student A: I have no clue, but today’s teachers have gone really mad!

In fact, my students were engaged in an activity called “hot potato”. In this activity, students are required to mingle and hit each other with a rubber ball which we pretend is a very hot potato. Meanwhile, music plays in the background. When I stop the music abruptly, whoever is holding the ball has to present himself to the class.

This made me feel bad. I was bringing new things to the school and yet some students think I’m crazy! I felt under appreciated and frankly, I felt sad.

Anyway, this is just one example of many constraints I had to deal with. The greatest burden, however, was my students results. The results were really catastrophic! Only 10 percent of my students got good marks in their first test. The other students were either totally lost that they didn’t know what the test was about, or had handwritings that were totally illegible.

Reading my students test papers was a heartbreaking task. Even though I knew they didn’t prepare well, that they didn’t have the adequate level to be there and that they were passing from a class to another without having mastered the previous curricula, I couldn’t blame anyone for their results but myself.

The time that followed my first test was very difficult on me. I started thinking that I wasn’t a competent teacher and that I couldn’t make my students progress. It’s true that I knew that there were things beyond my reach which I wasn’t responsible for, but a sense of guilt chased me day and night and made my life a nightmare, …literally!

At this particular moment, I was starting to become schizophrenic. I would spend a lot of time thinking of my teaching and reflecting back on my mistakes, blaming myself for my students extremely low level, and being harsh on myself because of their low marks. On the other hand, I would stop myself and tell myself that it wasn’t my problem, that my students hadn’t studied enough before they sat for the test and that there was nothing I could do about it. “I just can’t make up for 9 years of education in one month” I’d tell myself.

So, basically, there were two sides of me, one side was blaming me and making me feel guilty and another side comforting me and making me see that it wasn’t my responsibility, and that I was a victim of the educational system’s ineffectiveness.

This emotional roller-coaster  would continue for a relatively long time, a period of some months on which I visited doctors more than I had done in my entire life. A period of time when sleep got scarcer and “good mood” was just some rumor.

A better tomorrow

Thankfully, this had to change soon 🙂

Learning To Accept My Fate

In my previous post, I addressed the problem of my dreamless students. At that point of time, I knew that I had to work harder and harder. But that shocking revelation was just the beginning of a subsequent unlimited number of shocks to which I wasn’t totally prepared.

Generally speaking, when you’re a beginner, you’re probably naïve, you have no knowledge of the administrative tricks and intricacies, so you try to discover as many work related things as possible. Also, you might tend to accept your situation without nagging about its inadequacies, and if your director makes a request, you’d probably take it as an order because you want everyone to notice how hardworking and serious you are, and also because you don’t want to give a bad impression. No one wants to screw up at the very beginning of his/her career, anyway.

A few months after I’d started working at our school, I learnt that this attitude was a rookie mistake! …And I learnt it the hard way.

I’ll start by the first main shock I received at the school. This happened when I was told that I’d be the only teacher of English in the entire school. Actually, we were two teachers of English but they had a shortage of English teachers in the neighboring high school, so they decided to send the other teacher there and make me the only teacher of English at our school. This meant two things to me: longer working hours and taking responsibility for more than 540 students in my first year as a teacher!

This was huge for me. I didn’t know how to react to it as it was too overwhelming. On the one hand, I didn’t like it because having a more experienced teacher in the same school was kind of comforting, I thought he’d be my guide until I settle down and get used to my new students and life in the countryside. On the other hand, I couldn’t come out of the closet because I didn’t want to have troubles with my director or anybody else in the school. So, I just had to accept my fate.

My second shock was when I learnt students got to pass from a level to the next without really having mastered the curriculum or having learnt anything! I thought this was crazy so I asked about it and I was told that there is a “roadmap” that tells schools the percentage of students who need to pass regardless of their school results. Therefore, I ended up with students who couldn’t write their names in their L1 (first language)! “How am I supposed to teach English to such students?” I wondered, but this time, I got no convincing answers. So, I just had to accept my fate.

Now with these developments, I thought that I had to work harder with my students in order to catch up a little bit of what they had lost. Therefore, I decided that in order to better manage my classes, I’d insist on bringing notebooks and writing the lessons on a regular basis . (I understand that this might seem strange to readers from other parts of the world who take it for granted that students always bring their books and notebooks and write their lessons regularly, IT’S NOT THE CASE HERE!). I even threatened that I wouldn’t accept any student who shows up without his/her books and notebooks or who doesn’t do his/her homework.

To my surprise, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to ask any student to leave the room under any circumstances. This means that a student has the right to attend the class even if he/she doesn’t bring his/her books or notebooks, doesn’t write the lessons, or is misbehaving and causing troubles inside the classroom…And that was when I understood that they didn’t want me to teach…They just wanted me to babysit! I understood this, and I had to accept my fate.

In short, I had a tremendous pile of responsibilities but wasn’t empowered enough to deal with them and this made me feel so powerless and tied up. Nevertheless, as I was a newly appointed teacher, my will and dedication were, and still are, stronger than any obstacles. I still remember telling myself the following:”Hey, you! You love challenges, don’t you? Here comes a really big one. Can you take it up and live up to your, your family’s and the society’s expectations?” Then, with a sigh, I replied:”Oh, yeah!”

–Rain Dancer

Rules and Dreamless Students

The problems I started seeing myself immersing into did have an impact on me. I started seeing that I would be dragged into becoming the teacher I didn’t want to be. Which means; using a lot of chalk and talk, being 100 percent dependent on the textbook, and trying to fill the students’ heads with as much information as possible. Therefore, I had to come up with a plan of action and start putting it in use before frustration gets me down.

Therefore, I got myself busy writing some objectives that I thought I wanted to achieve during my first school year. These included preparing the best lesson plans possible, making learning “FUNtastic” and introducing the notion of “edutainment” to my school, keeping a diary to reflect on my teaching and my students’ learning, a research on motivation as well as collecting a teacher portfolio.  Also, I thought of attending as many symposiums and conferences as possible. I thought they were very crucial for any teacher’s professional development and that attending and taking an active part in them would make me a better teacher.

Back to school now. It was time to officially start the year. This means I’d be receiving students for the first time. “Huge!” I thought. During the first session, 20 students attended (out of 45), it was very normal for students not to come regularly on the beginning of the year. Even though the number of students attending was less than half of the class, I thought I should talk to them about the guidelines that would guide our work, the rules that we needed to respect and ask them about their expectations.

Generally, I have two main rules that I tell everyone that they should stick to and follow. The first is “RESPECT”, and the second is “DREAM BIG”. I wrote those two rules on the blackboard as big and clear as I could and as the very little chalk I had permitted. I explained that respect was very important to the process, that without respect we wouldn’t go anywhere. I emphasized that respect didn’t mean they had to be afraid of me, but to respect time, colleagues, the course book and other teachers and subjects. I added that to prove that I believed in respect, I wouldn’t wait for them to respect me but I’d start respecting them first. That’s why I asked them to bring badges and write their names on them so that I’d call them by their names instead of numbers or just the famous “Hey, you!”. This was new to them, no teacher had ever done this with them, so they appreciated the idea.

In addition to this, I explained that I believed in democracy and that it was important for me to know their opinions and what they think is good or bad. I said I believed in freedom of speech and that I’d let them criticize me as long as the criticism is respectful. I never REALLY understood what “to be taken by a storm” meant until that day looking at their faces as I was speaking. Some were literally mouth open, and others were just gazing in pure amazement. I thought this was a positive point. Getting students’ attention and making them follow what you say without feeling bored is every teacher’s dream.

Then, I started addressing the second rule; “dream big”. I asked them, “what are your dreams?” They replied with bewildered looks. I waited for a moment then paraphrased: “What do you want to become in the future?” No answer yet. I thought they needed an example, so I started explaining that everyone has dreams. Some people want to become doctors or lawyers because they think that by practicing these professions they’d be serving the community, making their parents proud or just because they pay well. Other people might choose to become soldiers because they might think that there is nothing holier than defending one’s nation and people. Meanwhile, others might prefer to become artists so that to express their emotions through the magic of art. “Now what about you? What do you want to do in the future?” Still no answer. “Ok, let’s take me as an example” I started, “I’m a teacher, but I still have some dreams that I want to accomplish, I want to become a writer, a photographer and a university teacher”. They followed every word I said with the greatest interest and “hunger” I ever witnessed. I understood no one had ever talked to them about their dreams before.

At this particular point, I started to feel uncomfortable and even shocked. I knew there were many students in each class (40 to 47). I knew they belonged to different age groups (14-21). I knew 65 percent of them were repeating the year. I knew many of them had to walk for 4 or 5 km to get to school, but knowing that they didn’t even know what school was for, and that they didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives was mind-blowing.

I thought they needed to be familiarized even more with the notion of “dreaming”. So, I explained that every person has something special about him/her, that we are all different yet the same, and that our uniqueness is expressed through the things we love the most. Then I added that in order to become successful and glorify this uniqueness we need to believe in ourselves and our abilities and skills. I looked at a girl into the eyes and said: “If you can draw, then you might become an artist”, then I moved to a boy and said: “…And if you can play football, then you might turn professional”… Then I went back to the front of the class, I made sure they all had their eyes on me and I enthusiastically said: “The people who appear on TV are NOT better than you. You can be like them or even better, it just takes passion, devotion and hard work…”

I saw these words breaking the imaginary walls they had in their minds. I saw boys nodding in agreement, and girls shyly smiling in appreciation. I saw them literally changing their minds. I saw motivation in their eyes. I saw that and thought: “Boy, I’m charismatic!”

Then I changed the tone of my voice and said: “Ok, now I want you to think of the things that you love the most and try to come up with possible dream jobs”. I really wanted them to do this, so I explained that it was not a contest, and that there were no wrong answers. A few minutes later, I finally got some answers. Their answers were not extremely varied, it seemed that they all wanted to do the same things, and most of them just repeated the examples I gave before. Consequently, they said that they wanted to become poets, painters, teachers and writers. Again, I said that these things were extremely great and satisfying jobs, but that they needed to dig even further, maybe they’d find something more interesting that they really like based on their real skills and preferences and not based on the examples presented by the teacher. They promised to do so, and I understood there was a long way to walk before I get them to where they needed to be.

–Rain Dancer

My Classroom; Expectations Vs Reality

I don’t know about other neophyte teachers, but for me, being assigned a room for the first time was a tremendous event. It was a strange feeling of pride, fear, motivation, zeal and a huge sense of responsibility, too.  I felt that all of these feelings danced discordantly within my soul, then got mixed up in the melting pot of my heart…This peculiarity is one of the things I’ll never forget. That I know!

“Here is the key to room Nº12” the principal said. A delightful glare made its way out of my popping eyes as I grabbed the key. Many thoughts, images, ideas and memories flashed in my head that I almost forgot to thank the principal before I walked out of his office.

I got to room 12 in the speed of light. I opened the room and got in to what I thought would be my “Dream Theater”, my “Broadway”, my “circus” and most importantly, my as well as my students’ “home”.

Strange as it may seem, it was true. I didn’t see the classroom as a mere room where the teacher talks and the learners listen; the chalk and talk way wasn’t even an option for me. I didn’t see the classroom as a workplace where I do my duty and hit the road back home, either. A classroom was a holy sanctum to me. In addition, I wanted my classes to be fun, motivating as well as engaging and appealing to all students. I knew that for this to happen, I needed to care about my students’ different learning styles and multiple intelligences, and that was a thing I was willing to do.

I entered the room and it gave me a rather negative first impression. It wasn’t as clean or equipped as I had hoped for. It only had a blackboard, a teacher’s desk, which was broken from the left side, a teacher’s wooden chair, and about 25 tables. While inspecting the room and its “equipment”, I noticed that many of the tables were broken; some tables’ upper parts were completely removed, others didn’t have the back part against which the students are supposed to put their backs, whereas others had some metal parts uncovered which I thought was dangerous. Moreover, I noticed that there were no curtains on the windows, and that only 2 out of the 6 bulbs were actually working, not to mention that there was no chalk, either!

If sighing had helped, my room would’ve turned into the most beautiful and well-equipped classroom in the world, but it didn’t, so, frustration had its big break to invade my heart. Nonetheless, I attempted to get rid of that awful feeling by focusing on what was still doable regardless of all circumstances and hurdles. I was a newly appointed teacher after all, and change is what I was there for.

I asked the principal about the situation and what we could do about it. He said there wasn’t much we could do. He added that it was the ministry’s responsibility and that compared to other schools in other places, ours was heaven!

Later on, I asked the principal whether they had a data show (A projector that connects to the computer) that I could use to teach my classes. He said there was one for sciences and that for me to have one; I needed to write a letter to the ministry and wait for their reply.  I understood that this was a polite way of saying that I wouldn’t get one.

Now, the bleakness and dreariness of the situation got even graver. I hadn’t seen that coming. I knew things wouldn’t be perfect, but it never occurred to me that they would be that austere. So, In order to relax a little bit and get rid of my stressful first days at the school, I went to the neighboring wood and lied down breathing the fresh air of the eucalyptus trees. Being in a calm place gave me some peace of mind, so, I started rearranging things in my mind. The most important thing I did was that I decided to “get real” and defy the situation no matter what it would take. I thought that my ideas about teaching unorthodoxly wouldn’t be feasible, but that I could do my best to adapt the resources at hand.

 That was some food for thought I needed to consider and ponder upon.

To be continued

–Rain Dancer

What Do You Mean “In The Countryside”? Continued

My last post was about how I received the news of my appointment somewhere I’d never heard of. Today, I’ll continue telling my story.

So, after the little conversation I had with myself (see the previous post), I thought I needed to get packed and go see how the place really looked like.

To cut a long story short, the place wasn’t a city but it wasn’t a  remote area, either. I made sure it had all  the basic needs; food, electricity, water and internet. This relieved me a bit. However, I noticed something that made me so nervous that I had to make an effort to conceal my feeling. I noticed that nearly everybody in the village was checking me out as if I were a UFO! I didn’t like that feeling at all. Who would?! A line from Metallica’s “Turn The Page” -originally sung by Bob Seger- jumped into my head. It says:

And you feel the eyes upon you. As you‘re shakin’ off the cold. You pretend it doesn’t bother youBut you just want to explode

So, I tried to go on pretending everything was alright even though I got uncomfortable with everybody’s eyes on me. Therefore, I just kept on walking in the summer’s scorching and smothering heat. I walked for a few minutes, then, a 15 year old boy appeared out of nowhere, I asked him what he wanted and he said that I looked stranger and that he wanted to help. I gently thanked him for his offer and I asked him about the school. I learnt he was a student there and that he’d take me to “my” school. I thanked him and followed his steps.

The School:

“There it is” The boy announced.

“Oh yeah, I see!” I briefly and almost unconsciously responded. My mind was busy scanning the area and making as many mental images of the school as possible!

The school looked so huge from the outside. From the inside, however, I noticed it had only two blocks built, whereas, they were working on a new block. What remains of the school was kept for the yard and for sports.

Later, I got to meet one of the veteran teachers there. He was a nice guy. He welcomed me, got me a drink and told me I’d really like it there. I asked him about the students’ level and he said it was “average”, then I asked about their behavior, ten he laughed and said that I had nothing to worry about. He also added that I could depend on him in emergencies. This sounded nice to me. I thanked him a lot and left with thousands of questions still lingering in my head.

TchatcheBlog: college

It was the beginning of the year already, and I saw some students in the school yard as I was I heading out, I heard someone murmuring: “I think this is our new English teacher”, I turned and walked towards them, they looked kind of shocked. I could tell they were afraid I might yell at them, but I just shook hands with them and confirmed their thought, then walked away.

I thought of the students on m way back. I noticed they were older than what one would expect, but still, I thought I’d have more success with older boys and girls than with younger ones. As for the school, I didn’t know what to think of it yet. Nonetheless, I knew I was motivated despite of everything. I knew I was really willing to give the best of me, and offer those kids new and different opportunities to learn, and new perspectives so that they would look at the world differently.

So…?

So, here I got to dragging myself into believing that being in a countryside would help me shape a better and stronger personality and would help me progress as a teacher since I imagined I’d deal with situations that are unique to the countryside that people in big cities would never experience.

I thought of my dreams and frustrations. I thought of my family and my future. I thought of the things I would no longer be able to do. I thought of all that and decided I had to postpone things, that I didn’t decide anything and that I had to be patient fo my dreams to come true.

Therefore, I had to “Turn The Page” on getting a higher degree, being in a nice city and all the commodities of living in a city have gone away. However, I chose to be positive and thanked God that transportation was available in my new place. I decided to postpone some dreams and HAD to look for new ones.

First lesson: I learnt I was flexible.

Rain Dancer

What Do You Mean “In The Countryside”?

We always experience stressful moments when waiting for important pieces of news to be announced. Especially if the news is going to decide what will become of you in the near future. I experienced this feeling when I was expecting the place I’d be appointed in after having successfully graduated from the teacher’s training center. My wait lasted for about three agonizing months, and the result was a bit shocking. Well, a lot shocking…

Actually, before you get appointed anywhere, you have to fill in a form mentioning where you want to be appointed. This, however, doesn’t mean you’ll get to work wherever you want. It’s just used to see if there is any possibility to get you there, otherwise, they appoint you in the nearest place, if possible.

I chose to be appointed in a city near the capital. I made that decision because I wanted to be near all the important institutions, especially universities since I had dreams of pursuing my higher studies.

Nevertheless, the place I had to go work and live in, was a countryside rather in the north of the country. The news shocked me that I yelled at the person who announced it to me through the phone: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S A COUNTRYSIDE?”

…I got under the shock of not being appointed where I had chosen for a relatively long time. Then, I decided to open Google Maps and check where that place was located. I saw it was in the north and the nearest city was only 10 KM away. “GREAT!” I whispered. Still mad, though. However, I got even sadder when I realised the nearest university was 130 km away. This was heartrending and made my ambitions shrink in a disastrous way.

A few days later, I got to get over it. I took some minutes to have a conversation with the frustrated side of me. “Life goes on, anyway. You need to compose yourself and accept the challenge, you’ve always liked challenges and you’ve always lived up to yourand your parents’ expectations. So, why not this time?”

To be continued…

Rain Dancer

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Intercultural Business issues, Expat Issues, and Multicultural Issues of All Types, by Lynne Diligent

Reflections of a Neophyte Teacher

From the heart, to the world.

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