Here are my Grade One students…
Aren’t they darling? I am thoroughly enjoying being their Grade One teacher. In most ways teaching these children is no different than teaching my American first graders other than that most of them are English language learners.
Here are a few interesting facts about teaching at Albanian College.
- The children arrive in the classroom at 7:45 each morning with classes starting at 8:00. The children are dismissed at 3:20 each day.
- The school provides breakfast and lunch every day for all the children. The children are given 20 minutes to eat their breakfast/lunch.
- There are three twenty minute recesses each day.
- In the period of a week the children attend the following special area classes:
- two 40 minute classes of P.E.
- two 40 minute classes of art
- four 40 minute classes of performing arts (a combination of music and drama)
- four 40 minute classes of Albanian (it is important to the school and parents that the children be instructed in their mother tongue as well as English)
- one 40 minute class of library
- Next year, when these children are in Grade Two, they will have a choice of learning French, German or Chinese as their third language.
- Each teacher supervises three meals a week and four recesses a week.
- We have a one hour faculty meeting each week after school in addition to one grade level meeting each week held during the school day.
- We have three Saturdays during the year when we attend professional development. The first one was this last Saturday. The school asked if I would do an hour long presentation about differentiating instruction which I ended up doing.
School is going well although at times I feel overwhelmed. I am confident with the reading, writing and math instruction but getting the hang of the international baccalaureate curriculum with inquiry learning, Managebac, central ideas, lines of inquiry, transdisciplinary themes, etc. is not easy. Yikes!! At times, I feel like I am riding a bicycle as hard and fast as I can but not getting anywhere. Given more time I am sure it will start to make more sense. Whenever you try something new there has to be a learning curve, right? 🙂
Right now I am prepping for parent teacher conferences next week. The following week we have no school which means we will be traveling. Yippee! We are going to Vienna, Austria with a two night side trip to Salzburg. We will be visiting Peter Bernal Reyes and his fiancee, Julia. Peter stayed with our family in Fairport for a year while he was in high school and is an absolutely delightful young man. He is now a pilot for Lufthansa Airlines. We are looking forward to reconnecting with him and Julia and getting to explore Austria. The “icing on the cake” is that our son, David, will be flying over to spend the week in Austria with us. Can’t wait!
Here are a few more pictures of my students before I finish up this post…
Thanks to Kathy Halley at Dudley for sharing this song with me several years ago. It is a great way for the kids to learn the name of their school, room number and teacher. I just changed the words to fit Albania. We sang this song many times during the first week of school. The kids loved it! Thanks, Kathy!!!
One more picture to share… This is the entire staff at Albanian College Tirana. I am to the right in the back. These really are a delightful group of people to work with!
Randy is doing well. He is spending his time reading, keeping our kitchen stocked with food, helping with school things on occasion and exploring Tirana. He has become an expert at navigating around the city. Randy is headed back to Fairport on October 24th because hunting season is now open. I will see him again at Christmas time as our family meets in South Africa to celebrate the holidays.