Reflections from my first school year abroad.

I’ll make this short and sweet. This time last year I was packing and cleaning my office for a new person to step in and fill the space. I never wondered if my decision to go back to the classroom after 10 years was right or wrong. All I knew was I was ready to go. I was sincerely happy and if I ever go back to Arizona, I would go back to Legacy. But, I needed a change of scenery and pace. In all honesty, my biggest concern was will I be able to do all the things I expected teachers to do. After many years of coaching and guiding teachers on how to create sustainable classroom climates, managing classroom behaviors, implementing positive discipline, working with difficult parents- how would I do this as a teacher again?

This is what I will say. My teaching load consisted of about 95 girls. Of that group, four of them gave me a run for money (at least it’s good money). I mean I bought a flight to Oman after leaving class with these girls and having a drink Tuesday and Wednesday was a common activity. But in the grand scheme of things, that means about 95% did not have any behavioral issues besides tardiness, no PE kit and late work here and there. What more can you ask for? What this did allow me to do was focus on learning how to teach again and more specifically the MYP PHE curriculum. It’s a beast, it’s different. You don’t tell kids to just run out there and play. You have to know very essential parts. Now that I have a grasp of the kids and the curriculum, I can really shift to professionally developing myself again.

As a reflective practitioner, I love that I had a deep dive in ELL strategies and this learning will continue next year. However, in browsing next year’s professional learning opportunities, I’m looking forward to the following :

1. Positive Discipline in the Classroom

2. PALME- Program for Aspiring Leaders in Management and Education (this looks really interesting)

3. International Principal’s Certificate

But the most exciting opportunities of all… Last week I was at the pool and I complimented a lady about her swimsuit. Long story short, she is a principal of a new school and she is looking for professional development for her staff in the area of classroom management, school safety and accreditation for the new schools. We exchanged contact information. I’m very excited about the possibilities and new growth potential next school year.

In the mean time, here’s to summer fun!

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