Now Lie in It

Another week has come to an end. As usual, it hasn't been all that particularly interesting or all that far from normal, but Saudi has a way of altering what that constitutes.

I've been able to fall into a regular pattern of teaching that’s worked relatively well over the past two months. My students have their routines and, depending on the weather or our Dear Leader’s whims, they generally know what to expect on a day to day basis. I've called in sick a few times and never really had a problem, mostly because I was one of the few teachers to have actually established routines at the beginning of the year and stuck with them. In a way, it’s been relatively interesting to see the varying ways other ‘experienced educators’ run their classrooms, but more than anything it’s been validating to see that the many years I've invested into becoming a teacher have clearly had their benefits.

On Monday (our hump day), I was notified that I would need to attend an all-day workshop on Wednesday about a new school-wide program we would be introducing the following week. Only a few teachers from the Boys School would attend, but it was enough to require a change in the entire school schedule, and our Dear Leader made a promise that he would sort it out. I made my sub plans, prepped my students for what to expect, and arrived on Wednesday morning ready to hand my students off to whomever was chosen to cover my classes. No one arrived, so I gave my students a few worksheets and left for my workshop. I spent the morning in a room with far too few staff members to actually institute the program successfully (though that won’t stop us from having to implement it), and checked on my students at lunch. They hadn’t had any adult check in on them since I had left, but they knew their routines and stayed in their room playing on their phones and iPads, generally behaving like ten year old boys. I returned to the workshop after lunch, generally enjoying the topic but clearly realizing the inevitable failure in trying to implement it in the future. My students eventually found a teacher during the last period of the day who was willing to watch them, and the day was finished on a generally good note. All in all, it was a relatively normal day.

Just as the workshop was wrapping up the presenter received a phone call from the Principal of the Girls School. She informed him to tell those of us at the workshop that four people would need to attend an additional all-day workshop on Thursday (our Saturday). Unsurprisingly, I was one of the ones selected. I wasn't all that surprised to be told 10 minutes before the end on my workday, but I was quite frustrated about it nonetheless. 

I spent the evening helping the Brit’s wife with her kids (he’s still away recruiting), had a few pints at the pub, and called it a night. Thursday morning I woke up 20 minutes before the start of the workshop, sent a text saying I wouldn't be able to make it in, and went back to sleep. I haven’t thought much about it since, and I don’t expect much else to happen.

Reap what you sow.