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365 Day 8 Back to school

It’s now a month since I returned to Istanbul. It was the right decision to make.

It took some time to gather my thoughts and pluck the courage to pack my bags and throw my life into low-level turmoil yet again, to move to a city that seems forever under my skin. There are certain things about Dubai that I miss now, and that I’ll possibly miss for a long time to come. Sunshine is currently at the top of that list. And yet, even waking up each morning to an overcast sky has done nothing to dampen my love for this place. I’m back on track.

But as cold and uninviting as the climate is now, I’m happy. Even if I rise before six each morning to shave, shower and shampoo before being collected in the school service bus just after seven. Returning to Istanbul and to teaching has been the wisest choice I’ve made in a number if years. I love being in the classroom. And it’s been a very soft landing.

I’m now teaching English to the youngest students I’ve yet taught. At first I felt apprehensive about attempting Grade 5. The kids, well, they seemed so very young. Classroom management has never been a strong point with me: it’s like children quickly sense that I’m a pushover, and naturally they take full advantage immediately.

However, my class of little ones is better than I hoped for. I assume I’d spend chunks of each lesson trying to keep control of boundless energy, trying desperately to curtail naughty behaviour, incesssant chatting and general, nonsensical foolishness to which younger students are prone.

But no. They’re almost a teacher’s dream. To be sure, I’ve entered the classroom with a positive attitude and my own limitless energy. It’s easier to work when you are receive a daily reward. My class is interesting and interested. There are as many distinct personalities are there are students. And I like them because they are children. No cynicism, no sarcasm and they are a long way from being world-weary adolescents. They want to learn. They want to have fun. They smile easily, laugh loudly, and they definitely love participating in English class with Mr James.

Soon enough I’ll need to make a deicsion about the coming academic year. To remain in the Elementary School, where I’m surprisingly happy, or to make the move to the High School, where some of of my earlier students must be groaning at the thought of having me yet again in their final year.

But that’s still a few months away. For the moment, I couldn’t be more satisfied.

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