Sunday, January 22, 2012

Voting Begins

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I'm supposed to tell you that voting starts today started yesterday for Most Fascinating Teacher Blog of 2011. There are 100 nominated blogs! Wow! (Especially surprising since I got a $25 gift certificate for being nominated.) Out of the 100 blogs I only recognized one on the list (besides mine). Definitely out of the teacher blogger loop these days.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hello, Anyone Out There?

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It's been quite a while since I've written here as it's been over a year and a half since I moved to Beirut to teach at an international school (and subsequently started a new blog about my life there). Imagine my surprise then when I received an email this week saying:
"An article you wrote in 2009 titled Field Trips, Good and Bad has earned your blog a nomination for a Fascination Award: 2011's Most Fascinating Teaching blog."
I reread the email carefully again and yes, they did realize that I wrote this "fascinating post" back in 2009, and a follow up email even mentioned the new blog about Beirut. Huh. Well, I've accepted my nomination, so there you have it. I am nominated for "Most Fascinating Teaching Blog of 2011" for a blog that hasn't been updated in a year and a half. Very fascinating indeed. (My apologies to those who have currently fascinating blogs on the subject of teaching who weren't nominated.)

While I'm over here in the world of Teaching in NYC, I will make this comment: I just saw this video about P.S. 19 in Brooklyn (very close to home, I must add) and it just makes me breath a sigh of relief that I am not in this type of teaching environment anymore. My school may not be perfect but watching this just reminds me of how peaceful it is teaching overseas without all of this talk and threat of testing, school closures, unions, merit pay, accountability, teacher evaluations, progress reports, and on, and on. That is all.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A Day of International Inspiration!

I am working with Missy Gluckmann of Melibee Global to put on an exciting seminar sure to inspire.

"A Day of International Inspiration" at Purchase College, SUNY on June 8th.

Come hear from four very inspiring speakers who will present on global citizenship, Muslims in America, spirituality and the environment, and the joy and challenges of serving abroad. There will also be a screening of the documentary BUDRUS (called the "must see documentary of the year" by Nicolas Kristof of the NY Times).

This will be a great opportunity to network and meet other globally minded educators.

For full program information:

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Teacher's Day

Today is Teacher's Day in Lebanon and guess what we get? THE DAY OFF!! Now *that* is how you appreciate teachers!

Oh yeah, and we get a night of dinner and dancing in a swanky hotel restaurant. Usually our school holds it the night before our day off but for scheduling reasons we're having it the week after Teacher's Day this year.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

It's a Different World Over Here

Yesterday was New Teacher Orientation at my new school in Beirut. Wow! is pretty much all I have to say. We're not in NYC public schools anymore, Toto!

We started the morning with an introduction from the HR director. She said that this morning she was reminded of herself being a new hire four years ago and all the excitement she felt to be working at this school. Then a few months later the excitement and newness started to fade and she wondered where it went. Then she asked herself where else she would want to work other than here and her answer was nowhere else. The room of teachers and administration new and old cheered. (Then she cracked a joke about asking the same thing about her husband: Who else would I want to be married to? And the answer was always the same: (dramatic pause) George Clooney.

Next the President got up and spoke about all the schools he had worked at in the world and how this was the best school in the world. OK, he might be a bit biased, but still, can you imagine working at a school that could even proclaim to be the best in the world? Then, person after person got up and while introducing themselves gushed about how much they love the school and couldn't imagine being anywhere else. It was pretty amazing.

We had tours of the school campus which is gorgeous. My friend's fifth grade classroom has a wall of windows where you see nothing but the sparkling blue sea! (I'm a tad jealous I must say!) After the tour we took a bus ride up to the satellite campus in the mountains which has an even more gorgeous view of Beirut and the sea. After a presentation from the HR department we had a catered lunch of Lebanese food before heading back down to Beirut.

Beautiful campus aside I was just struck by the excitement of all of the staff that we met. The president said when he was speaking, "I have complete confidence and faith in each and every one of you. You've all been brought here to work at the best school because you are the best." And you really felt that he meant it. What a breath of fresh air coming from NYC where as a teacher you feel as if you aren't trusted to do anything without being micro-managed.

Today the foreign-hire teachers (there are eight of us) had a meeting with the President where he talked about life in Lebanon: politics, religion, emergencies, personal safety, and basically anything we needed in getting adjusted to life in a new country. He made us feel really secure in knowing if anything dramatic were to happen in the country we would be taken care of. He was also on top of any sort of requests that we had. No wireless in your apartments? We're on it. Furniture in some of the apartments is old and dingy? We will replace it by the end of next week. The shipping company didn't do a professional job? Thanks for alerting us, we'll get a new one. Honestly I can't imagine anyone being more responsive. After our meeting we were taken out to lunch by the president and his wife and we all just chatted and got to know each other better.

Needless to say I am loving my school so far and feeling a little more than spoiled. Being an international school teacher definitely has its perks!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I have arrived in Beirut and am loving it! New teachers report to work this Friday, the rest of the teachers return on the 13th and then school starts on the 23rd. Yes, we have THAT much time to prepare! Take that NYC!

I've started a new blog about my life in Beirut so I won't be blogging here anymore (not that I have in ages anyway. ha). If you are interested in following me to my new blog you can find me here:

Hope everyone has a great start to the new school year!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Snow Day Tomorrow

I never thought I'd see the day that a snow day was called *in advance*. Remember last year we were all hoping for a snow day that wasn't called until 6 am after many teachers and students had already left for school. I was just out of the shower when a friend from school texted me to tell me the good news. Later, the mayor had the nerve to go on TV and say, regarding the people who complained he called it too late, that any "intelligent" person could look out their windows and see the amount of snow and *know* that schools would be closed.

So, we must be getting a heck of a lot of snow tomorrow. But at this point, it doesn't really matter how much it snows; we already got our snow day. Can't take it back now :)

I for one am prepared for tomorrow. I went grocery shopping today and I plan to enjoy my day off tomorrow. I'm gonna sleep in, watch some movies, and cook. Pancakes for breakfast, tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch, and roast chicken for dinner. I can't wait!