Thank you for your responses to my posts. It helps me to know where the gaps are in the information I’ve given so far.
Apparently one thing I’ve been missing is about Dave’s job. You know, the whole reason we’re here. I’ll also tell you about Honour’s school. The differences are interesting.
Qatar is a huge pool of expats. Some estimate that there are 3 expats for every Qatari citizen. So most teachers who come to Qatar come to teach at an international school full of expat kids. Not so David. He’s landed himself a job in a Qatari national school. The Qatar Academy is committed to providing education to children (both boys and girls) in english so that their graduates are prepared for English speaking or Arabic Universities. So the classes are taught in English, with the exception of Arabic and Islamic studies. Dave isn’t sure exactly how many students there are but it would be less than 200. His class sizes will be blissfully small (between 10-15) and he will be teaching Social Studies…history, geography…to grades 4-7. This is a new program so he’ll have curriculum development to do aplenty. The school is also undergoing the requirements to become and International Baccalaureate accreditation – which is quite rigorous. They’re going to be busy days. He’s just finished his first week of orientation and although he sees lots of challenges ahead he is really happy and really likes the people he’s working with. I haven’t even been to the school yet but when I get there I promise to take some pictures.
Honour and I went to check out her school yesterday. Her school Al Khor International School is a large International school filled with expat students and teachers. It couldn’t be more different than Dave’s school. This year the school will be receiving 16 new classes of students and 200 new teachers!! It’s huge! The high school Honour went to last year had 190 students. There may be some changes ahead. We went and bought her uniform pieces (t-shirts, black pants, pretty casual really) and were spontaneously given a tour by a Mom who was also there buying uniforms for her children. She was new last year (by the way, she’s from the UK, married to someone from Toronto and has lived in the Middle East for years…the people and stories continue to roll out). The school mirrors the British model of schooling so the basics will all be there but then there are many different streams for her to choose from. I’ll learn more about that next week. Despite the intimidating size and the stories of so many cultures mixing together and the new teachers…and the entrance exam for placement…Honour felt better after our visit. I’m impressed by her confidence and bravery (and every now and then she has a typical teenage girl moment…what if..? fill in the blank, you can imagine what scenarios lurk. Typical stuff.) They apparently have an excellent drama department – right down her ally.
I hope that answers some of your questions. Keep them coming!