All good things have to come to an end, in this case it’s Katja’s summer holidays which are very quickly coming to an end! As a schoolboy, I remember so clearly the end of the summer holidays, the beginning of term used to feel darkness which became lighter and lighter as the holidays approached!
Back to School for Katja!
So, today was meet the teacher day at Qatar Academy, it is basically an opportunity for kids to meet their new teacher and to familiarise themselves with their new environment, particularly important for kids who just like Katja are newbies in this particular school.
She has three lovely teachers, yes, you read correctly, three! One is the main teacher, one is an assistant and the third one is an Arabic support teacher who will also be teaching Arabic, currently, I think there are 19 kids in her class. The classroom is bright and nicely decorated with lots of resources at hand, there are plenty of activities and toys of every description, of course, Katja had to go and find the anatomically correct dolls and start commenting on the various bits and pieces….bless her. Meet the teacher days are also an opportunity for parents to meet the teacher too and to find out about various things happening etc, etc. In our case it is a bit simpler as Cathy works in the same school so we already know a lot of stuff about routines etc, etc, etc. I was handed a form to fill in which really took me back to my schooldays, I’m not sure if I passed or failed, however, one thing I can say is that my handwriting is appalling, it was never good to start off with but as I am becoming more mature (I am trying to avoid the word older!) it seems to have become worse, I guess I hardly ever do any writing other than on a computer which doesn’t help a great deal. I am hoping that because they probably won’t understand my handwriting I may not have failed! OK, in fairness it was a simple(ish) form with lots of hard questions such as discipline procedures at home, educational targets and what’s the meaning of life!
Cathy’s also meeting parents today, however, shes doing it as a teacher, all the hard work from the past few weeks culminating in an impressive display for parents and a welcoming environment for her new students.
Then as part of our new routine we are off shopping for the week and to finish the day we’ll meet up with friends in the club house for a bite to eat and a swim, not a bad way to end the day, week, summer holidays!
From a very early age we realised Katja would absolutely thrive being part of a community, was saw this as she took her first steps in Bulgaria and being part of AAS (Anglo American School), this continued during our year in Spain in which she made friends with some amazingly nice people (I won’t add names as I am worried about missing people out but you know who you are) and now we are seeing her thriving in Qatar.
One of the big problems Katja faced in Spain was that she wasn’t part of one thing or another. She was traveling (along with Cathy) the best part of 100 miles per day. They would leave home at 7 am and return home circa 6 pm, 5 pm on an early day. Not only was Kati extremely tired after the best part of 11 hours out but also missed out in making friends her own age in the village yet at the same time was too far from her school friends to be able to have play dates etc etc. As I said above, due to her outgoing and sociable personality, she made some amazing friends in Monda, even if they were a little bit older than her………OK, quite a bit older…………….OK, OK, a lot older!
So, what has today consisted of?
Cathy went to school as usual, Kati was in a very mellow sort of mood and played happily by herself so I got on with a few things I had to do. We (I) opted for not going out for the sake of going out as we were going out for tea. After Cathy had signed the contract for her new job here, she was assigned a buddy, someone who she can get more info from and bounce ideas from. Lou (Cathy’s buddy) lives in the same compound as us and has two boys slightly older than Kati. She very kindly invited us over for tea so we had a lovely meal while Kati played with the boys and had fun. After tea we went across the road to the club house and enjoyed the rest of the evening chatting to people and having a nice swim. Now, this is where it gets interesting for Kati (and for us too for that matter). A lot of people go across to the club house, it is a great opportunity to socialise and meet new people, within seconds of Kati jumping in the pool she was playing with loads of kids who also live in the compound. To say she had a blast is an understatement. This is very much what she needed, to mix with kids her own age, to be a kid and not to be expected to behave like a mini adult at all times.
We are firm believers that in this environment Kati will thrive, not just from an educational point of view but as a person. Talking with so many people who have been here several years and have kids slightly older than Kati, they all seem to say the same thing; this is a fabulous environment for kids to grow up in and how their kids have thrived in all aspects of life.
As I said yesterday, we are all growing up together, just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you ever stop growing up!