I have lived in Egypt for two years now. I have done private ESL lessons and group sessions most of my time here. Recently I accepted a job as a preschool teacher in a International School. I know Egyptian standards in education are less than many countries, but this school is a complete surprise to me.
I have children ranging in age from 3-5 in my classroom. We are not allowed our own curriculum but must teach from the one the school loosely put together (example: this week is letter A, the square, the color blue, and the words apple and ant). I was provided in my classroom a white board and marker and one set of flash cards. She has English class slotted for an hour and a half which she expects these kids to sit and listen to me talk. Then the owner has Montessori time in the afternoon and she tells to give them each one puzzle to do over and over for half an hour. Really?!
After my first day I went home and made a whole bunch of cut outs of letters, shapes, items, and colors. I used double sided tape on the back and used them as visual aids on the white board. This burned about 45 minutes and the kids really enjoyed it. The biggest problem is in Egypt we have very little in the means of manufactured teaching supplies (ex: posters, magnets, puzzles, games). They also do not have a printer I can use in the school to print out worksheets-so I have to make these at a maktaba (like a book and paper supply store) at a rate of about 2 pounds per page.
I don’t know if this school is even normal because I don’t know any other ESL teachers in Egypt. These kids deserve a good quality class and I’m not getting any cooperation with the school. I’m just frustrated and I’ve only worked a week here. I feel like I’m failing my kids because there is little means to make it more entertaining and rewarding for them.
I’d definitely appreciate anyone’s ideas or feedback. Thanks.