Browsing Category:

School & Teaching

    Soccer Spirit Week

    Since the kids seemed to really like the last Spirit Week, we decided to have another one before the soccer tournament. It was a short week and we didn’t have as many themed days:

    • Monday: No theme
    • Tuesday: Mismatched Day
    • Wednesday: No school
    • Thursday: Crazy Hair Day
    • Friday: School Colors Day

    Our students were creative and so cute! Here are some elementary kids on the morning of Mismatched Day:


    Mismatched kids


    Mismatched brothers


    Three of the secondary boys wore stripes and kilts:


    Mismatched boys in kilts


    For Crazy Hair Day, I had a high ponytail with a bow and some chopsticks. David didn’t have a lot of hair to work with, so he shaved off part of his beard. Thankfully, he didn’t keep it that way for too long:


    Crazy hair and beard




    Teasing Hair


    We had a short pep assembly on Thursday and I coordinated a silly relay race. There were three teams who raced back and forth across the atrium to put on parts of a uniform.


    Pep Assembly Game


    It was kind of thrown together last minute, but was entertaining:


    Pep Assembly Game


    We had a fun couple of days and the teams played well in the tournament.




    Beautiful Gifts

    This is a busy time of year. I have a lot to share about what’s been going on recently (including our spring break travels to Croatia!), but haven’t had time to write about it all yet.

    Last week our soccer teams participated in their big tournament. A team from one of our sister schools flew in from another country to participate.

    Several of the teachers hosted the boys. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but these young men were some of the most courteous and appreciative guests we’ve ever had. They were so kind to have even brought gifts as thanks for us hosting them. These bowls were handmade and the scarf is so soft:


    Brown and teal handmade bowls


    Beautiful bowl


    I love the raw details of these pieces. They look and feel truly artisan:


    Bowl bottom view


    Beautiful edge detail


    The team showed camaraderie and they were super supportive of our school during the tournament. They cheered louder than our student/parent/teacher section!

    It was the first time most of the boys had traveled out of their home country and it was so cool to see Turkey through their eyes. We took a small group to Kizilay one evening and went with the entire team and some teachers to Ulus. They were so happy to be here and experience everything.

    Even though it was a busy weekend, I am thankful both of our schools had such a unique opportunity!




    Ice Skating Field Trip

    I have really enjoyed teaching my sixth grade students this year. My class is hard working and full of energy. A few weeks ago, we went on a field trip to Lozanpark Buz Pisti (Lozanpark Ice Rink).

    Now, ice skating is something fairly common to a Michigander like myself. However, some of my kids are from countries with a warm climate and several had never even seen an ice skating rink before.


    Falling down


    Prior to the field trip, we took an in depth look at ice skating from a scientific perspective. I introduced Newton’s laws of motion and we discussed how these related to ice skating. We also watched a National Geographic I Didn’t Know That video that discussed the possible reasons why ice skating works. The kids were excited and talkative on the bus ride to the rink.


    Ice skating in the rink



    We had forty minutes of skate time. I was impressed. Everyone attempted to skate and the students were so good at helping each other. We had lots of fun falling down, getting back up, and sliding around the ice. At the end of the forty minutes, we were all worn out.


    Group shot


    Silly group shot


    After taking off our skates and an intense game of tabletop foosball, we headed to a local mall for lunch.


    Conquered skating!


    I was so impressed by the way the students conducted themselves. They followed directions, got along with one another, and were smiling and laughing throughout the entire trip.


    Ready to skate


    It was refreshing to spend time with my students outside of the formal classroom setting. I enjoy my time in the classroom, but events like these give me a chance to connect with my students in a more personal way. It’s often easy to get distracted by the regimented schedule. I forget how important it is to show my students I enjoy having fun just like them. While I still maintained the position of teacher, I had a blast goofing off on the ice and laughing with my students when we ran into each other or fell down.


    Massage chairs



    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    I have the most thoughtful students, coworkers, and huz! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed lots of chocolate and sweet notes today.


    School Valentines


    I feel like this was one of those “you know you work at an international school when…” moments. Happy Valentine’s Day – Gangnam Style!


    Gangnam Style Cookie



    Spirit Week

    Even though we had Monday off, last week was a busy week! I helped two other teachers plan our school’s first ever spirit week. The spirit week led up to the big basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday. I designed a poster we hung around school:


    Spirit Week Poster


    Tuesday was dress as a fictional character day. David purchased a Cat in the Hat costume when he student-taught kindergarten and we brought the hat with us to Turkey. I stole it from him, because what better costume could a librarian have? David was inspired by a Halloween costume his brother and sister-in-law made a couple of years ago and dressed as Mr. Incredible.


    Cat in the Hat and Mr. Incredible


    Some of the teachers enjoyed dressing up just as much as the kids:


    Teachers on Character Day


    The kids were pretty cute, too:




    Wednesday was aluminum foil day:




    The elementary kids were especially creative:




    Thursday was twin/triplet/etc. day:




    We had families dress alike:


    Twin Day Family


    And students dress like teachers:


    Twin day with crazy hair


    Fun fact… our school has four sets of twins this year! Since I’m the yearbook teacher, I had to get a photo of the real twins on twin day:


    Twins on twin day


    Also on Thursday, we had our first ever school pep assembly. Our school is designed around an atrium, so we had students line the terraces. The coaches announced the basketball teams and my cheerleaders performed!






    Pep assembly


    Friday was school colors day:




    The basketball players left early on Friday to go to the tournament, and the rest of the school let out a couple of hours early too so we could attend the games. It was a successful spirit week!



    Organizing Library Duplicates

    Our school has been finishing up the fall semester the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are half days for secondary final exams. My graphic design course is an elective and my students turned in their portfolios on Tuesday, so I was able to knock out a lot of grading early.

    Because I had a couple of extra free periods and the half days, I was finally able to tackle the duplicate book storage in the library. Since the middle of last year, I’ve been checking to see if the books in storage are duplicates and if their shelf copies needed to be replaced. This week, I took everything down and had the cleaners wash the curtain that hides the extra books. It was super nasty and dusty. I started by sorting the books by author last name.


    Book stacks


    Some of my elementary library helpers grouped the series books. (Geronimo Stilton, Magic Tree House, American Girl, Boxcar Children, Junie B. Jones, etc.) It is such a relief to finally have them all in the same area!


    Series duplicates


    I sorted the books by fiction, non-fiction, step leveled readers, and series categories. I also had a couple of DVD duplicates.


    Organizing books


    I assigned each partitioned shelving area a number and put up a quick reference label:


    Reorganized storage


    Today, the cleaners brought the curtain and put it back up. (It looks like a completely different color now that it’s clean!) I’m so very Type A and weirdly excited this task is done.


    Fiction room


    Next, my TA and I will start a spreadsheet catalogue of the duplicate books and their location. Already this year I’ve purchased one or two books we already had a copy of in storage. Soon, I will have a reference file so that won’t happen! It can be difficult and expensive to find certain books in Turkey. (Online shipping is costly as well.) Most of the books were brought or mailed from the States and that’s why keeping so many duplicates is important for our school.

    Since this post wasn’t all that exciting, I thought I’d share a photo of something that’s been rather exciting in my life the past couple of weeks… Milka now makes a chocolate bar with Oreo. It’s oh so delicious:


    Oreo Milka bar