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    The First Day of School

    School started on Thursday, so we only had a 2-day first week! We were so excited for the kids to arrive. It was wonderful to see our returning students and to meet our new students.


    Benedicts on the first day of school


    Kids waiting outside


    Once the bell rang, the entire school met together outside for a welcome assembly. In the past, the director has given away 5TL to a student who can recite the OASIS acronym: Outstanding Character, Academic Excellence, Servant Leadership, Intellectual Curiosity, Sportsmanship. This is our school’s tenth year in existence, so he changed it up and offered 10TL! A fifth grader volunteered but couldn’t remember the acronym, so the director told him he could tell the top 10 things he loved about Oasis. The student came up with funny quips like recess, the time the school let out, and how he got in trouble for silly things. BUT! When he got to number 10, guess what he said? The library! I cheered loudly.


    The director giving a speech


    Another first day tradition Oasis has is for all of the students to take a moment of silence and walk around the school. It’s a time for students to be thankful in their hearts for everyone who made the school and their being at the school possible. The processional was lead by two seniors who held our school flag and the Turkish flag:


    Seniors leading the walk with flags


    Students walking around the school


    It was a great kick off to the new school year!


    Flowers outside the school


    100th Day of School

    Last week included the 100th day school has been in session this year. To celebrate, the lower elementary dressed up like 100-year-old men and women. I was excited because it was my day to teach the K4 (Preschool) and K5 (Kindergarten) Bible class.


    Elementary Bible Class


    When I went to pick up the K4 and K5 students, I came around the corner to a number of ancient looking boys and girls. We had a lot of fun in Bible class. I made a Psalm 100 coloring page and we sang it as a song. “Shout for joy to the Lord!”

    I enjoyed acting like an old man and tying in a Bible lesson to the 100th day of school activities. I have so much fun with all my Bible classes. I am often humbled by the faith these little individuals have in their Creator.

    But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14 (ESV)


    Coloring in Bible


    100th Day of School in Bible


    100th Day of School in Bible


    100th Day of School in Bible


    Leah took a few pictures of 100th Day of School festivities, too:


    100th Day of School glasses


    100th Day of School Sign



    The First Week of School

    The last two weeks have been a whirlwind! We spent many hours at the school preparing our classrooms and lesson plans. Before we knew it, the first day of school had arrived! I was excited and a little nervous; this is my first time on the instructor side of a classroom.


    New teachers at Oasis!

    Dressed and ready for the first day of school!


    We were so glad to finally meet our students. There are about 250 students in preschool through 12th grade. All grades met outside the first day and our director welcomed everyone to the new school year. Holding to tradition, we all walked a lap around the building in silence, taking a moment to be thankful in our hearts for the opportunity to be a part of the school.

    David is having a blast with his 6th graders, as well as with his lower elementary Bible and 7th/8th grade character education class.

    My computer graphic design class is going well. It’s been a fun challenge to create the curriculum, as I am not using a textbook this year. I also have upper elementary computer courses. There are many skilled typists in every grade! I am still learning some of the ropes of the library, and am so thankful for the support of the previous librarian who has been able to answer my many questions through email.

    We had a day off of school on Thursday for Victory Day (a Turkish holiday). All schools are required to hang the Turkish flag and a flag of Atatürk


    Victory Day in Turkey


    David and I slept in, worked on lesson plans, and had a nice walk down to the pazar (outdoor market). David also got a haircut! He wasn’t able to communicate much other than the fact he wanted a haircut, but the barber did a great job.


    David's First Haircut in Turkey

    Over the past two weeks, several of the teachers have been watching a Bourne movie marathon. The evening of our day off, we watched the last installment of the Jason Bourne movies at one of the teacher’s apartments.

    The school had open house Friday evening and we got to meet the parents of several of our students. There are families from all over the world! Korea, the Netherlands, Africa, France…

    After open house, a large group of teachers and several students (mostly children of staff members) took several taxis to the movie theater to see The Bourne Legacy. The movie was in English, but had Turkish subtitles. I thought it was stylistically different than the previous movies, but enjoyed it for the most part. The week kind of caught up to me and I fell asleep after intermission. (I greatly appreciate that about seeing movies in Turkey – about halfway through the movie, they stop it so you can go to the bathroom, get more snacks, etc.)

    All in all, it was a successful first week. We are looking forward to the many weeks ahead!