So today was my first day at the Anglo-American School of Moscow (AAS). The campus is a great campus to arrive at, as you drive through a forest and then the school appears in front of you. We drove up to the entrance to be greated with some traditional dancers and music. You can see some of the photos that the school took here. Click Here and a bit of Video Here. I have to say it was an amazing way to be greeted on your first day.
After we had a brief meeting to go over a bit of the basics, we went on a tour of mostly the elementary school. The campus is pretty big but the building is basically a big rectangle so it is easier to find your way around then my last two schools. One of the greatest parts of the tour was being told by the elementary principal that “there are some things that we will give you a lot of guidance on how AAS teaches and others where we won’t, because we are developing those areas. If we don’t give you a lot of guidance then do what you think is best in your professional opinion.” I think that a lot of international schools think this and do this, but I don’t know if they all say it so clearly to new teachers coming in.
The elementary is pretty big and spread out over four floors. I am on the fourth so I will be getting my exercise this year. I am pretty sure that I circled the right window for my room!
The lab that I am in charge of is pretty bare at the moment because it is transitioning from a traditional computer lab into a Maker type space. Which will be something that will be developed over the course of this year.
One of the funny things that happened on the tour was that we went to the supply room. Listening to a bunch of elementary teachers walk into a room that is like a Staples warehouse is pretty funny and full of UUUUUUHHHs and AAAAAHHHHHHs. Then we went past the furniture equivilant where we all again made wow noises. As we were leaving the middle school tour walked by and made the comment like this is a horrible room, at which point all of the elementary teachers went, “What, It’s fantastic!” Yet another difference between elementary teachers and middle/high teachers, M/H teachers don’t seem to get as excited by supplies and furniture!
After our tour we had a great lunch in the teacher lunch room, which gave us time to process what we had heard in the morning and come up with other questions. After lunch we had a session with the head of HR. I think that I will be well taken care of by this school they seem to have everything very well planned and working like a well oiled machine. They are also getting an amazing mural painted in their office.
I am still getting my head wrapped around what I will be doing and how I will be doing it, but I am not stressing that at the moment. Instead I am going with the flow and enjoying the ride. The real work begins on Monday when I will be helping with some Tech introductions! I did say that I could hit the ground running with GAFE (Google Apps for Education) so now I get to prove it!
We rounded off the night with dinner at a Georgian restaurant in our neighborhood. The HS principal ordered a selection of food for us which was pretty amazing and I got a few pictures of that.
We even got a bit of music at the end which rounded off the evening nicely!