To all of my loyal followers who have stayed with me in my journey — thank you for being patient!
It has been months since I’ve updated and I do apologize; but as I’m sure everyone knows that life gets in the way.
I have graduated from my Ulpan program and moved to the big city!
Now, those of you that know me know I come from a small town. I am very much a small town girl. I went to college in the same city where I grew up and besides Israel, I have never left the comfort of my own home (thanks mom and dad 😉)
It seems odd that not only have I moved countries away but to a city?! My how things have changed. I was never one for sleep away camps— or camp at all, really. I was a homebody, but as the years grew on, so did I.
I am proud to update you all and say that I am now successfully living in Tel Aviv!
I moved 4 months ago (whaaaaaat) and within two weeks of living in Tel Aviv I found myself a job. It was quite crazy actually. I applied to this position for an English tutor and then next day I had an interview and after I had my interview I walked out with an employment contract. I was working for a company for a month traveling to peoples homes and doing private lessons in English to families from the MOD (ministry of defense) who were being relocated to English speaking countries. While it was fun and rewarding in its own way I wanted something with more of a schedule, benefits, and of course a career path!
…..so there started my job search– again! Quite simply I googled “English speaking gans in Tel Aviv” for those of you who don’t know a gan is a mix between a daycare and a kindergarten. I found 3 different gans that were close to my apartment and I emailed all three my CV and was inquiring if they had any positions open.
I heard back from two and interviewed at both and I fell in love with one.
For 3 months now I have been working full time (6 days a week!) at Rainbow Nursery or גן קשת. Rainbow is a bilingual, educational gan that serves from 3 months until 5 years. I am working in the Tigers room (26 children; the children are currently at age 22-27 months) as a keyworker for green group.
In the gan there are 150 children broken into 5 groups (penguins, tigers, zebras, lions, and elephants) each class has 4 color groups (red & blue – the youngest and green & yellow- the oldest)
What does a keyworker mean? It means I oversee 8 children daily on a 1:1 personal basis. I also run an adult led activity everyday for one hour, as well as multiple adult initiated activities where I welcome children to come build towers out of blocksC or the the role play area, or even to come listen to a book (sometimes in Hebrew 😊) I also change nappies (our gan uses British English) everyday so now I’m a changing wizard. Of course, I also work with all of the other children; however, for my kids I am constantly doing observations, daily development plans, parent consultations/meetings, and so much more.
Two months into my job I was offered a promotion. The promotion will take affect August 25 as I transition into the role of deputy team leader of lions (36 children) I will oversee 50% of the class (red and blue groups), take more part of planning the daily activities, engage in morning rotation activities which include language, math/science, art, and cooking. I will also be doing home visits. The children I will be working with will be 3 years old.
The gan is completely bilingual and the children are unbelievable. Every class has Hebrew speaking staff as well as English speaking staff. 50% of the time English is spoken and the other 50% is Hebrew. Truly, language is an amazing thing. Many children speak two or even three languages fluently and it’s astonishing! I have stepped into a leadership role and the transition is going smoothly. As I prepare to move classrooms, I am given new responsibilities and duties to complete daily. I helped co-lead a tour for prospective families (for 2020!!) last Friday. I help set up classrooms to make it look welcoming and professional.
My job is about 25 minute walk away from my apartment which is a very nice commute. When I’m feeling lazy or tired it’s only a 10 minute bus ride!
I’ve become a local! Or as local one could be in a city. I have my usual supermarket, usual coffee place (conveniently located next to the gan), usual bar (shout out to all my friends who are the bartenders), etc.
All of the good/positive updates are great but don’t get me wrong. I still have my days where I really miss my family. A few weeks ago was my birthday- the first one I spent away from my family and our regular traditions of celebrating. A month ago or so I was really sick for weeks I had a terrible virus and all I wanted was my moms matzah ball soup. Working with kids as a teacher makes me miss my niece and see her development and how she’s learning and watching her grow. I miss my dad, seeing all the kids during pickup so excited to see their “aba” (dad) and greeting them with a smile and a hug just makes me wish I could go back to my apartment and open the door and see and greet my dad with a smile and a hug. I miss my sister and all of the things we would do together and all of my friends.
Buuuuuuuuuuuut in 21 days I’ll be back in the states for almost 3 weeks! I’m so excited to see everyone and not have to deal with flying cockroaches.