Meet the Teacher Monday
Blog Hopper is having a great linky party. Here is a little something about me for Meet the Teacher Monday.
Tell us a little something about you…
My name is Heidi Raki. The last name is really important these days, as it indicates my husband’s Moroccan heritage. He was actually born and raised in Morocco and this year we decided to move our 3 kids to Morocco to let them have the experiences he had (or ones similar) growing up. So this year, in addition to being a mom of 3 boys (aged 7, 4 and 5 months), a teacher, and a wife, I am also a 2nd language learner. In Morocco, the main languages are French and Arabic, and I am not fluent in either! I’ve been here 2 months now, and although it’s challenging it is rewarding and I am growing and learning as a teacher every day.
How long have you been teaching?
This will be my 7th year teaching. I taught 3rd grade for my 1st 4 years as a teacher and loved it. However, there was a real need for a computer teacher in my school an noone was seeing this as an opportunity for my kids. So I pushed and pushed my principal until she let me teach in the computer lab and show her why it was so necessary. For the next 2 years, I taught K-5 computer skills. I also taught writing, as we did quarterly projects (yep right down to Kindergarten) that included writing and technology skills. I guess I did an okay job, b/c she kept the position even after I told her I would be leaving to go to Morocco. This year, I will be teaching 1st grade at the American Academy of Casablanca. So, I will be teaching in ENGLISH, but about 95% of my students will not speak English anywhere outside of my classroom. I am interested in the challenges and rewards this will bring.
You might not know…
that I started to sell teaching products because my mom was sick. Almost 3 years ago my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 small cell lung cancer. I took a leave of absence from school to stay home with her. We knew this was the right decision for the family, but were not sure how we would afford it financially. So, I was surfing the web and found this website called Teachers Pay Teachers. One Friday, I put up a few things that I had saved on my flash drive and decided I would really put some effort into this the coming Monday. However, Sunday night mom had some seizures and ended up in intensive care. She passed away the following Monday, and I forgot all about TPT. About 3 months later, I was checking my e-mail and saw a random email that someone had bought one of my products. I think I earned $0.30 off that transaction, but it was the start of Raki’s Rad Resources for me and it has helped my family immensely.
What are you looking most forward to this school year?
My entire teaching career has been spent in one school, so this year I am looking forward to learning about new people – both kids and staff. Many of the people I am teaching with this year have lived and worked in other countries, and I can’t wait to pick their brains and learn from their experiences
What do you need to improve?
I need to learn FRENCH! I need to learn Arabic too, but I really need to learn French because my parents will want to speak to me in French (the language of business). I have spent a lot of time with my in-laws this summer, so I have picked up a lot of Arabic, but not so much French. Crash course, here I come!
What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
Paper, a printer & a stapler! I know this sounds silly, but I taught at a Title 1 school where supplies were often limited, so most teaching supplies I CAN live without. However, this summer I taught at a summer camp (in a fancy private school) and I had access to all these art supplies, but couldn’t print off my own work – which is what I am so used to using! It was like torture!
Okay, so there is a little about me – please feel free to leave a little about you in the comments. I am going to “hop” over to blog hopper and find out a little more about my fellow bloggers.