October 19, 2018 - Michael Salinger

Bahrain Bayan School


Ever have the feeling that you’ve been somewhere before?

The Bahrain Bayan School was the very first international school we ever visited over 14 years ago! It was great to complete this big crazy circle with friends old and new. Our host with the most on this iteration was a force we met in Cairo ten years ago, Peter Ducket. We all decided that we have aged pretty well.


Ducket is obviously saying something sage.

Peter, being a seasoned pro at bringing in consultants and authors, had our schedule running like a real Rolex (unlike the ones one can find at the Gold City market downtown Manama.)

From the moment we got off the plane we were treated like international rock stars rather than the crackpot poets we are. Virtually at the door of the plane we were met by an officious handler with a clipboard who took our passports sat us in a posh waiting room for 15 minutes, returned handed us our passports back told us our visas were within, stamped ready to go and there were porters with our luggage waiting for us. We waltzed by immigration  as if we were Beyonce and Jay Z.

Things just got better from there. Ducket, as he is affectionately known to his sharp as a chef’s knife assistant Eman, knew we highly recommend an assembly with students before we begin work in the classroom. So Sara and I presented our work and some foreshadowing of the lessons we’d be bringing in three assemblies – elementary, middle and upper. This groundwork makes such a big difference when we get into the classroom.


Middle School assembly – these make such a great difference in a visit.

The following five days clicked away with the precision of an automatic espresso machine. We worked with students from grade one thru twelve and did a PD session with the whole staff. We led workshops in everything from vocabulary enhancing definition poems to metaphorically charting our changes as we prepare to graduate.

Of course the high quality visiting author care continued with amazing lunches from a local Lebanese bistro and frequent visits to the aforementioned automatic espresso machine.


Sharing our work aloud is key to revision.

Thomas Wolfe may have said that You Can’t Go Home Again – but, I think you can certainly be welcomed back. It was great to return to BBS and to re-acquaint ourselves with Ducket and to meet a whole new volume of friends.

Thank you Bayan – hope we don’t need to wait another 14 years to see you gain.


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