A Day in the Life of an AIS worker

By Mai El Naga

Worker’s profile

Name: Taha

Age: 39

Occupation: Blue worker

You see them around the hallway every day, but have you ever stopped and asked yourself, what is it like to be an AIS worker?

Interested to answer the question myself, I’ve decided to investigate into the topic and interview our very own Taha!

Q1- What is your daily routine?

I wake up every morning, pray the fajr , have breakfast with my family then drive the kids to school. I then come back home to rest for a couple of hours because my work starts at 1. When I arrive at school, all the workers change into their uniforms and we start dividing into groups, each group responsible for cleaning a certain area of the school. At around 4, when most students have left, we start rotating around classrooms and cleaning them. We finish cleaning the classroom usually at around 6:30, and that is when we meet upstairs for dinner. Then we do some more work and I leave at 9 pm. I come home exhausted and tired but happy to see my family and spend time with them.

Q2- Do you have any children?

Yes, I have 3 thankfully and I love them more than anything. I have a daughter in grade 5, a son in grade 2 and a newly born baby girl.

Q3- What is your least favorite thing about the job?

Well, there isn’t anything in particular. I’ve gotten used to the job so I know to how to overcome any obstacles that face me. The workers and me try to be optimistic and happy throughout the day to keep a positive attitude amongst us and to try and ease the heavy load of the work. It often works like a charm! When the workers start smiling at one another and maintaining a happy atmosphere, everyone seems less tired and the day passes by faster.

Q4- What do you do while the students are in their classes?

Well most of the work starts at around 4, after the students leave, but during the morning hours, we do bathroom checks and organize the tasks that need to be done each day.

Q5- How long have you been working here at AIS?

This is my 14th year at AIS. I’ve worked at AISE west campus before moving here. I’ve rotated around multiple jobs at the school. When I first started I was a blue worker, then I worked in the school maintenance, then I became a security guard and right now I am back to being a Blue worker. It is like a cycle so I never get bored.

Q6- What made you interested in joining the student group “teaching workers English” ?

Well you see, around 14 years ago when I first started working at AIS and interacting with foreign teachers, I found it very hard to communicate with them which really annoyed me. I remember once, I kept trying to tell a teacher something but we couldn’t understand each other and I wasn’t able to express myself, until a little girl in KG2 translated what I was trying to say to the teacher. At that moment, I felt embarrassed that a kid could do it and I can’t, so I decided to take up learning English and I did. I started out on my own and borrowed a book that teaches English. I would stay every day after school to try and learn new words and some of the teacher’s would often help me. Eventually, I got better and I am now capable of reading and writing whole texts and communicating easily with teachers.

Q7- Will you join the “teaching English to workers” group this year?

Yes of course and I am really looking forward to it. I am placed in an advanced level and so I have the chance to read harder texts and improve my English. Last year I even read an excerpt from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Q8- What do you think of the students behavior at school?

For me, they are all like my kids; I have to bear with them even if they are wrong. Their behavior has definitely improved throughout the years and we rarely ever face conflicts with students.