Another couple of days under my belt and I’m still not ready to kill anyone else, let alone myself. I am becoming more and more aware of the workload and issues to be dealt with – as well as the ongoing lack of employment opportunities for qualified teachers – but they’re all problems to worry about further down the road.
Tuesday breezed by with a couple of lectures with some staff members and a visit to a second “associate” Primary school. I’ve been warned against calling them “Feeder Schools” as apparently it upsets the staff there. Not something I want to do! Not because they’re scary but because they’re lovely and I’d not want to insult them!
One event of note in the secondary school before I left after lunch was a shout of “Sir! Help!” in the corridor. A boy, I’d guess about 15 years old, was being pinned against a wall by a girl who was not overly pleased with him for some reason. It was obviously a light-hearted matter, so I just looked and said “No, you look like you’re managing fine by yourself.”
Then she kneed him in the spuds.
“Ooh… you’ll have to get used to that. It happens a lot in later life.”
He grimaced, nodded and wandered off cupping himself. Poor sod. He’ll learn.
The Primary we visited covers a different catchment are from the one we went to on Thursday, and is run in a completely different way. It’s surprising to see that two schools so close geographically (there can’t be more than 1 1/2 miles between them) can operate in such different manners and have such varying facilities. This one seems more like the one I used to go to with the addition of a (sadly understaffed, but utterly wonderful) nursery.
Once more I left wondering if I shouldn’t have been more tenacious about getting on to the Primary PGDE! We were left to wander between forms and the children were all pretty well behaved and pleasant to spend time with. I must have had about twenty or more telling me how much they liked my tie! Covered inÂ Warner Brothers cartoons, for those who are interested.
Today was another “novelty” day where I was to shadow a first year pupil across all her classes. I’d been “warned” about the girl I was shadowing being a bit of a loudmouth and I’d likely want to try and ditch her by the end of second period. This didn’t turn out to be the case and, despite not being the most model of pupils, she was very nice to me. Sometimes being given something “important” to do can bring out the best in a pupil.
We covered a variety of classes including Art, Music, English, German, Science and History. The way the school’s structured, not all of the pupils are in the same class for each subject – there’s some “streaming” based on ability and previous experience at Primary. For instance, some children did French at Primary, so they go into French in S1; others go into German classes.
What was most interesting was watching the class as a whole in each subject. You can tell by their behaviour which ones they enjoy most. One boy who was slouching around in German was bouncing (in a good way) in Art. Another who wouldn’t stop talking to his friends in History was completely focussed in Music.
I was tired by the end of the day, but I’d learned a lot. I also came to the conclusion that I’d be more than happy teaching English at S1/S2 level. The creativity shown by the children in that class was nothing short of fantastic. They were working on poems – haiku and “lantern poems” – in a bid to teach them about syllables. Whereas many adult-written poems seem to be over-thought, the sheer simplicity of the works this class came up with was eye-opening.
Don’t get me wrong, the other classes were good but I’m rubbish as Art and Music so there’s no way I’d be teaching them!
Two more days left and back to college where, I gather, the “real work” begins. Argh.