Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Teaching practicum, day one.

Blogging about prac is actually kind of handy: it sort of gets me going on my prac journal entries. Otherwise, I don't think I'd get anything done. I'm such a lazy fuck.

I managed to wake up on time, four-thirty on the dot (shower me with all your pity now), and I made all my train and bus connections. Other than the freezing cold, it was a brilliant start to the day. But despite the effort I put in to get there on time, neither the class nor my cooperating teacher turned up until some time later. Apparently, there was some kind of strange game with a round ball on the TV late last night or early this morning. Or something.

So in period zero, or what was left of it, my year eleven chemistry class got into some empirical formulae, molar masses and moles. Some of the exercise questions they got were tough, though; even I had a little trouble. Eek. Of course, the kids in this class are a whole lot better behaved than any of my others. But having to plan a lesson is a little tougher, so I guess it all evens out. Next Monday, I've got to teach them about some guy called Gay-Lussac and something about the volumes of gases involved in reactions with metals. I'm probably in over my head on that one; my curriculum studies unit only covered years seven to ten (stages four and five) science. Curriculum studies for senior high school chemistry doesn't happen until next semester.

Went to assembly roll call after that. Gosh it takes school kids aaaages to do anything. The whole school got a basting for uniform related offences from whichever teacher was leading the assembly. Rah rah rah. Does anything ever change in any school? I found the whole lining-up-in-the-quad thing a little beneath these kids - that's more of a primary school thing. Actually, it reminds me of those war movies in P.O.W. camps when the prisoners fall into line in the yard.

Spent most of the rest of the day in the staffroom busying myself with tea, gossip and lesson plans. Bah! Writing lesson plans is teh suck. Sure they'll save your life in a class of thirty-something kids, but writing them is so time consuming and mentally draining. But that might just be because I'm crap.

I had a year eight science class fifth period. Absolutley nothing got done. Because Tuesday is sports day, fifth period only goes for short thirty-five minutes. It took year eight about ten minutes to get settled and with all that time wasted, my cooperating teacher abandoned what she had wanted to do and had to resort to her plan B. Seriously, these kids have some sort of handle on the space-time continuum. I don't know how they do it, but THEY MAKE TIME DISAPPEAR. WITHOUT IT BEING FUN.

There was a little moment in that period five year eight class, though. You know, one of those moments that teachers have. See, the plan B was to get the kids to design their own first-hand investigation into the corrosive nature of a particular famous brand of cola. Now there's this kid who sits off to the side. He doesn't do well in class and normally, he spends class time chattering and stuffing around with his mates. But for some reason, this activity engaged him. He made suggestions about using other flavours, other brands, even water.

At the end of the lesson, my cooperating teacher went around to check books and this kid had not only finished the task, but he did so outstandingly well. She told him it was perfect. I'd never seen a kid so proud. And I don't think I've ever seen a teacher so proud, either. I hope you'll pardon me for being a little sappy here, but something like that would make your day. Despite the shit that some teachers have to put up with, they still keep on doing it. And they've got to be doing it for a reason.

Lunch followed and I tagged along for playground duty. This is when it got weird. A pseudo-goth-emo chick tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned around, she was holding a picture of Michael from Big Brother. She says to me, "you look a lot like Michael", "Michael is perfect", and "I'm going to marry Michael". Creepy girl. Shudder. Anyway, the only thing I have in common with that Michael dude is my first name. Other than that WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON. I mean, what the fuck? I look a whole lot better than him nothing like him at all.

I helped supervise sport too, but that was one massive bludge. I spent the whole afternoon chatting with another prac student who, incidently, goes to the same uni as my best mate Sarge, doing the same course, a BA/BTeach. Speaking of Sarge, I visited him at work on the way home and had a big long whinge about school. Conveniently, his station is on the route I take between school and home, and CityRail's given him shifts that coincide with hometime.

Listening to:
Title: Angel
Artist: Sarah McLachlan
Album/station: Surfacing (1997)
Length: 4.29