Saturday, 26 January 2008

When am I ever gunna use this Miss?

When you become a teacher, it turns out.

My mentor and I are getting 'new' classrooms (new to the school, not the world) and as such we have to set them up for Day 1 using skills someone people may never use after Grade 5. The New Year means we have to divide up the stationery amongst all the Year 5 and 6 classes (insert division, multiplication and tetris (spatial) skills here).
So after the EWBs, shelves, cupboard, filing cabinets, PCs, desks and chairs have all been put in I have to figure out an arrangement that fits all 29 children at a desk and able to see me... (insert tessellation skills here, and a bit of common sense because you have to leave room for them to move their chairs and no back onto anyone).
We even tried rearranging the PC tables into something more conducive to team work - cable length and access are a challenge (measurement and tetris).
And then there's the 'getting people to do things for you" skill: diplomacy, hard to teach.

Otherwise, I'm sorta treading water in these lead-up days. I have the first 2 weeks pretty much mapped out and am extremely grateful that my first week is only 3 days (and should for the next few years :D ). I cannot begin to imagine what I'll teach them in the following month*, but I know the 2nd and 3rd weeks are interrupted with daily swimming anyway, not to mention the Chinese, Art, PE and Performing Arts lessons with other teachers... So my brain has sort of slipped into neutral.
Normally I would be frantic with preparation, making lessons, plans, templates, worksheets, anything to fall back on, but I don't really know what my guys are capable of yet, or what they need... so I'm waiting to see. My stress hsa sunken deep and dormant under naivety, or stupid, or whatever: I think its going to bubble up in about 10 days, with reinforcements, as I begin to have to think of stuff for them to do. But I'm a beginner, and these kids are bright - I'm not bad enough to do any long term damage - so I think I'll be ok in the long run, if not satisfactory. Which I will tattoo on myself somewhere: "I am a competent person"

*which isn't true. I've imagined lots, but I'm not game to commit to it until I've met/measured the class. I don't know if this is normal or sensible.

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