Tales From A First Year Teacher: Surviving The First Week Of Term
Arghh, what’s that noise? Oh, it’s just the alarm going….groan it’s so early in the morning. I drag myself out of bed and prepare to face Day 2 as a teacher.
This getting up to be ready for 6am is ridiculous, I can’t wait until our car gets here so I can set my own schedule.
I’m thinking about all I need to prepare for the day when I reach my classroom. I still can’t believe I’m teaching in this fibro shack. What were they thinking putting a graduate teacher all the way out here, by herself, with no support around? I suppose it’s sink or swim. Oh well, there’s no point dwelling on this, I’ve got too much to organise anyway.
Well believe it or not…I actually managed to keep Ben in the class until lunch time today. But like yesterday, he didn’t return from lunch, so again I had to send a student to the office to say that I had lost a student.
Ben didn’t show up for the remainder of the week. This was a blessing in a way, it feels like that when he is in the class he is the only thing that I can manage and concentrate on. Once things settle down after this week I will need to set a plan in place on how to best assist Ben in our class. I haven’t had too much experience with dealing with the types of behaviours displayed by Ben, but I’m sure there are some very experienced teachers here who will be able to assist.
The other major thing that I tried out this week was to get the students involved in picking our theme for the term. I thought that if the students were part of the process of picking the theme it would help them engage with the activities.
I spoke to the students about how the theme would guide our learning for the term. We would learn about the topic as well as use the theme to inspire us in our English program.
I placed a large sheet of paper on the wall at the back of the classroom. It would remain there for a few days and students could write up their ideas. We would then vote on which theme we would use for the term.
There were some really interesting ideas added to the sheet of paper. I was a little disappointed in what students voted for, but I suppose when you give choice you need to be prepared for the outcome. So for this term we would be learning all about Natural Disasters.
Natural Disasters would work really well with report writing. My mind is in overdrive trying to work out all the cool lessons that I can plan. I’m thinking that it might be good to have a culminating activity where the students act as reporters where they’re sent to cover a particular weather phenomenon in their area. They can then choose any natural disaster they like to report on. Okay, so maybe this theme won’t be so bad after all. I feel like I can really get into planning out the term fully now.
The one thing that I did do for the remainder of the week was to come up with a list of Natural Disaster words that we could use to supplement student spelling lists. My list can be downloaded here: NaturalDisastersThemeWords.
The other important thing that happened this week…. my boyfriend arrived. If you remember I mentioned that I left him in Perth to pack the house up and clean our rental property. I think he got the rough end of the stick
Even though I’ve been extremely busy I have still missed my boyfriend. He arrived on the Friday afternoon and lucky one of the other teachers could take me to the airport to pick him up.
It’s been a tough week, but I survived. I like my class and I’m really excited about what the term and year will bring. I can’t wait to get stuck into some of my ideas and see what the students are capable of.
To finish the week some of the teachers organised Friday afternoon choir practice. Now being a newbie I didn’t know what this was code for….but I soon found out that this meant drinks (yes the alcoholic kind) after school. Usually this would be in the staff room, but for the first Friday of term they decided it might be nice to meet at Pretty Pool for drinks.
So from the airport we went straight to Pretty Pool. I was quite excited about this as from what I have seen of Hedland so far, it’s not real pleasant to the eye. It’s basically red dirt and shrubs with a town amongst it. Maybe this Pretty Pool would be different…..
Stay tuned for the next instalment: Tales From A First Year Teacher: Adapting To Life In The Pilbara
Other Articles In This Series:
Tales From A First Year Teacher: Will I Ever Get A Job?
Tales From A First Year Teacher: My First Day As A Real Teacher
Tales From A First Year Teacher: Adapting To Life In The Pilbara
Tales From A First Year Teacher: Learning Social Skills