Tuesday, 24 May 2011


I am seeing amazing places, I am doing amazing things. I am seeing amazing places, I am doing amazing things. I am seeing amazing places, I am doing amazing things.
This is what I was repeating to myself all day as an answer to the question: WHAT AM I DOING HERE??!!

When I called in for work this morning and they said that they had a half day afternoon for me if nothing else came in, I was quite happy to start planing how I would spend my morning. But then came the ominous ring and the offer of a full day's work at the 'tough' school I have been to before. I would be in a year 4 class, an age group that can go either way. Well, I am sure you can guess which way this day went.
It took me about 10 minutes to do the register as I tried to shout their names over all of the talking and them yelling at each other to shush up. Then I lay into them about yelling at each other and how we are not going to spend the day doing that, so they all need to listen up, quieten down and line up for assembly. By the time we are halfway to the hall (which you can basically see from the classroom) they are shouting and wild again, and some girl at the back is in tears. Wonderful. The head teacher stops us, lays into them herself and sends them back to class so she can talk to them. She sends in a TA instead who shouts at them and calls them disgraceful and leads them into the hall in silence.
The assembly is all about how the previous day the school got a complaint from a neighbour who called in to say that two students from the school, in uniform, had thrown stones at her window. When she went out to confront them, the boys swore at her, shrugged their shoulders and walked away. So these boys were being encouraged to fess up, and any tipsters were being welcomed too. Sounds like a lovely bunch.
We get back to class and I tell them I don't want to shout at them today and probably they didn't enjoy getting yelled at this morning already. They all look at me confused and say that they didn't get shouted at. Great, they are so immune to being yelled at that they consider it normal speech. Needless to say I could not teach this lot a single thing as they never stopped talking or fighting long enough for me to get a word in. I had to send for the TA in the next class several times just so I would not lose my mind. The only thing that did get their attention was when I finally got close to my breaking point, and my throat was getting sore from trying to talk over them, and I said I was waiting for them to shut their mouths. Apparently this was shocking to them? Otherwise they ran around wild most of the day. On top of this there were very little plans or work left out for me, so since I could not actually explain anything or do any sort of discussion, I was left to invent work from files I searched out on the computer in an attempt to keep them busy enough that they wouldn't be running completely wild all day long.
I was almost to the point of tears from frustration on several occasions. A kid who decided he would run around 'cleaning' rather than sitting on the carpet with the majority of the class ran in front of me and basically punched me in the face on the way by. I beat the damn 'quiet tambourine' until I thought I would be better off to run away and join a band. Nothing. I could have been in another room watching them on a CCTV camera for all they paid attention to me. And after all of this, a girl who had not listened to a single thing I'd said all day comes up to me and asks: Are you going to be here tomorrow? I like you.
Whaaa?? I do not understand kids in this country.
Hightlight of the day: a girl comes up to me and asks if stupid is spelled S-T or S-P and I get to think in my head a lot of funny comebacks that I wish I could say.
The dim light at the end of this dark tunnel of a day was that I have work for the next two days at a school I like, which means another 5 day pay check.
Three more work days until a week off and a trip to Poland, if I can make it.

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