Tuesday, 17 May 2011

They're driving me mad, they're making me craaaaazy!!

How on Earth is it only Tuesday?? After a nice relaxing weekend, which of course breezed by, this week is off to a slow start.
Friday was charity drinks night at our agency. Free booze, you guessed it, I'm in! I also met up with some of the people I will be travelling to India with in July, which was exciting. I even met up with one girl again the next day and we went for a run through Wimbledon Common. It is beautiful in there, who knew?! Was nice to get on some trails again, but man what a different workout! I was dying towards the end of the run and all my stabilizer muscles were giving me grief the next day after letting them go slack from road running for so long.

Monday I headed out to a school and a year 4 class I have been in several times, even know most of their names. None of it helped. They were off the wall! So noisy all day. The day ended with me at the carpet with them and just as I was laying into two kids who were being so rude and wouldn't stop talking their teacher walks in. Great. This could go two ways, 1. She thinks: good this chick is on top of them. And I get called in to that class again. Or 2. She gets protective, all ``only I can yell at my students``and I never get called back. With less than 3 months left, I am indifferent at this point. After work I forced myself back out the door to go a for a run to burn off some of the tension of the day. Also, Spain in 7 weeks means it is time to get serious. Unless of course I spend the entire trip in a moomoo in 40 degree weather.

Today I was at another school I have been to before, but in a new class. Year 3. Also horrid. The teacher was in the school but didn't have everything planned so she was explaining things to me right up until the kids were walking in the door. She warned me about one kid who has a behaviour card, but mentioned nothing about any others.  Well the kid with the behaviour card was fine - just annoying. It would have been nice, however, to have a little mention of 2 other crazies who were instantly chasing each other in circles around the class. Other students cowered out of the way since one of the crazies is apparently known to just lash out and whack anyone in his way.. Off to a good start. I barely get through the register with the ability to hear my own thoughts still intact and crazy 1 is up again chasing after another kid with a ruler. Just as I grab his wrist mid-swing their teacher comes in and starts shouting at him, takes him to the corridor and tears a strip off him and that is all I see of him the rest of the morning.
At the end of lunch I realize that she still hasn`t given me any plans for the afternoon. So I look around the class for inspiration and start making up some slides. I am thinking to myself at this point, if I just put in earplugs for the afternoon, will anyone really notice? She comes in about 3 minutes before the bell rattling off what she wants me to do in the afternoon: a discussion based activity for an hour. Wonderful, because I have gotten about 3 words out sans interruption all day. I just keep thinking: 2 more hours!
We all somehow survive the day, but not without further degrading of my teaching philosophy. Mainly a big old drop kick to philosophy number 1: a teacher should never have to raise their voice to a child.  I hate doing it so much and it makes me feel so much like crap, but it is actually part of the school culture here.  Kids here actually don`t know the teacher who doesn`t shout. All teachers shout, kids shout at each other. It is depressing.
At least I have something to raise my spirits, Christine is cooking me steak for dinner! The first steak I`ve had since leaving Canada, she better not mess it up.  :)

Another funny note on British culture: they use praise we would use for dogs on children and praise we would use on children on adults.
ex: Tommy brings his work to teacher: "Good boy Tommy! Good boy!"
I help lady lift furniture into her car: "Thank you so much, you're a star"
(Yay, I'm a star!)

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