It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. This is going to be an interesting teaching practice. I like being here though as I see many opportunities to develop myself as a teacher. There is a very tangible and strong sense of support from the staff here and they are all very helpful in allowing me to nearly completely take over their classes for the remainder of the term.
The year nines that I teach are rambunctious as anything. I find that I have to resort to cut and dry behaviorist teaching with all its rewards and punishments just to get them to focus. At first I tried to express a covert sense of authority to see if they could take some responsibility for their learning but it didn’t work. Now I am “The Teacher” (and quite a strict one at that.)
The other day I had to get heavy with them “The next person who talks out of turn is out of here. I promise!” That shut them right up and, although I generally don’t like to wield such positional power these kids won’t get anything done otherwise. I’m glad for the opportunity to stretch myself here.
On the completely opposite end of the spectrum there are the year twelves. They have to be the sweetest group of kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. Even if I were to not show up I’m confident these kids would just get right on task. Working with them makes it quickly evident that they really value their education. It is also satisfying to teach more advanced skills that stretch my content knowledge.
Overall I’d say that after my initial adjustment period my experience here is very healthy and confidence building. If I can get these wild year nine kids to learn Excel then I’ll be able to teach anything.