Griffith: Day 10 [Week 2 Begins]

Teaching in Griffith

Monday morning was wonderfully misty. If I recall correctly, it was also pretty cold – seems like Griffith got the memo for the nearing winter.

On Monday, I had to teach both of my classes. Year 8 went quite well, the students were engaged, and read their play together, discussing the characters and the story so far. I’m finally getting the hang of their names, and managing to joke around a bit and still keep the lesson interesting. It’s amazing how quickly lesson plans come together now I have a class in front of me who I know the level of.

Year 10 was a rather awful lesson on this particular day. I kept my cool thankfully, but the students weren’t following my essay scaffold at all, and grew rowdy and increasingly more disengaged. As my supervising teacher later discussed, the students were very used to him putting worksheets up on the projector, and going through them as a class. I took it in my stride, and was determined to make sure the next lesson was an improvement. As it so happens, it really did improve the following day (but more on that in the next post).

The final class of the day was library with year 7 after lunch. My little friend who called me a man had begun the lesson telling another student to “pull their head in” and do the right thing. He’s a really mature kid, but also a very defiant kid. He was pretty well behaved in library (all things considered), and actually started and maintained a conversation with me – seems like we’re getting along a lot better one week in. He advised me of a few nice places to visit in Griffith, and where to find good food around town. We also had a chat about video games, sport, and Manly beach (he’s been there a few times).

Getting to have such a civil chat with a ‘difficult’ student was really lovely. Kids truly do let go of yesterday’s drama with teachers basically overnight. One bad day doesn’t remotely ruin your relationship with a student, unless you make a big deal of something that’s yesterday’s news.

Later that evening my housemate and I went for Italian at a restaurant my year 7 had mentioned, named Il Corso. I had a seriously delicious pizza, and she had pasta. We had a great chat about how we’d both had our worst day so far, and compared stories of our teaching experiences. I’ve certainly learned the value of a good de-brief (both with fellow prac students, and also the lovely teachers in my staff room).

Until next time, here are a few photos of the lovely foggy day in Griffith.

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