Tuesday was a rather unremarkable day, all things considered, but I still had a lot of fun.
I spent the morning observing year 11, and dreading teaching my previously rowdy year 10 class. While assisting year 11 with visual techniques for “The Truman Show”, I sketched a Pokemon to send to my boyfriend, as we’d been joking about the noise it made over the phone the previous day, and how it blew bubbles a lot.
When it came time to teach my year 10 class, I was informed that my supervisor had professional learning to attend, and that I would be observed by another teacher (from a different faculty). I was concerned, to say the least. Surprisingly, I needn’t have worried. Putting the content up on the smartboard and working through it as a class seemed to do the trick, as most of them were quite engaged and eager to ask questions or contribute to the lesson. I finished it feeling a renewed confidence in my ability as a teacher, and remembering that I still have much to learn in the way of classroom management (even a simple piece of advice from my supervisor here saved me a great deal of trouble).
Next period we had year 7, and as per usual, the group was rather rowdy (to say the least). My supervisor was kept a little overtime at his meeting, and I tried to placate them in his absence. They made such a commotion that an ordinarily docile teacher was stern with them – not surprisingly, that did wonders for making them shut up. After my supervisor arrived, they sat their assessment task, wherein they had to watch a clip on food waste, then write a letter to the principal on how to reduce food waste in the school. My supervisor and I were both relieved when it was over.
We used our next period (a free) to visit another nice cafe in Griffith, and chat about my progress so far. While there, I had an amazing piece of ricotta cake with a shortcrust base – their coffee was quite good too. We had a good chat about management strategies, and how to continue to make the most of my time during placement. We also talked a little about our content knowledge from uni, and how we ended up in teaching.
My final period was spent with the lovely Chinese teacher, who my supervisor often jokes has to fly from Taiwan to school every day (in good humour of course – the two are good friends). She had year 7 in the afternoon, and was understandably concerned about their potential misbehaviour. I discovered my friend from sport (walking) was in the class, and he seemed happy to see me there too. It was definitely interesting to see how he interacted with other students, as we’d talked at length about how he was bullied (as well as about many video games). There’s little doubt that he has difficulty socialising, and another English teacher has a strong suspicion that he has autism to some degree. To my mind, he certainly displays many things characteristic of that.
Although I’m just a prac teacher, I really wish I could do more to help him. Although he accidentally causes himself a lot of grief socially, he’s extremely bright and has some wonderfully creative and unique ideas (like how the school is separated into social ‘factions’, and how certain areas are ‘enemy territory’ and therefore unsafe to visit for him). I see a great deal of my little brother in him, and also a lot of a few good friends of mine. Being a talented outcast is never easy, and I hope he finds someone who is on his side, and who he can really confide in.
The year 7 class was really fun to watch, and seeing classroom management implemented in language teaching was a really great opportunity. My favourite new idea for teaching was seeing a creative use of boardwork. The teacher had magnetic spinners, so she could draw up pie charts on the board, and have students spin the wheel. Whichever number it landed on, students had to say the number in Chinese (Mandarin), and then in English.
You can see a picture of the neat little spinners below: