Griffith: Day 13

Teaching in Griffith

Thursday was a particularly frosty day in Griffith.

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I arrived early-ish in the morning, and my supervisor and I worked (read: ran around like headless chickens) trying to set up for a poorly organised incursion that another teacher had arranged. Our first obstacle was trying to find a place to host it, as make-up exams were scheduled in the hall where it was meant to be.

We settled on the CAPA (creative and performing arts) space, before meeting with another challenge; nobody seemed to know how to open the dividing door between the stage and the seating area. We both headed up to the CAPA staffroom, only to be met with a teacher offering rather colourful language about the inadequacy of management, and the challenges of report writing. We excused ourselves as diplomatically as possible, while my supervisor suggested that it was all part of his plan to show me how fortunate we are to have a great head teacher in English.

When we finally got everyone in and seated for the incursion, things began to settle. Year 8 had the opportunity to watch a man perform the poetry of Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson. This was enjoyable for me, but for a school with a low-SES (socio-economic status), this was not the most engaging talk. Very few students were following, and even the most engaged students seemed to find little interest in the show. We laughed it off, and went to grab morning tea at a cafe for the next period. My supervisor was tired and overworked, and our lovely head teacher offered to mind his class while we went for a debrief (read: relaxing in a cafe). We actually did talk about work, though. I had a rather fantastic piece of ricotta cake, and a chai latte.

In the afternoon, I walked to the local bowling alley with a bunch of students for school sport. There are absolutely worse things to do – I used to do bowling for school sport myself. Though I didn’t play, we were suitably pampered there; the teachers all got a free non-alcoholic beverage of their choosing. I sat and watched many a gutter-ball as I sipped a banana milkshake. Interestingly even outside of Sydney, some things never cease to make me feel at home:

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I was fortunate enough to get a lift home from my fellow prac student and housemate, and got a cool shot of a lovely sunset.

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