The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

First impressions of my primary school placement so far - I am spending the week in a class of 30 mixed year 5 and year 6 children.

The size variation! Some year 5's are huge and some year 6's are so tiny I doubt that they can grow big enough in the next year not to be eaten alive when they get to "big school".

So much is packed into the day - maths, reading, handwriting, a smattering of geography and history also thrown in, a language lesson and in the middle of the day a swimming lesson! I have the names of about half the class now, although it doesn't help that too many have the same name and I am afraid that the ones that have stuck are those of the incredibly cute kids or the troublesome or troubled ones - the ordinary, trouble free ones sort of pass by unnoticed...

As a potential maths teacher I am glad to see that they haven't developed a dislike of the subject. Lots of adults seem to think that the way to get children interested in maths is to make it "relevant" so I am glad to see that these ones at least are enjoying the subject for its own sake without asking why they need to bother knowing about, for example, square numbers. They appear, to my so far naive eyes, to enjoy the competition and the praise for success and improvement.

Today I taught C swimming - a tiny 10 year old, red haired and massively ginger freckled, grinning trustingly at her enthusiastically encouraging teacher as she kicked her backstroke and slowly sank below the waves. It's a shame that I won't be there next week to see her improve - I have already grown attached to this class.