The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Saturday, September 17, 2005

So, end of my first full week in school; what have I learnt and seen?

Little boys fight and I am a button waiting to be pressed by a naughty child - I need to learn more about not taking the bait. I find that - with some relief given the path I have chosen for this year - that I actually like to teach - I have so enjoyed seeing a child grasp an idea and I love seeing their face glow with pride as I am able to say "Well done!". I want every child to go home at the end of the day with a sense of achievement and pride - the danger is of watering down the effect of my praise by handing it out so freely.

At the end of the week we took the entire class on a full day combined local history/nature trip - about an 8 mile round trip across heathland, up an airport control tower, through the woods and back along a busy country road. Trying to keep the children in their two-by-two line and away from the speeding traffic, running up and down the crocodile like a loony cajoling the slow ones at the back, the lumpen twins to whom walking more than 200 yards was a novelty, the two little girls in the world of their own who announced that they were "on a mission", starting a song to keep the spirits up (poor kids, they must have thought i was mad!) and the tiny and brave little ones that by the end of the day I though I would have to carry. I have already grown attached and want to know how they get on.

How does a single teacher manage to address the needs of a mixed ability mixed age class (two years age difference between the youngest year 5's and the oldest year 6's)?

Anyway, next week I start to find out how to teach their older brothers and sisters.