Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Reality Check

Had my first teaching experience today. They put us in groups of three and sent us out to a local primary school to put kids through a basic PE skills assessment.
We'd planned a lesson around throwing, catching, skipping and were assigned four six-year-old kids to inflict it on.
It all came tumbling down like a pack of cards.
One of the girls was vision impaired. Somehow didn't seem right to kick soccer balls at her face so there went half the plan.
Another kid was special needs and spent most of the time tying himself up with a skipping rope.
All of them just yelled and screamed and ran around doing whatever the hell they wanted.

Us student teachers took it in turns to be teacher, assistant or observer. I had great fun observing Sue.

Sue: Okay we're going to be running round so check your laces are tight.
(Bit of a fuddy duddy - she bends down to check a kid's laces)
Kid: Something stinks!
(Sue straightens up, soldiers on)
K: It's gone now.
S: Right, you know Simon Says? Well we're going to play Sue Says.
Special Needs Kid: Why can't we play Simon Says?
S: Because my name is Sue.
SNK: But I only know Simon Says.
S: It's exactly the same.
SNK: Then you can say Simon Says.
S: No. We're playing Sue Says.
SNK: I don't know Sue Says.
S: Fine. We'll play Simon Says.
SNK: Okay. Simon Says run away.
(all kids run away)

My turn came last, by which time the kids were over it. I couldn't even make them come over to me to listen to the instructions. I used their names, tried to sound enthusiastic and energetic, clapped my hands, crouched down to their eye level and came very close to begging. Nothing worked. It was very deflating.
I just kept thinking that if they'd been my class they would have lost all respect for me on day one - can you get it back from there?
Partly I didn't feel it was my place to give flat out orders to these kids, but I'm going to have to at some point and realise now I'm not sure how to do it.

Spare me from being one of those shrieky ineffectual teachers who seem permanently on the brink of nervous exhaustion.



At April 9, 2008 at 3:32 PM , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

I've been there too, Ninjacockle. It makes a helluva difference when it's your own class, believe me. Then it really *is* hell....

At April 9, 2008 at 10:23 PM , Blogger Gledwood said...

nervous exhaustion?

with young kids??

you can say that again

2 of my exhousemates from my middleclass former house (when i was "normal" are now teachers...)

one was formerly a wouldbe actress (she was ok but had no range: always a bit hysterical... ho humm.)

anyway the other one was last deputy head in her young 30s and may now be headmistress she was a fantastic teacher. i never SAW her teach but saw her dedication at home. and also how extremely upset she was when one of her kids got nasties at home

all the best with it, teachers are angels!


At April 11, 2008 at 11:32 AM , Blogger franzy said...

When I was in primary school I remember being sent off with about six other kids with a groovy young student teacher ... who told us to roll up a lot of newspapers into batons wound with tape and then BATTLE EACH OTHER!!
We smashed each other around the head until someone got seriously hurt and then we had to stop.
Man, was that ever fun. We never saw the student teacher again.

At April 12, 2008 at 9:20 AM , Blogger myninjacockle said...

Thanks Kath, I'll start looking for a suitable mental health professional now.
Gledwood - two schools of thought on the need for preparation. Those that know what they're talking about, and mine.
Hell yeh Franzy - we used to do that as well, then graduated to jousting with clubs on treadleys. There were injuries.


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