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03 September 2013 @ 01:00 am
Ahhh I forgot how when school rolls around one can feel unprepared for the next week even when there has been a long weekend.

Although I think I can forgive myself for being a bit nervous. Despite having today off, Thursday and Friday are Rosh Hashanah which means the schools are out but many parents still work. The learning centre runs 'camp days' at the centre (rather than at the elementary school, which is where we run the after-school programme) and they are longer: at least six hours, I imagine more. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) lesson plans in hour-long slots.

We have still been so much in training and 'figure this out' mode that much of last week's lesson-planning time went toward meetings and conversations. The other newbie and I are expected to have hands-on, material-heavy lesson plans plotted out so we can have them for Thursday and Friday. One of mine is mostly plotted out (the one for Thursday); the one for Friday I need to make decisions for and write up. We also need to make examples, which really can only be done on the Wednesday, so I suppose I'll be making fossils and making something out of clay in the 1.5hrs before school gets out. I don't know. It all feels very hectic.

The reason there has been so much extra scurrying about and figuring things out is that the city school systems recently changed from letting the kids out at 3 every day (I think), to 3.30 on Mondays - Thursdays and 2.11 on Fridays. So while previously every day had time for snack, half hour for homework, and an hour for 'enrichment' or lessons, now we have four days a week with only 30 minutes for lesson-planned 'enrichment' activities or lessons (including transitions/explanations/clean-up/moving to the cafeteria at the end of the day) and on Friday we have basically a whole extra hour with them; we are splitting the long day into two lesson slots: STEAM-based lesson plans and non-academic/recreational 'clubs'. These first two weeks we are also all stuck pretty much together in the cafeteria (which we split halfway with the recreation-based, loud YMCA) as we don't get classrooms until the 9th.

It's all just been quite chaotic thus far and I have a feeling this week will be the same. Next week I get my own classroom and likely the third-graders (8-9), which is quite a difficult class of teeth-suckers and back-talkers, and I am just as nervous about that. I will also be housesitting from the 6th-18th more than a half hour away from the learning centre/school rather than the 7-minute commute I have from my house here in the city. And will be away from the comfort of my lovely little cupboard of a room.

All in all it's just quite the introduction to the new job. This week and next week (with the job + petsitting morning-bird dogs in a home that is not my own) I will have to keep the chant 'yes but the money' in my head, which is not something I usually like doing. (Half the time I pretend I'm just volunteering and doing my absolute best, so I don't feel like utter rubbish if I muck it up a bit.)

Tomorrow, to boot, I have to get my car inspected in the morning.

Mostly I'm still all 'aaaaghhhh alsjkdhglaksjgh'. Definitely went rather immediately from la-la land into 'do all the adult things and handle all of the stuff now now now!'

Hopefully I'll manage. No matter what my anxieties like to tell me--and they do hate to shut up despite my pleading--I've always managed before.

If I remember I'll try to write up more of my actual experience on the job and with the kidlings at another time. For now, bed. (I apologise for any and all mistakes; I am far too sleepy to edit and that likely indicates a hefty number of SPaG errors with very little sense and organisation of thought.)

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
lash_laruelash_larue on September 3rd, 2013 10:30 am (UTC)

You do seem to have jumped into the deep end of the pool.

Remember to breathe, and don't show fear. The little rugrats can sense that.

You'll manage, I have confidence. Of course, easy for me to say some 1100 miles away, ;)

Kiwi Crocus: TWW || Constance || Writing.cranky__crocus on September 4th, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
Yes, I have. I can't say that it's been a graceful dive, either; I just sort of fell in...

Thank you for the tips. (; I'm glad that all my anxiety seems to be in the two-and-a-bit hours of planning time; once I get in front of the kids I tend to be all business (and a little play as reward for when they're good).
shadowycat: Ocean Homeshadowycat on September 3rd, 2013 11:29 am (UTC)
Wow! That does sound hectic. A bit of a trial by fire way to begin a job. I'm sure you'll manage fine and hopefully will also enjoy it. Best of luck with the 8 and 9 year olds. If you start out giving them no doubt that you're in charge, I'm sure everything will be just fine. You can do this! :D
Kiwi Crocus: AoGG || Do attract trouble.cranky__crocus on September 4th, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
A bit of a trial by fire way to begin a job.
Ahaha, true! And this isn't even the 'real test' yet--that comes next week, when we get our own classrooms and handle larger groups of kids alone rather than co-teaching. Nervous!

Thank you for the reassurance! So far, clear boundaries. I've worked as a 'teacher of sorts' before so I at least know to make sure they understand within the first few moments with me that I am not someone to mess with. (I may keep that first McGonagall quote in mind, but no one's the wise, of course. Save you. (; )
kellychamblisskellychambliss on September 4th, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)
Good luck! Sure, teaching is an adjustment at first (I pity the poor students in my first classes! /g/), but you'll soon get the hang of it.
Kiwi Crocus: TWW || Constance || Helliboring.cranky__crocus on September 4th, 2013 04:41 am (UTC)
Thank you!

It's certainly another adjustment this time around. I did full-time teaching-of-sorts one summer of university. In that job I actually had more time teaching my group alone but there were fewer kidlings and we got to romp around outside. If the littler buggers peeved me too much I sent them off for hide-and-seek or "let's build gnome home! Everyone grab a stick and some pine cones, we're crafting a faerie villa." (I speak so positively of the dear things at all times, as you can see.)

In a way it feels as though good ol' Albus has yanked a Sprout or Grubbly-Plank in for a year of indoor-only teaching. ;D I'll manage in the end, I'm sure, and we can always do science things on Fridays and 'camp days' like this Thurs/Fri. Nothing like making a right old mess in the name of SCIENCE!

(Today I got to help two spudlings with reading comprehension and it was one of the cutest things ever.)
Nicki: joyfulperoxidepirate on September 4th, 2013 03:51 am (UTC)
You are awesome and I'm proud of you! <3
Kiwi Crocus: HP || SS Hops || Flower.cranky__crocus on September 4th, 2013 04:44 am (UTC)
Thank you lovely! ♥♥
101mutts101mutts on September 4th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
Eeeks! That does sound fast! Hopefully you'll have a few sweet, inquisitive students to make things more interesting and make up for the louder, difficult ones.

What sort of students go to the program? Those who need help? Or whose parents work? Or is it a private high school prep sort of thing?
Kiwi Crocus: Nature || Birds of a feather.cranky__crocus on September 4th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
Definitely fast! There are definitely some sweet, inquisitive students in the afterschool programme, if not in whatever class I get; I've worked with a few of them through the days and at the homework table. Plus Fridays we spend time with students that are not directly in our classes, so this is mostly for Monday through Thursday. (:

We get a variety of students at the programme. It's for one elementary school in one area of the city, so whichever of them end up signed up (by parents) are in the programme. I assume many of the parents do so because they work, or because they want their children to have afterschool enrichment and community. Deeeefinitely not a private high school prep sort of deal. :B