Four years of hard slog at University has paid off – a wonderful and supportive school just outside of Christchurch offered me the opportunity I’d been dreaming of and I am officially a teacher.
The first task I set myself was to write the mother of all to-do lists. There must have been at least 50 tasks on it – from ‘get a code for the photocopier’, right through to ‘arrange furniture’, and ‘organise reading groups’ (yep, I really wrote that – before I had even seen my class list). I am a list maker – I have lists for everything and anything.
The night before school began there was not a nervous twitch to be found – I had organised my students first week with military precision. The next day, it rained. Of course, rainy day activities were not on the list *sigh*
Lessons from week 1:
- When working in a room with 24 other people (who are under the age of 8) things can often get away from the plan.
- Students don’t want a perfectly planned programme anyway – they want to know their teacher is a human being who is interested in them and cares about what is happening in their lives.
- Knowing how to set-up routines and expectations is far more important than making reading groups – reading groups aren’t going to work if the students don’t know what to do when they’re not reading!
Most importantly, try to enjoy every moment – planned and unplanned. That first week went so fast that I have only just had time to sit back and reflect on it, two weeks later.