Today was a big day. After 10 years of doing other things, I survived my first day back in the classroom!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love kids. That’s why I decided to study teaching at university way back in the day. However, most of my teaching career was spent teaching either French or English to middle and senior school students with the odd 20 minute French lesson to years 3 and 4. When I left teaching 10 years ago, for what I thought was forever, it was to work for an international child development organisation. However, over the last three years, circumstances have changed and a few weeks ago I applied to become a casual teacher and head back to the classroom.
Having said that, when the call came this morning asking me to spend the day team teaching Year 1, it was indeed a shock to the system. To be honest I was still in bed. So exactly 60 minutes later I was showered, dressed, caffeine-fuelled and ready to mark the roll!
The kids were great. I had a small group of eager young ladies who were more than happy to keep me accountable to the class routine and rules! I loved watching the children interact with each other as they worked out for themselves the answers to some of the questions surrounding the topic of Weather. It was fun to watch them solve problems and ask questions.
At ‘fruit break’ I was indispensable as a peeler of bananas and mandarins and at lunch time I switched roles from teacher to band-aid administrator, peace-negotiator and shoe-lace tier! In fact I lost count of the number of little boys who ran up and asked me most politely if I would tie their shoelaces.
As for the peace negotiations, well I reckon I could have given Ban Ki-moon a run for his money as I definitely managed to avert four potentially violent conflicts all in the space of 15 minutes!
After lunch we successfully negotiated a trip to the library and then finished the day at a Junior School Assembly, with many parents in attendance, where I sat trying to subtly chastise three little munchkins who thought it would be a good idea to tackle each other on the floor as well as pick their noses and talk through the entire proceedings!
Having said all that, it was a good day. A day that served to remind me just how much I love kids and what a privilege it is to influence and speak into their lives in a positive way.
To my friends and colleagues who do this 5 days a week, you have my utmost admiration. It’s 8:45pm. I’m knackered and off to bed!