Today I had my first full day of paid work … and I survived to tell the tale!! It was at a nice school in Marlow (15mins drive from home) called Great Marlow School. I had a full day teaching all 5 'periods', 4 of which were Business Studies, and the other one was Citizenship. Citizenship is a subject that looks at current issues, as well as politics and other things, kind of like the Personal Development Program (PDP) I had at my school in oz. It was the only bad lesson, where the kids just didn't do their work, and were really loud and boystrous. Not super bad things, just paper planes and the like being thrown to each other. The problem is their teacher has been away for most of the term, so nearly 6 weeks now, but in that time they've had 4 different supply teachers. So the subject doesn't get a lot of respect to start with, and throw in yet another supply teacher, and you have diaster! But as I said, it could have been a lot worse.
The business studies lessons were really quite interesting – mostly just supervised while they continued on with their work, but taught some stuff in the last period with the year 12s. They are a great group of 7 students, 6 boys and 1 girl, who have a lot of fun and work pretty hard at the same time. They took great delight in explaining all the things I didn't understand about the English school system, and England in general. I also cleared up the point that kangaroos don't go around killing people – the Australian supply teacher I'm taking over from had great delight in telling the students all sorts of 'untruths' about Australia, which I have to say I find quite offensive – but it's all good, coz I set things straight.
The school day (which is the same for most schools) goes as follows:
Morning Register (which is like form, roll call, whatever you want to call it): 8.35-8.55
Period 1: 8.55-9.55
Period 2: 9.55-10.55
Break (Morning Tea in our terminology): 10.55-11.15
Period 3: 11.15-12.15
Period 4: 12.15-1.15
Afternoon Register: 1.55-2.00
Period 5: 2.00-3.00
I think it's a great way to timetable the day, coz both the 'eating breaks' are at a reasonable time so that you're not starving, and then after lunch you only have to concentrate for one more lesson!
I'm working at Great Marlow School for the rest of the week, and then they have a week's holiday. Not sure if I will be working again there for the 2 weeks before we come back to Australia, coz they don't even know – don't know what is wrong with the lady I'm replacing, but it seems to be a 'play it by the ear' type of thing.
Anyway we've just had dessert in the pub (still need to use their internet coz we don't have any) so might wrap it up and call it a night. The phone line was supposed to be working today, but it's not, so will have to chase that up again tomorrow arvo if it's still not working. Can't complain though, coz we've had pretty good luck with everything, just no internet or phone 😛
Sorry it's been so long since I've spoken to you all, be it on the phone or Skype, but I promise I'm missing it just as much as you are!
Update – today is now yesterday …. and we now have a phone line (Adrian has put a post up with the new number) and we now have mobile internet. It's not the best, but better than nothing 🙂 Will hopefully be able to talk to you all via skype, msn, email on the weekend :)