Retropost: School Day

This is a Retropost – looking back on earlier housesitting adventures.

January, 2016

Going along to a school as anything other than a student was a frightening concept.

As a student you’re just one of the masses, blending in. It’s an entirely different concept being the teacher. Everyone’s looking at you. You’re running the show.

What if I forget everything I know or bore everyone so much that they actually fall asleep? What happens if the class collectively decides to stage a rebellion, lynches me from a flagpole and then burns down the entire school?

No school today Rover

These were the crazy thoughts in my head as I exited the station for my teacher experience day in January. Perhaps I should just call in sick, head across the road to the coffee shop and spend the day there. Plenty of school kids do this everyday, why not the trainee teacher too?

I recalled all those horrible pranks that we played on our teachers, 30 years ago. Now we had the Internet and any embarrassment was likely to be shared online, go viral, maybe even end up in front of those teachers I vilified all those years ago.

Here in the UK they are crying out for teachers. So much so they offer to throw money at you if you’re one of those science types who understood physics or maths. They will happily deposit £30,000 in your bank account if you can bluff your way through a passing knowledge of algebra.  I was never going to get that money, my maths ability taking a meteoric plunge at age 13 when we were asked to ‘solve for x’.  I could never work out why they had to bring the alphabet into maths class.  Stick to numbers will ya and leave the letters for poetry and creative story writing. Smucks!

I attended a couple of Teacher Fair Days. These are similar to those trade fairs you go to when you’re renovating your kitchen, or planning to get married. The people who run these are smart and they know that if you attend you’ll likely commit to spending a load of money on something like the latest stain-proof benchtop or a wedding photographer who promises to make you look like Brad Pritt and Angelina Jolie,  when realistically you’re more Stan and Hilda Ogden.

Sign up, come be a teacher

And they all want you to become a teacher at their school. It makes me wonder how they can keep taking on new teachers without losing some of the old ones. Oh, so perhaps this is one of those professional like estate agents. You go into it all bright eyed and bushy tailed. A year down the track you haven’t sold anything and you’re eating jam sandwiches for dinner. Maybe a year into teaching you’re so stressed out by all the annoying little ankle-biters that you decide to quit, hence the constant need for freshies.

Introductions over I was given a quick run down on how my day would transpire. Three classes in a row, before lunch.

I was hating this already!

Ushered into each class I wasn’t sure if it was the done thing to contribute in any way. I was quite happy to sit there as the silent observer. One or two kids asked who I was and what I was doing there. My brief explanation seemed to bring no relief to their boring school day as they replied ‘oh right’, and then went back to staring blankly at the teacher. Ha, I remember exactly how THIS torture felt.

By the end of the day at 3pm, having sat through six hours of class and five uninspiring teachers some of whom spent a large part of their class trying to control one or two annoying little prats, I was glad to get away and escape back to the land of adulthood.

On second thoughts…

Maybe I’d just got the wrong school.

Maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a teacher after all.

I’m an optimist at heart and try to never say never. My gut feeling is that the opportunity to teach may arise again in the future. At that time I may be more ready for it. Perhaps I’d just be better suited to teaching adults.

You’ll know from my last post that I’d fished for other opportunities at the same time as the opportunity to enter teaching arose. One of those alternatives had now taken the bait.

I decided to chase that bite and see where it would lead me next.

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