Monday, October 11, 2004

Day One

Another anxiety nightmare, but this one ends in relief.

I had the same "Oh no! I will never get there in time" dreams as I commute to Newmarket Primary School. I went up Dominion Rd for what seemed like forever, and bumped into a friend. I looked at my watch, and was shocked to discover that it was almost impossible to get to the school on time on my first day. I was worried. But I walked further with my friend and then she exclaimed that she had a helicopter, which we got in, and flew to the school. But the school seemed to be rather crappy but when I talked to the receptionist, she said "no, you are at Newmarket Intermediate, over there." So I went there and it was a fabulous school. As I left Newmarket Primary School, I spoke Maaori to a man there (the second distinct dream memory of speaking a foreign language).

And then I woke early at 6:30am as planned. I, as usual on a first day, left plenty of time for buses to be late, and was conservative with all estimates of arrival times and got to the school on time at 8am. I found that two classmates were at the same school, which was pleasant, as well as another student teacher from my first practicum and a RTLB (specialist teacher) I met at my last practicum. Upon entering the class, I was almost struck dumb. I was paralysed with unfamiliarity. I had been so at ease in my previous practicum that it was a case of whip-lash not to know what to do, what to call everyone etc. But names came to me quickly, and soon I had handles and leavers for interaction and control.

In fact, I think I have absorbed the names of about 75% - 80% of the class. Probably the fastest case of name-memorisation at any practicum so far. This was done in only the first two sections of the day (up to 1pm) due to scheduling the class was disassembled and sent to other classes after then.

Now I am laden with Unit Plans, timetables and ideas. I will be teaching a whole science unit in my period of full control. This will hopefully be the jewel of my practicum, a whole designed, implemented and assessed unit. But then there is the foundation of a class, the background work on reading, writing and arithmetic that needs to be tamed too. Each running on their own different systems.

After 3pm, there was a staff meeting, then a meeting with my associate teacher, and then I "seized the month" and got a monthly student card for the swimming pool for $50. I swam there today but tired rather quickly (two lengths freestyle, one backstroke, one sculling). I will go there tomorrow, determined to make this practicum also an opportunitistically fit one.

Now I am tired and aware I will be having an earlier wake-up. My associate gets to school at 7am. I will try to get there at 7:30am tomorrow and if possible feasible, go one half-hour earlier. It means a 6am wake-up.


James said...

It sounds like a good start. I hope you stay well throughout the whole practicum and retain a good level of enthusiasm.

Is science the only subject that you teach fully? Are you also responsible for those "core" subjects of maths and English?

Crypticity said...

For three weeks I'll have to teach everything, just like a real teacher. And that is fair enough. Science will be the only "whole unit" that I'll be teaching and probably the biggest single undertaking. All the others are just understanding and following the system.