Wow!! What a crazy couple days we have had! I left you with letting you all know how we were going to be shadowing teachers on Thursday so that we could get to know how the classrooms and schedules work in the schools. Kim, Kelsey and myself could NOT sleep due to the jittery nervous sensations bouncing around in our tummies all night. Eventually it was 5:45 am Thursday morning and we all took turns showering in our little B and B room and looking our best before heading out to catch the tube. Each of us was assigned a different school so it was the first time where we were going to have to split up and use the transit on our own! We got on the tube together around 7 and around 7:15 I get a call from Engage asking us to all get off at the next stop. Then I was informed that Engage was short of teachers today and that instead of shadowing a teacher we were actually all assigned to completely different schools to TEACH! What else could we say but yes? SO we proceeded to go separate ways, with tummies that now had strands of tantalizing fear sprouting all about, and made our way to teach as official teachers for the FIRST TIME! It was a crazy day! I will go over my experience as best I can.
The school I was assigned was informed that I would be coming to supply teach for the day so when I arrived at 8 am they were ready to show me what do to and where to be. The secretary was VERY helpful and she gave me a run down on the policies of the school, etc and signed me in! All adults in the school must wear a tag at all times so that everyone knows the purpose of them being there. So all the teachers, assistants, etc have lanyards with these tags around their neck. I got a specially made sticker that I wore on my shirt throughout the day. After the introductions to the school I was told how I would be teaching Year 3 (they refer to grades as years in the UK and Year 3 is kind of equivalent to Grade 2, it is 7 and 8 year olds). Lucky for me the teacher who’s classroom I was teaching was at the school to show me what to do with her class in the morning! She was going to take over the class that had the absent teacher. The morning went by fairly smoothly, as I basically just had to give the students a couple tests. One thing that is different about schools here is that for break (which is like recess) there is no bell, you just dismiss your class at 10:15 for break. Poor students almost missed their break cause I was waiting for a bell to ring! At the end of break all the students line up outside in their class lines and the teachers collect their group and head into their classrooms. In the afternoon I was assigned to a different Year 3 class and their teacher also went over what I would be doing with them for the afternoon before going to teach a different class. The afternoon was a bit more challenging! I had some students who really wanted to test the limits of what they could do and at one point I had to take a student to another classroom because they were just to disruptive for the rest of the class. However when the end of the day came, I corrected the work they had done and was happily surprised to see that majority of students had actually done all of the work and gotten it right too!
Quotes of the day from students: (say these in a cute English accent in your head)
“May I please have a rubber.” – Students refer to erasers as rubbers!
“May I please have a tissue” – I got this MULTIPLE times throughout the day. It’s one of the cutest phrases I have heard in an English accent.
“Miss, he’s throwing rubbers at me.”
“You sound different” – it’s so funny to be the one with the accent!
It was a crazy first day of teaching but I survived and was lucky to have 3 days off before going at it again on Monday! Kim and Kelsey also had their share of craziness for the first day and it was fun to sit and share all our stories at the end of the day. Needless to say we all fell asleep very early and had a VERY good sleep.
Friday was MOVING DAY! One of the most exciting days I have had! We are now officially moved into our BRAND NEW FLAT!!! It is amazing! Could not ask for a better place to live during my time here. Each of us has a large bed and wardrobe and it was so nice to finally unpack all of our things and have somewhere to put them! Friday was also full of trips back and forth to the mall buying plates, cutlery, bedding, cleaning supplies, etc. Basically all the essentials you need in a new place. Thankfully we found a place called Wilkos that has amazing deals on everything you need in a home! Our flat was already furnished with beds, tables, chairs, etc, we just had to fill it with all the smaller essentials. We had a long day taking several trips back and forth from stores. Thankfully we live right beside two malls! So it was a lot easier than it could have been. Our flat is in such an excellent location, being right beside the malls, the tube station, bus station, and of course The Chocolate Room (haha). We had another busy day so we all had very fitful sleeps again and now it’s Saturday.
Today we went out already and bought a few more essentials and we are planning on going grocery shopping this afternoon. Random fact: Did you know they do not call them grocery stores here? They call them food stores. Anyways I am looking forward to more relaxing day and hopefully a few video calls with some people I am missing back home! Saturday and Sunday are really the only days I can video chat people because of the time difference. Except for my amazing mom! Thank goodness I have my mom to call during the week and to message throughout the day because she has already helped me sort out a few things!
Oh and I almost forgot! We also got bank accounts on Friday. Woohooo!! Who knew a person could feel so awesome after doing all these adult things??! Anyways I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!! Will try and post again in a few days but we do not have wifi in our flat until Oct. 3 so we will see. Currently at a local Starbucks using there free wifi to send this off, however there wifi is not strong enough to upload pictures so once I have wifi in my place I will upload pictures of our flat!!!