This week I’ve been teaching at a primary school, close to where my middle school was. Each morning when I’ve arrived the pupils have been doing their morning exercise, which I think is a really good idea and definitely something we should incorporate into the British school system at least. I have 14 classes a week, ranging from grades 3-6; I was a bit dubious about teaching primary school because I’ve always felt I could communicate better with higher levels. I’d planned an introductory lesson about my family and different colours, and these were a hit so I’d worried about nothing really. The class size is larger, around 50 pupils, but they’re all enthuiastic (so far) and want to participate with the activities. I taught different colours by bringing in some of my own different coloured clothes and dressing the pupils up in them… they found this hilarious, especially when the boys had to wear my pink cardigan 😛
We usually have spare time after lunch so we walked around the playgruond. One boy asked for my autograph, and that was it. I suddenly had about 40 pupils pushing and shoving around me as they waved pieces of paper in my face for me to sign! In the end, Catherine had to pull me from the crowd to go back to the office, but now I had an entourage who followed me back to the office, spending the next 30 minutes repeatedly saying ‘hello’ and ‘autograph’. At the end of the day, a security guard had to walk with me to the gate as the crowd following me grew bigger and bigger. Whilst I waited for my driver (another celebrity moment…), I signed more autographs but tried to turn the attention away from myself by asking them to skip. This lasted about 30 seconds before I was passed a skipping rope, and asked to show what I could do! Some passersby on the other side of the gate stood to watch too, probably wondering what all the commotion was about.
I seem to have more freedom with my lessons at this school compared to the last. At the middle school, we were constantly asked what we were doing from the textbooks and often had to re-do entire lesson plans minutes before the class started, and in lesson the teachers would sometimes translate what I was saying rather then letting the pupils figure it out for themselves or let me find a better way to explain it. But here, Catherine has rarely mentioned the plans/textbooks. A few teachers sit at the back of the class to observe me, but the only feedback I’ve received so far is that the lessons are interesting and very fun. Both schools have loved Hangman, and the teachers seem to think I invented this game, so I’m just going with it!
It’s certainly more exhausting teaching here as you have to be full of energy both in and out of the classroom; it seems I’m either teaching or signing autographs. I had my first Grade 3 classes today but they were a nightmare; screaming, standing on chairs, making each other cry. No stickers for them! This week has flown by and I have a jam-packed weekend too (its my birthday tomorrow!), so one last week at the school next week and then it’s onto a new school 🙂