Whenever I start at a new school, I always imagine the teachers to be really strict and insistent that we stick to the textbooks that we’re (sometimes) given. I only got my timetable for this week on the Sunday night , to discover that I would be teaching 14 classes a week (I’d only had a maximum of 8 before this!) to Junior 1’s and Senior 2’s. This is the equivalent of Year 9 and Year 11, and I was nervous because so far I’d only ever taught Grades 3-7! I’d also heard some horror stories from other interns with this age group, about how they would rip up their work in front of the teacher, go to sleep in the lessons, or refuse to engage at all. But I reminded myself that middle/high school was the age category I’d originally applied for, and that if all these other interns could do it then so could I 🙂
So on Sunday evening I compiled a lesson plan to the best I could with the textbook I’d been given (they were learning about cloning), and come Monday morning I was as nervous as I had been on my first day of teaching! I had 3 lessons with Senior 2 and 2 lessons with Junior 1, and although these weren’t perfect they certainly weren’t awful. Because their level of English was much higher than previous schools, I could have normal conversations with them (why don’t I have a boyfriend? What is my Instagram name? Why is my dog so fat?) and I was also able to try a new game with them that I hadn’t been able to play at the other schools before. This was where I drew a massive dartboard with the alphabet in the middle, and the class (who are split into 2 teams) take it in turns to throw a ball at the board. That team then has to think of a word beginning with the letter they hit, and get a point for each letter- so the longer the better! The only problem was that these classes were majoring in Science so they were throwing tons of Science-y words at me, definitely testing my knowledge too!
I have Friday off at this school because they have some important examinations to do. Next week is another public hoiday, Labour Day, so we get time off for this too- so I’m only teaching Monday to Wednesday next week! On Tuesday the school took us to a nearby park which was really pretty, with lakes and restaurants on the wide pontoons, and today we visited a nearby temple and had lunch there. It’s a bit annoying as the teachers have to drive us back to our school where we live to sign us back in to prove we haven’t been kidnapped etc haha so we can’t always stay outside of the school for long, but at least we’re seeing a lot of the area and we know where we can go when we have spare time. Next week I am going to show my classes a little bit more about Britain, such as my family, London, and my hometown (Portsmouth). I might also show them a sample timetable from back home and compare our 8.30am-3.30pm one to their 7am-5pm/10pm one!