May 26, 2011

On the teaching rollercoaster

This term has definitely had its ups and downs.  I adore my year 11 and 12 classes to death, but my year 10 class is just getting worse and worse.  Very frustrated about how it’s going.  Just have to be patient.  Feel like the worst teacher in the world at times, then other times finally there’s some progress and it’s OK but on the whole it’s just all over the place.  Even today during meditation they were whirring around in my head and I had to come straight home and plan because that’s the only way to get rid of the anxious thoughts. 


There’s so many things I wish I could teach them, do with them, and I haven’t had the time, energy or patience.  Right now I just need to sleep.


Happy moments from today:

  • Year 11 students sat their topic exam on criminal law and they were so focused and amazing!  I think they’re brilliant.  I’ve organised separate excursions to the maximum security prison, the local Magistrates court, the police station, and the Supreme Court in Melbourne.  That’s probably too many excursions, so I might get my Year 12 kids to go on the Melbourne excursion, but I’ve already booked in a trip to Parliament House in Canberra for them during sitting week so they can see Question Time.  Hurrah!  And perhaps visit the almighty High Court of Australia, that would be exciting especially if there’s a case on that day. 
  • I’m taking my year 10 class  to a mosque and the Immigration Museum in Melbourne next week.  One of the other TFA associates organised it, bless her proactive and organised and amazing approach to teaching this course.  It’ll be a real culture shock for the kids – some of them are already making excuses not to attend because they feel out of their comfort zone. 
  • Had a great coffee with aforementioned associate today.  I made the analogy that we were like evangelical Christians preaching the word of “education=good” to these kids who come from pretty much completely different cultures, but I felt so uncomfortable about this idea and intuitively reject it – perhaps will have to come back to this later.
  • Had a nice chat to friend who works in the corporate world who was still at work, of course, at 9.30PM.  Early really!  That was me just a few months ago.  My social life is currently conducted through my phone.  It’s so nice to talk to someone that doesn’t feel the need to expose any butt cheeks in class or use profanities every minute and be incredibly racist.  That was my last humanities class yesterday.  Have them again in less than 10 hours.  Sigh.
  • My heater is deliciously warm and I have bought a beautiful wooden dining table from one of the ex-teachers at my school.  I’m sitting here now typing away and I feel like I’m really settling and at home.  Now to just making friends…
  • Tomorrow I’m going over to C’s house.  She’s on long service leave and was previously the head of humanities.  Need all the help I can get.  Called her in desperation on one of my days off when I broke down last week. 
  • Electric blanket warmth!  Nearing midnight delirium!  Friday tomorrow!

I just googled “teaching rollercoaster” and the first link that came up from a teacher’s blog.  How exciting – I’m going to start following her:


1 comment:

  1. Hey, that was an interesting point you made about Evangelical Christians analogy. When I was visiting an Indigenous community in Far North Queensland last year, something I learnt was to be careful about throwing around the word 'educated' to refer to only people who have a tertiary degree. The young of that community were being taught by the elderly how to tell whether oysters were ready for harvesting just by looking to see whether a particular flower was in bloom. Or observing the patterns of a bird species to work out the size of the fish population. Etc. That's quite an education, albeit an informal one.

    When's the excursion to Canberra, may I ask?? =)

    (Yes. Me again.)


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