The morning of my first day of my first prac I woke at 5am. It took me 3 minutes to start officially panicking. What was I thinking? I don’t even know if I like children that much. I thought to myself. How did I get myself into this situation?
My school was a good public school in the suburb that I live in. My cousin has a six year old girl attending there so I was going to walk with them to the office. I did the only thing a sensible person can do in this situation…I made myself a double shot espresso and sat in bed with Avatar: The Last Airbender on my TV while I thought about calming things until the time was more appropriate to get dressed.
Being the kind of person I am, my bag was already packed the night before and my lunch was also boxed and in the fridge. So, after I dressed carefully, I had another coffee and headed of to the Turner household. It seemed like in no time at all I was in school. The Administrator showed me to my classroom and introduced me to my teacher Miss S. I would be helping her with the Year 4/5 class. Old enough to have clear personalities and opinions. Old enough to have a conversation with. Old enough to be aware of their actions and the cause and effect of their behaviour.
The first week flew by almost too easily. I was glad for Friday. I felt overwhelmed, yet as if everything had been to easy. I had helped with some Maths classes, kept the class quiet in line and answered questions when Miss S. was busy with others. I photocopied worksheets, arranged display boards and refilled class supplies. But no real issues other than a misbehaving student being overtly rude, which was solved by a stern word. Friday afternoon I walked out of that place thinking again, How did I come to this direction? How do I feel about this work?
Monday of the second week I again had my worries, but when I was walking through the Quad to class, I felt overwhelmingly I am so glad I am here.This time the students knew the game, so they wanted to see how far I could be pushed. I stood up to one student’s insolence and earned respect from Miss S. I worked with a struggling student on a method to work through a hard lesson in a way that would better benefit her. I watched the class while Miss S. dealt with a “friendship issue” between some of the students. Friday as I left I was filled with sadness to know I only had one more week with these students and so I had to make it my best.
Monday of the third week I asked for the Grammar work for the week. I took some class materials and planned a special lesson for my struggling student. Miss S. was very positive about it, so I worked through it on Tuesday. My lecturer came in and gave me an overwhelmingly positive report. I spent some time with the School Education Assistant gaining some support resources and first hand assistance on some fields, things to note for the future.
Needless to say, I was sad to leave and go back to my full-time job, but the experience certainly settled some doubts I had within myself and re-assured me in my choices.
While the path is long, I will be so happy at the outcome and end result, that I can do this. After all I am in no rush for my life to pass me by and this journey will be so satisfying I cannot see any other course I would want to take.