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Caitie's Travels

Good News, London Tour and a Challenging Start!

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 11 January 2011 | Views [402]

I had a very positive day on Friday - I received many calls from a couple of teaching agencies wanting to book me in for work, and I accepted a two week post in the South London area. They said it was a little bit of a challenging school, but that the kids where ok. I also received a call from the summer camp in Canada that I had applied to, and I got in! They were very excited to have me, and I was extremely excited to accept!

On Saturday I headed off for a free walking tour around London. The day started off sunny with a blue sky, but quickly turned back to the cloud cover that I am slowly becoming accustomed to. The breeze was bone chilling, and at the end of the almost 3 hour tour I was struggling to perform basic skills with my fingers! The tour met at Wellington Arch near Hyde Park, and explored the history surrounding Green Park, Buckingham Palace, the other palace where the Princes live (Charles, Harry, etc), Trafalgar Square, the Citadel, the Underground Tunnel conspiracy theory, Admiralty Arch and the Admiralty Building. It was very interesting to hear the Royal history of London, even if the buildings are not all the impressive really. As the guide said, they are some of the most famously plain buildings in the world. Mainly because a lot of them didn't start off with the purpose they ended up with! It was a great tour, and we finished it off with lunch in Leicester Square. Photos to come soon of the wanderings!

Monday saw me start my two week contract with grade 3. Wow. It was a very interesting and demanding day! It is quite challenging to walk into a new school, new classroom and deal with new routines and kids as if you've been doing it your whole life. I have a whole new respect for relief teachers back in Australia! The kids where nice enough, but VERY talkative and often wouldn't listen to anything anyone was saying...whether it be teacher, teacher aide, head teacher, peers... nothing short of raising your voice seems to get through. We had a couple of good sessions but I was exhausted by the end of the day! At least some of the students where happy to find out I would be back the next day... Reassuring I guess! These kids are so low academically, they are so busy narking at each other all day that they barely get any work done. Never mind silent work, I'm happy to settle for a dull roar! The other teachers were very helpful and supportive, and whilst I know it will be a challenge I am happy to stick out the two weeks. Hopefully with a bit of continuity the students will settle down a little. I guess you go through the motions... There's no way I'm coming back! then, well, maybe a couple more days... then, God I wish I could help these kids... and you end up with... it's not THAT late really, I'll just do another worksheet for tomorrow...... This year was meant to be a challenge, something different to what I was used to. Well, I'm certainly getting that!

Meanwhile, I have started booking the half term and end of term holidays... a week in a Chalet in Switzerland for February, and a week in Greece followed by the obligatory Australian pilgrimage to Gallipoli for ANZAC day ought to give me something to look forward to, right? :)

Tags: london tour, teaching challenges

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