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Kate's European Adventures.

And now I'm teaching!

IRELAND | Tuesday, 27 January 2009 | Views [597] | Comments [2]

I was halfway through the day, standing in the snow in Galway harrassing people for money (but enjoying it so much more this week), when I got a phone call from a school in Dublin. They were after someone to start the very next day, I asked a bunch of questions and then said I would call them back because I had to work out stuff with my charity work. I got off the phone and did a little some to see about how much money I would get paid a week. I know this makes me an awful money because I shouldn't take a teaching job just for the money, but hey. Even my team leader said that if I didn't take it she would ring the office and quit for me.

So I scooted back out to Invern to get my stuff from the house - Where Padraig the owner of the house was cooking a roast because the oven at his brother's house was broken? - then back to Galway to get the bus to Dublin.

The school tried not to paint a good picture at all. Teachers were saying things like "Just don't take anything the kids do personal," and "If you can last a week, it gets so much better." It did have me a little worried. They threw me into a Geography class and then some Irish (funny hey, an Australian teaching Irish!) and it took a few lessons before I actually realised what the others were talking about. I have never heard kids swear so much in my life, these kids can manage to incorporate the 'f' word like you and I would use 'and' or 'the'. But I kept plodding along. Mostly I was a novelty for them. They were having just as much trouble understanding me as I was them really.

A lot of the kids completely ignore the teachers all the time, and lying is just natural for them. I had mixed up names, and kids refusing to hand in their journals as they should. I had kids handing in another kids report card so they would get a good mark on it. Then Friday was the clincher. I had come across this group before - 5 Wicklow - and I really don't think I'm going to forget them anytime soon. The girls shout at everyone all the time; I have never seen girls so aggressive in every way, shape and form. They slam doors, books chairs, you name it. And they don't know how to talk at a normal level. To make it worse, they all had their earphones in from their i-pods so they were shouting over the top of their music as well as just shouting because they wanted to. For the Victorian teachers reading this - think the worst VCAL group humanly possible. These guys are the Communicative cert group - same deal really. They didn't want to be there anymore than I really wanted to be in that class after about 5 minutes. Friday though, after some traditional namecalling and shouting across the room, one girl got up and pushed a boy sitting  few chairs over. It wasn't until he cracked it, walked out the room and then came back in with the Assistant Principal that I realised at the same time the kids in the class did, that she had actually stabbed him in the leg with a pen! Great; things like that look really good in my first week.

Turns out that he spent Friday night in the hospital where they had to give him some drugs to make sure he didn't end up with ink poisoning. The girl: 5 days suspension. I know, I know!

Anway, despite the swearing and physicality of the kids, there's always the ones in there that make it all worthwhile. Like 3 Donegal who are just lovely and can't stop thinking of questions to ask me about Australia. Or the quiet girl in 1 Kerry that rose to the challenge I set and looked up what was important about 26th January for me. And she got it right too - good on her.

So I'm at this school for the rest of their year, and am looking forward to being able to move out of the hostel and into a real house of some description.

And when things get a little too rough with the kids and I want to poke my eye out with a big stick, I will look at the clouds/rain/snow/wind/all of the above outside the warm classroom and just remember how I am no longer standing in it trying to get people to donate money to a charity in the middle of a recession!




Holly Dooley!! And I was worried about having 8 B and C from last year this year in year 9.

  Jen Chatfield Jan 28, 2009 3:21 PM


Hi there,

Sounds challenging Kate. You are so up for it though. At least you can say that your life is not boring.
Love Leish

  Leish Feb 12, 2009 10:13 AM

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