Training is Over

That’s it, all done, no more training; at least not for the time being. Shortly I will be heading to my new school to begin sculpting the minds of my students.

The last week has flown by. After dipping my toe in (running half a lesson). I took the plunge, planning and presenting every lesson I could before my time ran out with my trainer. It’s fair to say I enjoyed every minute of it, even the classes that were a little trickier to manage. What really struck me was just how quickly a hour and a half lesson can pass. It’s truely daunting at first, imagining how you’ll  fill the time. But after presenting a few vocab words, playing a game or two and some concept checks, you find yourself asking just where has the time gone?

A few more observations I’ve made are as follows:

Projecting confidence is key, even if you feel the weight of those crushing nerves looming over you. Don’t let them smell your fear! If these kids sense a whisper of a weakness they’ll walk all over you! Althought it’s not all as dramatic as it sounds. There is definitely a sense of respect for teachers, but at the end of the day you are dealing with kids, who just want to have fun after a long day at school.

The pressure these kids face is immense, especially when compared to what I experienced back home. Sure my parents wanted and still want me to do well. But that pales in comparison to the expectations these kids face. In an environment in which passing a test with the score of 99/100 isn’t enough, the pressure can manifest itself in all kinds of ways. Not just for the kids, but you can certainly feel it yourself if you let it creep in.

Fun is vital if you want to keep the kids engaged, especially during the less interesting activities like drills and phonics practice, in which you can really see the enthusiasm drain from the kids. And fun is just one of the three corner stones of teaching.

The second is classroom management, simple enough once you’ve developed a system. And of course teaching the material itself. There’s no point being a teacher if you don’t impart any kind of knowledge!

So there it is, an unedited and unplanned rambling of what training taught me.

Celestial Bodies – Full Moon, Half Moon, an Almost Total Eclipse

An eclipse is always a marvel. A true reminder of our place in the universe and our place in our solar system. The movement of these monumental celestial bodies, something we have no hope of effecting, is nothing if not humbling.

I have always found them utterly fascinating and a little magical. The 20th of March (2015) was no different. To the roaring back drop of crying disappointment experienced by many, I was granted a fourth row seat in a dark and crowded theatre behind an audience of giants.

Eclipse 20th March 2015
Eclipse 20th March 2015

I too was faced with an unyielding blanket of shifting grey, except for one small difference, a brilliant scar of white light indicating that the sun was in fact out there. My eyes were fixed to that dazzling scar. Occasionally I was rewarded with a break, a chance to see an event I had been hotly anticipating. Ecstatic is how I’d have described myself, if anyone had asked, elated, even overwhelmed. Through a little break in the sky I was able to witness one of nature’s greatest shows.

It is events such as these that challenge and inspire me, force me to question. The next awe inspiring event is happening sooner than you might think, the 15th of April to be exact: http://www.iflscience.com/space/total-lunar-eclipse-tetrad-begins-april-15 . Perhaps this time we’ll all get a better view.