The past two days have been really good, I have been working in a secondary school that I have been getting more and more bookings for from my agency. It is a strong Welsh school and is Welsh first language, so I thought that the first day I was booked for this school, would be my last as I am not fluent in speaking Welsh (but I understand it and can read and write it ok). So when my agency kept booking me into the school and I found out the school were requesting me personally, I was quite flattered and very happy.
Not to say that it has been easy, the kids do try to outsmart me by speaking Welsh and asking random questions across classrooms in Welsh to test my understanding, one of my favourites to date has been “Do you think she likes eating marshmallows?” this made me giggle quite a lot! Yesterday, wasn’t that bad, a couple of reasonably good lessons and a couple of rather tricky year 7 and year 8 classes, it was the latter that posed the most challenging and after a whole day of thinking on my feet and actually creating work for each class on my own for subjects that aren’t my specialism, with very little help from any other teachers, I was running on empty by the last lesson.
The class was a small one, consisting of 16 pupils who I had already been warned about, the pupils ranged from the reclusive genius to the extroverted naughty little boy! So a real mixed bag! The one thing that stood out was that there was only 4 girls and just by looking at them (I know I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but everyone does it even if they refuse to admit it!) I could see one of them was going to be the instigator to most misbehaviour, and it turned out I was right. All the boys were rowdy, mischievous and very boisterous, so to put it mildly, I was bricking it! But once the boys found out that I had a PS4 and that I play COD (Call of Duty) and knew all the tricks and slang that go hand in hand with it they accepted me and when I was able to learn everyone’s names, even getting the identical twins correct they all said that I was the best supply teacher they had ever had and that I was legendary! This was a very lovely feeling (even if they do say that to every supply teacher they have!).
Today, turned out to be even better, I had, again, a mixed bag of pupils and subjects to teach and it turned out I had the same year 8 class from yesterday, twice! I had them in the palm of my hand from the moment they walked in the room, remembering each one of their names and welcoming them in all smiley and happy. They did try to test me, 1 boy threw a hissy fit at another boy and attempted to start a fight, another one kept speaking in Welsh to me and then the above mentioned girl faked a fainting episode outside in the corridor so my “first aid” got tested too! But aside from all the challenges, they swamped me with compliments, praise, thanks, appreciation and gratitude for all the work I did with them, the patience I showed and the fact that I did not raise my voice even once.
To top off the two days, I had the last lesson in the textiles room which, for me, was like walking into my idea of heaven, there were sewing machines, overlockers, rolls and rolls of fabrics, irons, ironing boards, embroidery machines and bags and bags of work space, so I looked like a Cheshire cat when the class came in! The year 7’s I had, all recognised me and were very grateful that they had me and not the other supply teacher (again, something I am pretty sure they say to all supply teachers!). They then got a surprise when I told them I was a seamstress and just happened to be wearing one of the tops I had made too, so I got them actually sewing and creating poppies and finishing off hats. Every problem or issue that they could not overcome I was able to answer, solve, tweak, change and adapt, I was deliriously happy.
I really do hope that the next bookings I get are as fabulous as these.
The one thing that these two days have left me thinking about though, is, can I apply for a job (when one actually appears!) to teach Textiles rather than my specialist subject of Religious Education, even though my degree and PGCE are in the RE? If anyone knows, please let me know, thanks
And here is a picture of the lovely top I was wearing today, that got me so many compliments