Since my last post I have been to school three times: my first visit I was extremely nervous and while I probably looked calm and talked normally (or maybe not?) my hands were a little shaky and my brain on over-drive
including my mouth. We discussed in brief detail what I would do to start with and I was given a day the following week to go back in and start.
On that set day and time I went in with a little more ease, less nervousness and feeling a little more relaxed, similar to my first few days at work; full of enthusiasm and raring to accept what was going to be thrown at me. I already knew what I would be doing on that day so I signed in at reception and made my way to the class to show my presence to the teacher.
Now, do I call her ‘teacher’, ‘mentor‘ or ‘Mrs A’? I have a great teacher and mentor who I will be helping and who is and will be helping me, in fact I now have two. I think I will call her the ‘mentor’ and occasionally ‘Mrs A’ and the second teacher can be ‘Mrs B’ 🙂
My mentor acknowledged me and finished what she was doing with the children before quickly running through what it was I would be doing. We found a spare room and I was going to listen to the children read from a sheet for one minute and mark their score based on whether words were read correctly or not. After each child I’d send them back to class and get another one from the list.
At lunch time I met with both my mentor and Mrs B and they ran through one of the many projects they have lined up for me. I was bursting on the inside, I was being given 1:1 or small group tasks and not jumping into a full class of 30+ children where I’d be lost and be completely reliant on being told what to do. I was also apprehensive but comfortable enough to share my thoughts that while I want to do these projects, I’m afraid of doing it wrong, making mistakes, looking a fool and letting them down. However, for the first time in ages I was excited about my job; the fact that its voluntary is neither here nor there 🙂
After lunch I continued with the tests and this continued into the next day when I finished testing all the children from both classes. During my time I was able to relax, I had a routine on how I explained what we were about to do: they’d read, I’d make notes and then send them back to find the next child while I counted and finalised their details.
I made my observations, taking a mental note of a few children and their reaction and behaviour. I suppose this is something I’ve always done; observed people and how they interact in the world around them.
A few observations I made was with a couple of children who were younger looking than the rest and struggled, one boy was small but grown up and bold in his speech, another was very hasty to complete while an older child appeared to have a need to lean on the desk as opposed to standing up straight. I had a child with a social anxiety disorder, one who was forward in how she perceived herself and a couple who were very nervous and slightly distracted by their surrounding. I also had two that were little live wires and wanted to know the ins and outs of the test and others results as well as information about me.
Separate to the children, I briefly observed some acquaintances who also attend the school: one who looked inquisitive and slightly happy but also hesitant at my being there and the other had a smirk, almost like a rival in competition.
I’m not sure what to make of that but will continue to keep my eyes open. I’m not there to judge people but observe, help and learn so that I can build on my experience and knowledge that will help me progress into a career I think I will love 😀