I’m typing this listening to the Mayo-Kildare match on Midwest Radio. It’s proving difficult and further proves that I can’t multitask.
The week went well so I was happy with the two weeks continuous overall when I walked out the school door on Friday evening. The picture above is how I left the room. You can see the Chinese Lanterns that we had made to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Monday and Tuesday passed by quite uneventfully, there was no behaviour management issues really and they seemed to learn their lesson from the previous week, bar one. There was one child who did not like not getting their way and proceeded to throw an almighty tantrum – one they repeated each day of the week but that issue was dealt with Friday when I discussed the issue with their parent. It was the first time I ever had to do that so while I was nervous, I felt it was the right thing to do so hopefully we see a big improvement on the tantrums tomorrow.
Wednesday morning started with a listening exercise in which the kids were challenged to write down as many details as possible from the news stories they had listened to. I was very pleased with the standard of the work and how engaged everyone was. We then went on to make a display of the Eightfold path for Buddhism. I had given the children homework to research the Eightfold path but rather annoyingly, most of them didn’t do the homework. This is something I’ll expand on a bit later.
Thursday was a fantastically uneventful day. I can’t stress how grateful I am for the fact that Thursday was uneventful. It was the first time I had been put in charge of a class outing. I was assisted by the class teacher but she told me that it was me that was leading this so I had to make sure everything went well. We went on a trip to a university in the city so it was about a half hour bus journey. The bus journey was grand, the whole day in the university was grand and the journey back was peaceful. Everyone behaved themselves (I had them warned) and engaged with the work they did in the university.
Friday. As I had mentioned, Friday we celebrated the Chinese New Year by decorating our classroom with Chinese Lanterns (thank you to @zoe_m68 for helping me with finding that one). We also wrote letters to the people who invited us to the university to thank them for a fantastic day out. Everyone behaved themselves Friday to earn the last few minutes they needed to get a full golden time allocation. It was great to see them try much harder to do nice acts to earn the minutes they needed. Pupils who normally do the opposite you ask them to do – holding doors open, sitting quietly when their instinct would normally lead them to running around and causing havoc, etc.
The homework not being done annoyed me. They all heard me instruct them to write their instructions down into their homework copy/jotter. I repeated the instructions before they went Monday, repeated it Tuesday as a reminder and yet by Wednesday, only three or four had it done. The attitude difference between Ireland and Scotland is unreal regarding homework. The primary school I went to, (and I don’t think the policy has changed greatly recently, my sister is a primary teacher in Ireland), from an early age we got homework to do every evening Monday-Thursday. If I am lucky enough to have anyone reading this, and if you happen to be a teacher based in Ireland – is this still the same? While I may have cursed the homework on a fine September or April/May evening when I had a plastic football to be kicking off the roof of the house and neighbours to visit and other important things like that; I learned a lot from it. We all did. Here though, from everyone I have spoken to and everything I have experienced, it seems to be the norm to get one piece of homework to do during the week and they get a few days to finish it and most of them don’t even do it. Here is where I am going to sound about 105 years old but nowadays kids go home and play on video games ALL evening. Quite literally. I have asked the kids – they say they play video games as soon as they go home until bed time. What hope is there for retention of information and learning if everything the child has learned from the day is lost to Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto by the time they get home? Rant over. I feel like I aged admitting that.
I’ll love ye and leave ye there – I’ve this essay to get back to lads so I’ll be chatting to ye.
G’luck, g’luck, g’luck!