I’m doing a module this year at university called M3T: Communicating Mathematics. I have to spend half a day a week for 11 weeks at a secondary school which breaks up the standard term of just attending lectures. It also means one less exam because it is entirely assessed by a project, journal and oral presentation. I’d take that over an exam any day.
Yesterday was my first visit to the school and well… there’s going to be lots to write about in the journal. We had a training day at a different school about a month ago where pretty much every minute of the lesson was accounted for. The children didn’t even have a chance to think about being disruptive. This school couldn’t be more different. There is none of that structure. In one class, children got up, walked around and changed their seats whenever they wanted.
With that said, the children are great. Individually they are responsive and inquisitive. They’re happy to accept help and they are appreciative that you’re there to help which I didn’t feel at the super-structured school. I was bent down helping one of the kids and a kid I helped earlier, pulled up a chair for me. I was so touched! I’m so glad I’m at this school. I definitely think I can make a positive impact and the atmosphere there reminds me of my secondary school. The children casually insulting each other, walking in packs, chanting and cheering made me smile. I’m used to this.
The most memorable part of the day was when a Year 7 boy (who was looking decidedly queazy from the start) puked up everywhere… on the trousers, on the floor, on the table. This led to lots of EWWWW-ing followed by LET’S HAVE A LOOK. They knew it was vomit but they were climbing over each other to see it and I seriously thought another 2 or 3 of them would follow suit and throw up too. They didn’t (thankfully). Quite a first visit. Hopefully my second will be less dramatic.