So I went along to one of the local high-schools to do some relief teaching today. It was my first real day of relief back in a high school - the days I did earlier in the term were all in the VET area and I was doing work placements. That's where some of the kids go out to the workplace one or two days of the week. It counts as a school subject and towards their graduation. I was sorting the placements and setting up paper trails, etc. It's what I love doing and generally involved 1-1 contact with the kids with the odd quick info session thrown in rather than up-front proper teaching of a subject. I've also been doing the odd bit of relief at the local primary school - the very one my kids attend - but that's an entirely different kettle of fish.
Relief teachers are, as a general rule, paid well and treated badly. They get the grunt jobs, the rotten classes, playground duty and no breaks. That's okay though because, in my case it's only a couple of days a week, and like I said you get paid well. you also have the added bonus of no lesson prep or marking to do. Just walking in, teach it, and walk out.
So, my day today?
Form class - take attendance, read notices and wait for the next bell to ring.
Period 1 - Yr 8, SOSE, or social studies for those of us who went to school 20 or so years ago.
Period 2 - Year 10 Dance
Recess - 20 minute break - run from one end of the school to the other to go to the loo, gulp half a cup of tea and a biscuit and then run back to the other side of the school.
Period 3 - Year 11 Dance
Period 4 - Year 10 Maths - the TAGS group (Talented and Gifted, as in seriously smart kids)
Lunch - 20 minute break. During which I have yard duty.
Period 5 - Year 9 Dance
Does anyone see the problem(s) here?
Me teaching DANCE? I'm a huge klutz. HUGE. With all the rhythm of a stumbling baby elephant. No problem - we'll make the kids work on the computer and do some research instead.
Me teaching MATHS!!!! Umm, yeah. See numbers really aren't my thing. I don't play card games because of the adding up stuff. And I've got the TAGS group. Who are doing algebra revision. HAHAHAHAHAHA. And they're foolish enough to think I can help when they get stuck! Oh the sheer hilarity. Luckily I did what all good teachers do and turned it around on the kids and had them explain to each other - I had about three kids up the front with whiteboard markers instructing the kids who were stuck. It worked a treat.
The SOSE bit I should have been able to handle - it was my minor after all and they were doing an assessment so really I just needed to shut them up and supervise them. One small problem. Part of the assessment was creating a graph from data that showed both temperature and rainfall. Hmmm, back to the maths thing really. Luckily it was an assessment piece so I wasn't allowed to help them.
By the end of the day I was starving and my brain hurt. I have never been so glad to see 3pm.