|The most exciting part of training was the hands on experience we had for a few weeks. My group was fortunate in
the circumstances and the people. Sean was put in charge and he scouted out the area and made the arrangements.
He basically did 100% of everything at the beginning. We had meetings in his room and he would fill us in.
We have to make lesson plans for the coming week and have them in by Friday, so the evening is spent doing that.
I always finished mine early and was well organized and that made the others mad.
From a letter: "After one week of teaching I am really beat. I only taught three classes altogether
but, man, is it exasperating. You spend 5-6 hours in preparation for one hour of teaching. So far I have had good
evaluations and I think I can make it as a teacher".
I was luckier than the others as I wasn't observed as often. One time I had made up my own way of multiplying fractions
and it really impressed Sean. He also complimented me on the manner in which I maintained discipline. Another time I had
given a split test to my ninth grade class who sit two to a desk. I made two tests and told the class the person sitting next to them
that didn't have the same test. Big complaints, a lot of squirming and one girl so dumb she still copied everything.
This was my first run in with an "education system" no matter what country. Teachers must be blind, or just don't care.
Sort of, don't rock my boat and I won't rock yours.
David Downes was the only other to observe and he gave me compliments and a lot of encouragement.
Just being at school was an experience in itself. I only had two classes to teach and due to the floating period and many
assemblies I either missed a class or had shortened ones. So I spent most of my time in the staff room drinking coffee and coke.
Plenty of time to correct papers or preparing lessons. It was interesting seeing the behind the scenes action that went on
there. Mrs Hasagawa was always in a huff and she always had a pear for lunch. There was a married couple from Texas who played a lot
of bridge - game always in progression all day. For lunch we ate in the dining room at the teacher's table. the food
was really good and rock music was played.
Students Once the kids lost there initial shyness there was a lot more action; too much in fact. They don't want to learn, but
when you ask a question twenty kids will yell out something, usually incorrect. I picked up a reputation for being tough because I give
a lot of homework and unannounced quizzes. Half the kids are going to fail no matter how low I make the curve.
The school was trying out a free dress code, so we had girls running around in mini skirts or slacks.