Friday, January 30, 2015

New school, new things to learn

The third week is officially over. I have been in this new school for 3 weeks. I have survived in a new environment. Big deal, some might say. Well, it's a big deal to me. Mainly because it is hard to go back to work and in a new place, after 2.5 years. Change is always hard, as I have mentioned in one or more of my previous posts. And yet, I experience a change at this time in my life.
What have I learned so far?
1. After being in SA for almost 16 years, I have almost seen it all in terms of paper work and online work. So being here is .... nothing I can't handle, as long as the admins all keep me updated on what I need to do and give me a deadline.
2. My English panel in SA is an entity hard to replace. Especially the head. The current place is and feels disjointed. There is the 2 session school disease where it's morning vs afternoon session. So things don't feel like one unit. The head is ready to retire. She's probably scouting for a replacement. Not me, thankfully.
3. People will complain. Some people are such complainers. I mean everyone complains at one time or another, but some much more than others. And being in SA, I have been tuned to work at a much faster pace than most have experienced. And right now, this pace here, considered very fast by some, is okay with me. Never thought I'd say that, EVER!
4. Students come in such diverse backgrounds. In SA we almost lived in a bubble. Students were generally (not all) from the middle class and higher. They were a lot of English speaking people and hence, teaching English to them was generally easier. The challenge was to up our skills so that we could teach higher skills. Over here, students are not streamed according to their abilities. And in one class you can find a student who writes beautifully, and another who could barely write a grammatical sentence. The dilemma for the teacher would be .... how fast can I go?
5. Teaching boys is a lot more fun. Yes, it is true. With girls it is a different set of fun. And we girls understand one another. But the boys ... now they are a different thing altogether. I have had a boy saying "Teacher, you're so beautiful" twice. And he's only 12 going 13. I have boys who are so in need of attention that they would do anything just so that I call out to their names.
These are just some that I can put into writing now. But what I can say is this : I can and will survive. I can and will love my students. I can and will work WITH my colleagues. Question is whether they are ready for me. LOL. Now THAT is another story for another time.

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