I consider it a glaring omission of my Teacher Education that nobody mentioned the importance of a neck chain for your classroom keys.
Having never been the guardian of a classroom of learners has also meant that I have never been in the possession of a set of classroom keys. In the absence of any students at school my personal style had been sloppy student meets budget backpacker; t-shirts, cargo pants and jeans which have pockets.
Lots of pockets.
This being Day 1 with lots of parents in the school I fished some clothing from days as an office flunky out of retirement and discovered a problem nobody told me about: women’s clothing is bereft of pockets.
Who decided women have no use of pockets?
Or maybe it was wardrobe malfunction not quite on the level of Janet Jackson’s performance at THAT superbowl in which I decided that wearing a skirt sans pockets would be a good idea on my first day of teaching. Because I spent far too much of my first session at school wondering where I had put my keys: they were on the table, then on the bench and then in the cupboard but never where I needed them when I needed them.
And then as I walked the kids over to the school’s Pōwhiri, I spotted all the other female teachers in the school were in possession of the one must-have teacher’s fashion item that I had yet to purchase. A neck chain to hold my classroom keys.
How could I spend 12 months in teacher education and not learn the importance of this teacher’s accessory. Is that why I only got a B+ in my Teacher in Context paper?
Fortunately the last teacher had left a spare key neck chain in my drawer and once I located it I could start my day in earnest, remembering names doing some warm up activities and helping the kids decide on some classroom roles:
- ICT Whizz (computer monitors)
- An accountant (a child who counts up borrowed equipment to make sure we have returned all the sporting equipment/camera etc. to avoid equipment getting lost)
- Bloginators (self-explanatory)
- Window watchers (kids to close windows)
- Snapper (photo journalist)
One of the others things they won’t tell you at teacher’s education is that first hour of teaching a class for real WILL BE THE LONGEST HOUR OF YOUR LIFE EVER. For some reason the kids were whipping through my ‘get to know your classmates’ activities so quickly that I secretly wondered if I was going to be out of effective classroom material by the time we hit interval. But here’s another crazy thing about your first day of teaching, at some point those minutes which went by so slowly will suddenly speed up and you’ll be dismissing the kids wondering where your first day went.
Other lessons learned.
- You’ll do a lot of walking, especially to and from the printer and office.
- Flat shoes are no guarantee that your shins won’t be be screaming come 3 o’clock.
- Bringing home-baked cookies is good way to start your syndicate meeting.
Sorry for the lack of any substance in this reflection but I’m afraid my brain stopped functioning effectively sometime around 4pm.
Right time to read over some student writing samples before I get some much-deserved sleep in preparation for day two of teaching.