Monday 22 August
Today was the first day of the computer workshop for Grade 6 and it did not go well. It was very confusing. I was supposed to be getting a list of students to work with but I found out that the teacher who was supposed to do it would be gone for the next two weeks. Luckily I was able to talk to one of the English teachers and was able to get a list of students and when I asked her if the students knew that they were to be in the computer lab with me at 2:30 she said yes. Well you can imagine what actually happened. I had to go around to each of the classrooms asking for all 30 of my students who didn’t show up but I honestly don’t think they knew to show up in the first place. So I dragged about 20 learners out of the extra classes that the teachers were having and took them to the computer lab when I got there the computer lab was closed (of course) so I had to find someone to open the lab. It was very confusing because the man I thought could do it said he didn’t deal with keys but I was finally able to get a woman to open the lab. All the computers that Emma and I had turned on where now off which would have been fine except for the fact that the computers are incredibly horribly slow. It took forever for them to get started. So Emma and I were literally bouncing from one computer to the next quickly turning them on but then we had to wait. It was very disorganized, very chaotic and very bad. I had figured out how to get the projector on before the lab got closed but I couldn’t figure it out when I actually had the class in there with me. So again Emma and I were trying our best to get the students to the activity that I had planned with them. It was really bad, utter chaos. So we got through most of what I planned but I still felt like I had no control. I’m going to have to think of a better way of handling it. Maybe make sure the teachers have the list so they can send them to the computer lab or maybe scratch the computer workshop and just work with the teachers during the extra classes. I don’t know but it was really bad.
Tuesday 23 August
I had my computer workshop for the teachers today. Only one teacher showed up. To be fair I knew none of my teachers would be there because they’re doing extra classes afterschool. It was fine though. I was able to help the grade 5 teacher and answer all his questions without having to bounce back and forth between different teachers. He was pretty good on the computer though. He knew how to change font, font size, bold, italicize and underline text. He did have some questions about art, drawing circles and stuff. It was great to be able to help.
I also had time to plan for my workshop tomorrow. I’m really nervous/excited about it. Nervous because I feel like it’s my first test and yesterday I obviously failed and excited because I get to be in control and call the shots. I don’t have to watch my teachers beat the students. I can discipline them the way I see fit. I just hope they don’t take advantage of me. I plan on using a 3 strikes you out policy. Hopefully that’ll work out fine. Mel helped me figure out the specifics on my lesson because we had talked about it generally but today it was time to actually write down everything that I plan on doing tomorrow. We’re doing place value, ordering and addition and subtraction. It’s a lot to cover which makes me even more nervous. Hopefully it’ll all go well.
Wednesday 24 August
The workshop went so well! I was so happy because I was really nervous about. I went around to all the classes and asked the teachers to make an announcement to the students about the workshop. I was worried no one was going to show up but all but one showed up. I had fourteen students. It was the best and I was super organized. I had the students sign in so I knew exactly who came and could make sure that no students who weren’t supposed to be in the workshop didn’t sneak it. Eddie was doing security making sure everyone signed it. I wonder if I’ll be able to take more because it’s awesome if students want to come. It’s afterschool so none of them have to be there. I guess that’ll be later along the lines especially once the second long term teacher gets here. It will be easier to handle with two teacher that I know will be there for sure. The students were really good though. They were quiet and listened for the most part. There was a lot of material to cover too which I was worried about but we got through my entire lesson with little trouble. They definitely need to work on decimals, especially ordering them. But I started with whole numbers and ordering, addition and subtraction which they did really well with that. Apparently they were hungry at the end because they were complaining so once my lesson was over I said they could leave if they wanted to and a lot of them did but a few students did stay for the game I was planning to do. They really enjoyed it. It was awesome. I really hope they learned something. Tomorrow I have to do the same thing. Go to each class and make sure the students know that they’re supposed to be with me at 2:30. Hopefully they’ll come as well. I am so encouraged. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as good.
Thursday 25 August
Today’s workshop was not as good as yesterday’s. I had a group of boys that were causing trouble. They were talking a lot and not really listening to me. It was tough though because I had them writing lots of notes and answering questions as well and I think it was a lot to ask of them. They did really well for the most part though. Decimals caused the most problems and of course that is when Mel, Will and JT show up to watch me teach. It was very nerve-racking. For clarification, Will is the guy whose over all the projects in South Africa and then JT is Jim’s replacement, the new program coordinator in Gordon’s Bay. Jim is going to Fish Hoek to be the program coordinator there. Apparently we’re having a program for Jim tomorrow which I didn’t know about until today. The perk of being in the classroom all day. Inevitably, you get forgotten. I’m not really a fan of it but it’s really hard because my schedule is so crazy. I literally just left class at one point today so I could eat. I don’t have a set lunch time. I have a break at 10:40 but that’s too early to eat. If I eat then, then I’m hungry for the rest of day. But overall the workshop went really well and I’m really excited about them.