When I arrive the kids are out of their seats, jumping around. Let me describe to you what I see when I first walked in. Well actually what I see when I first look in through the windows. I am walking down the corridor to the classroom, and as I walk I make the shoe heel on the floor tap loudly to warn the class to get back to their seats. It doesn’t work. I see in through the window two faces pressed against the glass. Ugly as the kids are, this makes them look a whole lot worse. With a peep and glare at me they peel their faces off the window and they run back and try to tell everyone I am coming. I walk a little faster.
It’s always fun to catch them in the act. But don’t get me wrong, screaming and shouting takes a lot of energy out of us teachers. I approach the door and quickly turn the knob and take a step in. Everyone is still moving for just a split second, but then they all notice me for sure, they freeze. The scene I see is this. A ball of crumpled up paper flew past my head a couple of the naughty boys are standing on chairs around the room, they would be the ones playing with the ball.
Over in the corner are a few girls giggling, the rest of the class have found individual projects, like making paper planes, some are drawing, some are drawing on the desk and some are playing games, like hang-man on the whiteboard. After a few steps in the classroom, everyone stops what they are doing, drops it and gets back into their seats. I then give a little spiel on behavior in the classroom and pronounce that now they have to clean the classroom, then I will set a math practice test.
I hear a lot of groans but they d get out writing paper, and I hand out the test. Most people get on with the test, but there are a few sharpening their pencils over and over. Makes you wonder if they want to ever start the test. I watch the kids up the back, they are usually the ones who seem to think I’m not looking and have a little chat. Everyone seems to be going well so I am going to write up a few things in my student log. A student log is just a progress report on which students are doing what, and how well. I can see that there are a few notes being passed around the room, so as I pace up and down the rows I see a note on the floor. The student looks in shock as I pick it up and read it. It’s quite interesting and funny, nothing serious though. I read the note in class, there are a few laughs but then I say back to work and things go on.
The bell rings and I say to hand in the papers up the front and then they can leave. There is a huge rush to my desk and papers fly everywhere, then the students pour out of the classroom for their lunch break. This lunch I don’t have yard duty and so I go strait to the staff room to eat my lunch. In there I have a bit of a chat with my colleagues and we share stories about what we have been doing today.
I mentioned the note and how I caught my class mucking up. Lunch goes quickly and soon I’m heading back to the classroom. Today we have our art lesson so I come prepared; I have got in a guest parent to teach the kids how to do string art. I have a chat to the class about being on their best behavior for the guest and then I ask them to set up the classroom. They do this and I pick out the kids who are likely to cause mischief and send them strait up to the office. I have no time and energy to deal with them. I have a rather small class now so I actually have a nice afternoon watching the kids and marking work. I ask them to pack up and that takes a while but I think the kids don’t mind because it’s always fun to do art. Even cleaning up! The last bell goes and I sigh a breath of relief. It’s a busy day for a teacher and the afternoon has just begun.
After the students leave I then go ahead and work for another hour or so typing and planning for the next day, I get so much more work done when the students are all gone. When I feel I’ve done enough I go home and spend the rest of my day doing ordinary things, like crafts, or watching TV or grocery shopping. I love what I do because I’m interacting with people all day and children can be wonderful sometimes!