Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Three Days In

This year, I think all my colleagues share my feeling that we all started on the back foot. There was so much to do before the students began classes that there was very little time for planning. So this week I've been playing catchup.

My timetable is up in the air a bit, but the best case scenario is taking on two HND groups and losing BTEC for the year. That would be nice - nothing but A-level, HND and Access.

I felt rusty starting up on Monday morning. More than previous years it was striking how much easier teaching is when you know your students. And unusually, I didn't see any of my previous students in any of my Monday classes, or at all until this afternoon. It was something of a relief to see the A2 class - I felt back on top of my game. It helps that I have lucked out again with the students in my A2 class. They even met Hypnotoad, and screamed like a bunch of big girls' blouses when he lunged for his food. And we were studying succession, which as you may imagine, is one of my favourite topics to teach.

(Incidentally, since I get a spike at this time of year from A2 students all over the country googling "succession" or "stages of succession" to do their homework, I recommend going to this website instead.)

Other things I am learning - there are many different ways of getting from the staffroom to the print room if you spot a student you really don't want to speak to near the main entrance to the building. Astonishingly, sometimes Level 2 BTEC groups take better to microscope work than AS classes. And no one brings lead pencils, colouring pencils, rulers or calculators to a biology class anymore.

Also, Paul and I have realised that we have pretty much kissed goodbye to our social lives until at least half-term. We're both working 10-12 hour days in the college, plus whatever we do at home. And weekends are back to one full day of planning and one full day to do every single thing that needs sorting round the house - business as usual. Perhaps the only surprise is that it doesn't bother us at all.

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