A daily photo-blog of my life as an American transplanted in the UK.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Y3 - 189/365: Another Long Day
Today turned out to be an even longer day than previously planned due to the mix-up with my supply post. Matt was due to drive to Birmingham, Sheffield, and then Darby and back which meant he would need to start out early. Rather than being at work at his usual time, he was going to have to get there by 7am and that meant leaving the house by half-six -- usually the time we're just getting Ryan out of bed and dressed. Thankfully he was with Matt's parents today so there was a bit more flexibility with being able to take him a bit earlier.
I was at the train station with ample time to catch the train I needed and eventually arrived to the school with an extra five minutes to spare!
The Year 3 class I was covering was quite challenging -- par for inner-city Birmingham. I had morning play-time duty and on the small area of grass outside was a group of boys play-fighting -- something that wouldn't be tolerated in America. Still, I allowed them to carry on and a few times when it appeared to be getting out of hand I would step in and tell them they needed to calm down or go find another activity. Imagine my surprise when two boys actually squared up to me in an attempt to get in my face about it! These are CHILDREN and the attitude they give is like that of a hard-core gangster, no lie! The wannabe-thug mentality seems to be the norm with many of the boys and I was actually told once in my time of supply that it was due to MY country and the gang-culture there. I don't know how accurate that statement was, but it can't be ALL America's fault. This is also largely due to poor school-wide behaviour management and how children are not held 100% accountable for their actions.
A really good example of this was in the afternoon when I took my Year 3 group to join the other class to practice for an Easter play they had coming up the following day in assembly. That class teacher was working on getting the stage set up and asked me to keep an eye on the children...all 60 of them sitting and waiting. When I saw one boy from her class bothering another student, I called him over and asked him to move to another space. When he blatently refused and did a "diva" head shake at me I firmly instructed him to then come and sit by the door, away from the other children. He complied but only for about 1 minute and informed me his time was up and he was going back. By this time his teacher came over and asked what all the fuss was. I explained what happened and almost like she was begging and bargaining with him, she said, "Come on, please, sit there for two minutes...please...just two minutes."
As soon as she turned around he looked at me, stuck his tongue out and said, "See, MY teacher said I only have to sit there for 2 minutes...HA! You can't tell me to do ANYthing!"
I ignored him and continued watching the rest of the children. About a minute later he kept counting down from 10 seconds saying he was going back to where he was and he didn't care if I told him to go back because his teacher told him two minutes. Then he got up and started to wander back to his original seat mumbling that I was old and worked at McDonalds.
It's teachers like this who undermine supply teachers and contribute to the lack of respect! I just carried on for the rest of the day, made sure everything was in order before I left, and got the hell out of there.
Because Matt went in to work early, he was off earlier and thus able to pick me up from the train station rather than me having to walk home. When he pulled up, this (photo) is what I see in the back seat. Snug as a bug in a rug in his carseat and spark out. In fairness, he had a long day as well!
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!