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First day nerves…

March 3, 2008

Well I survived my first day of organised chaos! I am an S4 tutor this year (equivalent to year 11 in England) and spent most of the day with my new tutor group, trying to learn names (and failing miserably – if you know me from school in Hull you know how bad I am with names!), sorting out lockers, laptops (all the kids at this school get a laptop for school use), photographs, timetable problems (thankfully few!), attending assemblies and teaching my first lesson. I say lesson – it was more like half a lesson as we spent the first half of the lesson handing out textbooks (for all 3 sciences – I will get this group for 7 lessons a week for 6 weeks, then rotate onto another group but I’m their ‘science tutor’ so have to give out all the books and write their reports), and putting the barcode of each book in the computer system.

The kids here are lovely (although I had to send 4 of my tutor group home straight away because their hair was too long or they were wearing the wrong shoes) if a bit excitable and noisy at times – especially the boys! I can see myself falling out with one or two of them if they don’t learn to listen when their classmates are talking! On the whole they seem very focused and motivated – every student in my tutor group is expecting to go to university, and most of them want to study abroad and they know they need good results to do that.

My lab is nice (although the desks are fixed in rows which I don’t like too much) and stays pretty cool for most of the day. The main drawbacks with it are its proximity to the girls toilet, and its proximity to the mini zoo, or more specifically the VERY noisy scarlet macaw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_Macaw) that takes great delight in squawking when I’m trying to listen to students. The tortoise that wanders in and tries to eat things (like my dictionary, my trousers, me…) is less of a problem as he only comes in if the door to the zoo is open after school or on the weekends!

Hopefully tomorrow will go as well as today (and at some point I’ll get round to taking some pictures to go up here) and then on Wednesday I have the swimming standards to look forward to – I’ve been put into Guise house (http://www.markham.edu.pe/student.cfm?p=student_houses_guise.html&m=student_houses.html) who won last year after the previous victors had won for about 15 years in a row (although they had been cheating up until last year – they always ran in the inside lane, and the staggers were wrong so they were running a couple of meters a lap less than everyone else…). Guise is blue and has a badge with a flying horse – cool! The swimming standards are the first house event of the term – every student should swim, they get 1 point for getting in the water and swimming 50m, and then up to 2 more points depending on how much faster than last year’s average speed they swim.

I occasionally feel like I’ve wandered into a non-boarding version of Hogwarts, at least I’m not in Slytherin…

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