Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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What a week!

This has been some week. After all my trepidation, the lessons with the Italian lads went well on Monday. They liked doing the animation and we had pictures flying all over the PowerPoint slides. They also managed to work in groups of four to prepare a short presentation about their stay in North Wales (which they'll be giving today in the lecture theatre). I was tired and relieved when I finally left work at 6.00 pm after doing the final check over the presentations and printing out the notes pages for the students to read from.

My anxiety hadn't been ill founded though. Apparently they'd had a bollocking from the principal over some riotous behaviour at the weekend and I also discovered on Tuesday that they'd played up with some of my male colleagues during the spreadsheet lessons. So I feel I did quite well with a type of student I have virtually no experience of teaching. Mostly I teach well-motivated mature adults, so having teenagers to cope with was something of a culture shock. Not to mention the fact that they didn't speak much English.

The riotous behaviour was something to do with the Italian carnival, but it seems as though some of the "practical jokes" got rather out of hand. Sitting in the staff room during the lunch break, the principal was telling us about the telling off he'd given the Italian students, with a translator to translate the detail of the meaning -- though I'm sure his volume, tone and body language conveyed the gist of it. He mentioned damage done in the student hostel and commented that the translator (a young woman, if it was who I think it was), had been unable to understand the phrase, "Pissing off the hostel roof." Though the principal assured us that he'd said, "urinating" during his rant, not "pissing".

The reason I'd been worried about the second session with the Italians, even though the first one had gone well, was that I'd put 105% effort into those lessons and ended the day shattered. But I knew I couldn't afford to do that this time because I had a normal teaching load to follow during the rest of the week. But I survived and wasn't too exhausted to teach on Tuesday (full day from 8.30 am to 9.00 pm, with breaks, naturally) and again on Wednesday. Thankfully the computers were being upgraded in the school where I teach the evening class on Wednesdays, so that class was cancelled. This meant that I could spend the evening at home preparing an alternate lesson for Thursday owing to the Internet being unexpectedly down in the centre in Ruthin. Also printed off lots of useful handouts on how to use FrontPage for the class this morning. Of course then I didn't go into work after all, due to snow. But the effort won't be wasted; it'll transfer forward to next week.

Also, to cap one of the most exhausting weeks this academic year, I then had one of those pieces of good news that you're not altogether sure is good news. Checking my OU email just before shutting down for the night, there was an email offering me a phone interview for a part-time tutoring post that I'd thought (because they said that if they were considering me, I'd hear during February and there really wasn't much of February left) that I'd been rejected for. Oooh! Excited and nervous. Yet more work, but it would be interesting and would get me into teaching in a completely different area. But I'll say more about this in due course if anything comes of it.

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