Thursday, 8 February 2007

School Teaching

Today was my first teaching experience at a school level. I had volunteered my services to help with a few English classes that are tought by one of Christine's friends.

This was quite a big deal for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I had to get to the school, which was an area unknown to me and I had to get there alone. Secondly, it was going in to the unknown when I hadn't been feeling great in the last couple of days. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I tend to get slighly panicky when I am in unfamiliar settings, particularly on my own.

The first surprise to me was that I was actually taking the class and not just helping out. I was given the topic of "Scotland and streotypes" and the goal of making the class chat to me.

This was not a problem at all. The kids were great and very chatty. We explored what they knew about Scotland, their perceptions of scottish people and discussed whether or not I matched those perceptions. It was a lot of fun!

I think there is a slighly different atmosphere in German schools than I remember from Scotland. In Germany the classroom atmosphere is definately more relaxed, there are no uniforms and while there is respect for the teacher there is certainly no hesitation to speak or chat etc. I quite liked this approach.

Actually, the experience was not too different from giving tutorials at university level and that tells you a lot about the attitudes of the kids! Also much like lecturing and tutoring at university the experience of teaching was completely draining. About 1 hr after the lessons I felt very,l very tired. I have resisted the temptation to take an afternoon nap so as to not disturb my patterns of sleep.

So it has been a good day and I am proud of myself for making it through trouble free!

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