On the way home from school this evening, I told Jim that this job is turning into the easiest teaching job I’ve ever had. Coming from an elementary experience where I was responsible for 6-8 lessons a day, 5 times a week, I feel like I’m being spoiled in a high school setting where I teach six different groups of 11th grade students for 80 minutes three times a week – what, three lesson plans and I’m done for the week? Really?
Jim’s schedule is more strenuous than mine – he meets with eight groups of students, on two different grade levels, so he has to do at least six lesson plans a week. Plus, his teachers change their minds more often than mine do – so he has to be flexible (see the Jello post).
We both work as twice-monthly counselors with an assigned group of students, and I’m working with two elementary classes as well. And then there’s the staff development – I’m working on a literacy team, and Jim is working on a team to help teachers take advantage of moments during lessons where we can document student understanding, rather than just handing students a quiz every lesson.
But the best part of this job is working with these students. Granted, this is a school for the elite, but these students are so well-behaved, so polite, so dedicated to their school work that I am amazed. They use their time well, they keep each other concentrating on their work, and they want to do well. It’s a great atmosphere.
Of course, they’re still kids. And they make me laugh. Daniel, who is a bit reluctant to speak in English, finally joined in at the end of class the other day. I asked for a show of hands to see who had spoken at least three times in English, and Daniel’s hand shot up. “I spoke three times in English!” he repeated. We all laughed - it was the first thing he had said in English during the whole class! He’s doing better, with encouragement.
So we’re happy, and we have good people to work with, good students to teach, and we’re making good friends. Life is good, even on the far side of the world.