It's been an eventful long weekend, so I can't even complain. I have so much to share with you, but I think I'll break it up into a couple of posts as to not overwhelm you. Let's backtrack to what's been going on in my world since we last spoke....
Since the beginning of April, my work load has lightened tremendously! I think that first month of working terribly hard to impress my co-teachers and students has paid off! Let's compare.
1) It took me long hours to plan 11 different lessons...I mean like every day I was at my computer until about 10ish going over lessons, planning, finding activities, etc. It was imperative to find out what my co-teachers liked/didn't like, and to find the balance of how we would co-teach. All of this is, of course, by trial and error, because we don't have time to sit down and plan together.
2) In the after school classes, students were mis-behaving (just to try me), and it seemed like no matter what I did--no matter how much I planned, it wasn't enough to keep the students' attention. SMH. This was a pretty frustrating period for me.
3) I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get in between schools on the designated days in time. Even with the bike I purchased, I had to take taxis on certain days...and the costs were adding up; not to mention the time it took me to transition.
1) I am planning 11 different lessons in a fourth of the time it took me before. I can actually leave my books at the school because my planning periods (desk warming hours) are enough time to finish everything and some! Practice makes perfect. I am leading the class 100% for most classes--some co-teachers even leave if they must; they trust that the students and I have a good rapport! This means so much to me! The students listen and respond well in most of my classes.
2) My afterschool classes have come full circle. One thing I learned in orientation and have heard several times since is, if you are not having fun teaching, the students are not having fun learning. I realized that the problem resided with me, not the students. I sat down and took some time to assess the levels of my different after-school classes. I realized that I had been trying to teach advanced lessons to a class that needs to learn the basics and teaching too simply for my class who needs more challenges. I made the adjustments, added in structure to all class, and voila! the perfect recipe for learning appeared!
3) I purchased a car! Yep, I did it! After going back and forth, I decided that a car would not only help me save time and money for those hectic days, but would give me the freedom to move about the country! It seemed like having a car was meant to be; no longer than 30 days after starting my new contract, a friend sold her car to me to buy a new car. It was in my price range, and came from a trusted buyer. Can't beat that. I even purchased an English language navigation system. OMG...having a car sure beats an hour on the bus. Still, I only drive on the days I must...I'm still on my bike 2 days of the week, and on the bus/subway 3 days a week. If I didn't do combination transportation, I'd probably be spending more on gas then on taxis....Take a look at my car! She's a peasant by some standards, but in my eyes she's a Queen!
<something happened to my pics; will repost soon>