Hi there and thanks for reading, I’m writing an update after a VERY busy 7 days, wow – I’ve been accepted for two additional casual roles as a Science Curriculum developer in the WACE ATAR Yr 11 S2 Human Biology area on the topic of Human Reproduction where I’m working in a small team for a private company based here in Perth who are generating their own lesson and assessment resource library. In addition I’ve finally been accepted by an online tutoring platform called Cluey Learning, mostly based out of Sydney/East Coast AU (the picture above is one they asked me to take for their online marketing purposes) where I’ll be providing online tutoring via their platform to primary and high school students in literacy and numeracy in younger years and up to an including Yr 12 Chemistry as well which is an aspiration I’ve held for many years 🙂
In the relief teaching side of things, I’ve completed my 2 week stint at the Public High-School (College) in Perth’s South that I’ve mentioned previously. Last Friday was a culmination of the good and the bad elements and will serve as a good lens by which to understand it all.
The school had Yr 7 and Yr 9 NAPLAN online at several points in the week and I supervised a total of 3 periods in the Library over Wed and Friday where I observed a range of student abilities on display but in general, very poor execution of the requested ‘creative’ writing task involving making a narrative on a person, place or thing which was ‘far away’. There were very numerous issues of spelling, grammar and structure as well as complete disengagement by some (to the extent of typing out mathematical equations rather than making any literary attempt in one student case). There were also numerous disruptive students calling out and being silly (as for example giggles or putting paper ostentatiously up to block their neighbour from seeing them, which was then mirrored for several minutes). Finally some students flatly refused to work and signed out of the required NAPLAN program/platform, in one case attempting to waste time using a browser and searching inappropriate swearwords instead. In all cases of misuse, off-task behaviour, I notified relevant supervisory authority, but the children in question did not seem to care in the least sadly. It went so far as for one student to comment loudly to the class on the Fri (afternoon – final period of the school day before weekend session) “Don’t you know, we’ll all fail this and have to do OLNA” (the online literacy and numeracy assessment which is a prerequisite to graduate from High School in W.A. if you fail Yr 9 level NAPLAN).
I also had some positive experiences of talking with students about their aspirations to trades or professional sporting endeavours and work outside school generally, helped some students in the school’s TLC (The Learning Centre – which was actually a remedial specialised curriculum for students who had very low levels of achievement in literacy and/or numeracy noted from primary school intake) as well as supervised over calm playground ‘duties’ in general.
My least favourite lesson however, also occurred last Friday in P3 (after their ‘Lunch 1’ or ‘recess’ session where students are generally expected to toilet and get drinks of water as well as eat a ‘healthy’ snack). I was in an upstairs science block room with only one entrance to a hallway and stairwell externally. I locked the door (from the outside) but initially was not locking or obstructing the door on the inside, over the course of the hour long session, however, in which no student made any attempt at any assigned work which I had facilitated access to via whiteboard notes, textbooks and verbal instructions clearly; I ended up physically obstructing the doorway and literally barricaded the entryway into the room as a literal gang of 5 – 7 students (the well recognised ‘who’s who’ of the school behaviour management contingent) congregated outside in the hall truanting and regularly banged on the door and demanded access to the room while several students inside pressured me to let them out for ‘drinks’, toilet breaks or even just ‘to chat’. It was frankly embarrassing behaviour from Yr 8 students (13 y/o approx) who were displaying very low ability in regards to personal/self-regulation. I am grateful for the remuneration I’ve received the past few weeks at this school but will be giving myself a break from returning there and not for such a long unbroken stint in future I think…
In home life news all is going fine but Lily has been sick with a cold all weekend and I came down with it last night so decided not to do cover/relief today just to rest up.
A selection of recent meals is below – my wife and I love cooking good food and I am happy to discuss any recipes/ideas below in comments if people would like: