This week has once again been hectic and busy, I’ve spend 4 days in relief at 3 different schools, my old Primary school relocated and is actually just a 2 minute drive from my home! I went there on Monday and it was a fun day with a Yr 5 class, though there were a few immature and misbehaving students who were still experiencing ‘catch-up’ penalties from the prior week and kept pushing boundaries with me (initially, but it died down with consistent application of rules and firm tone of voice). I was well supported by a very able Teacher Assistant (TA)/Educational Assistant (EA) – both terms used in WA Schools, but EA is more common now. I also had great recourse to the Deputy Principal (also the relief co-ordinator) who took several boys and a girl for recess and lunchtime detentions. The next day was at my local State College, which I’ve mentioned numerous times, where in one day, I had to completely yell (max volume) at one student in the P2 class to regain control from a very immature 13 y/o who was very big for his age (tall and athletic) but was choosing to continue to be extremely disruptive (after being 15 mins late to boot) and run around the (dance) room including jumping over packs of sitting students who were trying to do assigned worksheet writing on the floor (already uncomfortable), quite dangerously, while carrying some other boy’s backpack and swinging it wildly (it was partly full but thankfully zipped up), I kicked him out of class with a supportive teacher’s assistance but the rest of the group was still quite unproductive after that sadly. I also had an art class of Yr 7’s where a troublesome group of Yr 9’s upstairs but offset (think diagonal stairwell access) with an incomplete dividing wall, were throwing paper planes and wet paper bunched up into ‘balls’ down on my students and I, while under the supervision of another relief staff member. Finally at ‘Lunch 2’ (students at this school normally get a max of 40 mins break a day, fully 20 less than every Catholic school I’ve been to) and this is justified by the anecdotal comment to me from a full-time staff member: “any longer and fights would regularly break out”, well on Tuesday I experienced my first ‘fight’ which was a full-on brawl involving 3 – 5 students at various points with a massive pack of 30+ ringing them, with teachers involved trying and failing for a good 3 – 5 mins to separate the boys involved. This happened less than 10 mins into the break, so the break was ended early and all sent to their P5 lessons abruptly. I am not exactly complaining as because of this my own ‘relief duty’ at Lunch 2 was cut-short and I even was allowed to leave early but still paid for a full day, I just feel sad for the staff and students who endure these far less than ideal conditions so much more routinely than I have to.
I spend the next day working from home on my project for a private health company making ATAR HBio Yr 11 level lessons and assessment resources on Reproduction, as yet still a work in progress, before finishing the week at Notre Dame Catholic Primary School in Cloverdale, which was a nice and well build/good facilities/supportive staff environment. I was very grateful for this because it was a long drive to get there with massive traffic build-up in the am and pm + the class I was mainly assigned, (Yr 3’s) was quite loaded up with difficult to manage behavioural problem and learning difficulty students (about 6 of them in a class of 30) who even with another very capable EA was challenging enough we both were exhausted at the end of each day, plus a boy was again sent to an able and proactive Deputy (losing their lunchtime privileges that day) for punching another boy twice in the one day in the stomach (possibly oppositional defiant or just a very aggressive boy with ‘anger management’ concerns).
Today I’ve got my first live tutoring session for an hour coming up now so I’ll wrap up and sign off – this will be my first time tutoring Chemistry to a high school student, my prior experience being back in 2007 – 2008 when I tutored at Murdoch University whilst a student in Undergraduate Chemistry myself. 🙂 I’m using a learning platform that is very well designed by a company called Cluey Learning and even though the pay is about half that of what I normally make per hour, the work expected and the convenience of working from home 1:1 really makes it appealing! If you’ve been keeping up with my work/business journey thus far, thank you very much for reading and I hope you have a blessed day and weekend upcoming!