The last couple of months have been a huge endeavour and an even bigger learning curve. I am now in a 0.6 (3 days per week) role, doing backfill in 2 different classes while their normal classroom teachers undertake other roles internally.
I got a pigeon hole. I got a school-specific badge. I got keys. I got a computer login.
I understood that taking on the contract I had been offered was a big deal, but it wasn’t until the Admin SSO (Student Service Officer) pointed out that she had made me a pigeon hole that it truly sunk in that I finally belonged. I’ve never cried so much over an empty box… although one time I bought a pair of shoes where there was one shoe missing, if that counts?
When you are a TRT, things like having a pigeon hole seem so abstract. You don’t have a place where people can leave you notes. You don’t have somewhere to hang your coffee cup. You aren’t actually allowed a computer login for some silly reason that I can’t comprehend (it’s something to do with accountability I think). Some days I leave my hat at school. That one is a big deal to me. My biggest pet-hate of being a relief teacher is carrying my hat everywhere. I have a really stylish felt hat with quite a stiff brim. It looks really snazzy and aids in my “be a fashionable, non-frumpy teacher” quest, but is insanely awkward to carry around day-in-day-out.
I am now spending 2 days in a year 4/5 composite class, and 1 day in a year 3 class. While I find with my year 4/5s I do a lot more project work and supervision of ongoing tasks from their classroom teacher, with my year 3s (who I co-teach with my amazing friend Emma), I am able to develop and trial lots of different units of work within my learning areas. This year I am covering science, maths (outside of numeracy/number math) such as mapping, measurement, data etc., handwriting and visual art. This has been great for me because I have been able to flex my figurative teaching muscles and dig deep in the curriculum in terms of planning. It has also been a fantastic opportunity for me to prove my value to the school as I am actually able to plan, implement and assess units of work that directly inform report writing. In such a short amount of time I have found my teaching skills have truly blossomed, in no small amount due to the support I have gotten from my colleagues. I can’t wait to get blogging about some of the activities I have developed and used with my class, and to hopefully pass on some of the things I have learned so far.
The other thing I am really excited about is implementing a home-sharing online community. At the moment we are using the Seesaw program in our classroom which so far has been working great as a tool to share learning and information with families. Hopefully over the coming terms we can take it to the next level by teaching students about digital citizenship and quality comments etc. through the online domain. The next step will be ‘blogging’, although I think we will use the Seesaw platform for this as a starting point, at least to allow families and the school leadership to become comfortable with the idea. I am really excited to get this off the ground.
In the meantime, I hope you haven’t been too put-off by my personal over-share, I wanted to establish where I am at in my career, what direction I am headed, and what you can expect to see on this blog in the near future.