Try to understand it,
Though it’s very hard to see
The reason we are living
No longer seems to be
The chaos will soon end
We’ve reached the age of learning
You’ll see it in the end
It, it’s so easy,
It. it’s so easy,
When you climb to the top of the mountain
Look out over the sea
Think about the places perhaps, where a young man could be
Then you jump back down to the rooftops
Look out over the town
Think about all of the strange things circulating round
It ain’t easy, it ain’t easy
It ain’t easy to get to heaven when you’re going down
Today I went for another run. There is a place about a half mile plus from our home called Melton Country Park . Here there are green fields, various lakes and ponds, a playground, trees, etc…Basically I nice big open space with plenty of paths for running. School officially starts this Thursday, though I have school business the next two days. A lot is on my mind.
Today I ran both for my physical and my mental health. Living overseas has been a lot of fun but it also has had its share of challenges. Some we can overcome and some we will just have to live with. Just when the sailing feels smooth storm clouds move in and we are back at work keeping the boat afloat. This blog is not a place for me to rant so I will not be discussing things which are troublesome for us. Our physical health is not being affected, so don’t worry. It is mostly our mental health that sometimes feels taxed.
Driving is getting better but it is never ‘easy’ to do. There are no stop signs, few stop lights, and one has to get used to reading what is painted on the roads to orient yourself. Speed limits are either finite or arbitrary, and they change constantly. We take turns driving so that both of us get better at being behind the wheel as well as being the navigator.
In many ways we have asked a lot of our kids to move away with Rebecca and I. They had no say in the matter, though from the start they wanted to go. Their attitude has been pretty good but we do have our challenges in trying to get them integrated into the community. We are hoping that with school starting they will find their routine, make some friends, and immerse themselves in a learning environment that is not dictated by their parents.
My routine of teaching officially kicks off Thursday. I have been in my classroom a couple times and it is fairly set up, though there is not much in there. The school is very, very old with nary a straight wall an a myriad of doors here and there. One of the doors to my room is original from 1844! I think that I am prepared for teaching but in many ways I will just have to dive in with the rest of my new class and see where things go. Thank goodness I have a super supportive staff who is very excited that I am going to be a part of it for this year. If I did not have that I would REALLY be in a panic.
I will have twenty students; 10 boys and 10 girls. Again, I am teaching years 3-4, which is the US equivalent of grades 2nd and 3rd blended. For the most part I will be teaching the year 4 curriculum. This level has two curriculums at Waltham, A and B, and I will be teaching B as last year’s year 3’s had the A curriculum. Make sense? The idea is to not repeat what was previously taught, unless I am teaching skills that are not yet mastered.
The basics that I am familiar with are the English (reading, guided reading, and writing), and the Maths (mathematics). There are guides and curriculum that I have been reading over and preparing. I understand the objectives and goals. I feel confident that, once comfortable, I can teach these at a high and successful level. Some of the other subjects that I will need to cover in Term 1 (which ends in December), include History (Henry VIII and his wives), two science units, two design and technology units,two computer lab discoveries, and two art units. Again I have been looking over what I need to do and I feel that I can succeed. There is a lot expected to be covered and this will require a lot of planning time.
Lastly there are the rest of the subjects that I will be expected to teach where I am on unfamiliar ground. These include religion, music (beginning recorder), phonics, PE, and beginning French. I took four years of French in High School so it is about time I put all that work to use! Yes there is some curriculum for these subjects but I do not have any direct practice in teaching them. Some subjects are daily, but most are just touched on weekly. Reading, writing, and math are daily, and PE is two hours per week. The idea with the science and design/technology is that I will concentrate on these in a short amount of time so that we are immersed in the learning. When done, I could move into the History and, say, computers and again immerse ourselves for a couple weeks doing a lot of this teaching and learning at once. I cannot touch on all subjects each week. Again, I have been working on a Term 1 planner to try and sort out where everything will go.
This is what I signed up for. Moving here looks very romantic in pictures and in imagination, but my reality is going to get very professional very quickly.