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How I Hit the Ground Running ...and Survived, by Karla

Below is a debut ProtoBlog by Karla, an Australian Teacher currently teaching in the UK through Protocol South London.

Hitting the Ground Running...

Excursion with 30 relatively unknown children to unknown destination. Parent teacher interviews. Open school "sharing day". And this is all in the first 4 weeks at the school. Care to read on?

I initially wanted to come to Europe to travel in the Australian summer holidays and then head home. Simple. Then my friend got wind of it and said "hey, why don't we live over in London, teach and travel?" I got hooked on the idea and so here I am. We arrived mid January of this year.

After two weeks being touristy and finding a place to live, I was lucky enough to score a full week of supply teaching in a Year 3 class in West London. As I am still there, I won't divulge names and boroughs, but believe me when I tell you I hit the jackpot. 30 kids in the class, a "good" school and a nice area. The staff have all been golden too.

So, my dream week turned into a fortnight when it appeared that the class teacher would not be coming back for a while. This was the exact two weeks before Spring Half Term Break, so a perfect introduction to supply teaching in London. I was marking away and having a lovely time.

Now for Whoa #1. Monday of the last week. Notices go home for Parent Teacher interviews. Ok, easy, children have them filled in and returned for the class teacher's schedule. Tuesday of the last week. Informed that class teacher will not be returning until Easter and I will be conducting the interviews. Yikes (not the actual word I thought of first). Lucky I have 3 year's experience back home *half-sigh of relief* otherwise this would be scarier than it already is.

Whoa #2. Wednesday of last week. Parent inquires about excursion on first Monday back. School diary referred to with no mention of a trip. Parent help cancelled. Last day of last week. 3.29pm. About to send the children out the door when a parent form arrives. Excursion first Monday back. Form must come with children on the day. Yikes (again, not the actual word).

Whoa #3 Day of Excursion. Had to fill out insurance form with no idea who parent helpers were, collect bus money, find first aid kit, ring parents of children who forgot form, find class list, greet parent helpers, walk children to bus station. Buses not running. Adult meeting in which decision is made to walk 40 minutes (bear in mind that I spent 3.5 hours on Saturday practising the walk/bus/walk route). Arrive, the children have a lovely time, tube back (hassles with adult/child ratio on tube, managed to get on).

Phew.

So, the moral to this tale is simple: be prepared for ANYTHING.

~by Karla, an Australian teacher currently working through Protocol Education.

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Tags: Teach in London, Teach in England, Teach in the UK, Primary Teaching, Secondary Teaching, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers


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