|Paris all ready for Euro 2016!|
Physical incidents in my classroom became at least a weekly thing. Everything was my fault. Kids wouldn’t own up to anything – whether it was that they were talking (“I didn’t say anything!), chewing gum (“I don’t have anything in my mouth! Why do you accuse me of something I didn’t do?!”), being out of their seat (“I was asking for a pen/ruler/eraser!” – when there’s clearly one on their desk), being late (“No, I’m on time! The clock in here is wrong!”)… I was constantly blamed for everything, and the students told me that it would be my fault that they didn’t do any work because: I didn’t have spare pens for the 20 people who asked for them on the daily, I was talking too much, I was going too slow, I was going too fast, I “didn’t tell them about a test,” I “didn’t teach them that,” I wouldn’t let half of the class go to the washroom during a single hour, I wasn’t being strict enough, I was being too strict with giving them behaviour points, the list could go on… The kids here have no problem with telling you everything that you’re doing wrong, and why you’re a bad teacher. On my last day before the break, one of the students said that the next teacher would accept them as they are, unlike me. Good luck with that… Anyway, I had quite a few temper tantrums (by the students, not by me). I was once called every swear word in the book (f***ing idiot, slut, b****, etc.) by a student before he stormed out of the room and slammed the door, all because I asked him to switch seats. I had one student get extremely upset because apparently I didn’t tell them about a quiz: “You didn’t tell us this!” “Yes, I said it about three times last class. It just so happens that only the four people who were actually listening are the only ones who know about it” (and those four backed me up and claimed that I had said it). “No, you didn’t! I hate it when teachers do that! I’m reporting you to the head of science.” “Okay, great. But can you do it after class? You’re wasting class time right now…” “I don’t even like science! It has nothing to do with my life!” “Science IS everyday life…” “No! It has nothing to do with my future. I’m working with kids when I’m older, I won’t need science for that!” “So, what if one of the kids you’re working with has diabetes.. how are you going to know about glucose in the blood, and insulin levels?” “Well, that won’t be my responsibility.” “Yes, it will.” “Well, I think…” “No. I think you’re being ignorant.” The entire class was quiet for once, and a couple of students were giving me thumbs up in the background. Sometimes these students just have to be told how it is. And this student ended up working really hard in every class, and helped me out in class after that event occurred. Anyway, by the fifth week, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was miserable, I was coming home everyday completely hating my job and my life, and then I’d just stay in a bad mood until I went to bed, and wake up in a bad mood because I didn’t want to go to work. On Tuesday at lunch, I wrote my agent and told him I was done. He said he’d talk to the school, but said to expect someone to approach me by the end of the day. I was covering a math lesson that afternoon when the head of science walked in and asked if I could come talk to her after school. On my way there, the vice-principal saw me in the hall and asked if I could talk to her. She was fully determined to get me to stay, and said she was willing to support me in any way that she could in order to keep me there. She asked if there were any specific classes causing problems (obviously the year 9s – in both my science and drama classes), and asked for a list of names of problem students. She then said she would email the head of science in order to get some support set up. I went to the head of science, who did pretty much the same thing as the vice-principal, and tried to get me to stay. Obviously, I can’t say no to peoples’ faces, but it didn’t seem I was really given an option to leave anyway. When I checked my email, the vice-principal had not only emailed the head of science, but cc’d about 10 other staff members in it as well. She also said that I would be sending out an email with a list of all the problem students, and the events that have occurred with them. Therefore, I spent one or two hours that night preparing an informative email for the other staff members. The drama department was extremely supportive, and put all of the students who I listed on report, so they had to reach three targets every drama class or else they’d have one hour detention. This really helped with getting the students to actually participate, as most of them used drama as a “sit and catch up with friends” class. However, I never heard the end of it from the students who were put on report, “Miss, did you talk to Miss So-and-so about me?! Why would you do that? She thinks really highly of me and now she’s going to be upset!” or “Miss, why did you put me on report? Did you put so-and-so on report too? Because he/she talks way more than I do!” One student even gave me the silent treatment for the entire class (yay!). The science department was supportive for about a week, and then the support went back down to normal. They put a different teacher in each one of my classes. The teacher just sat there and did marking, but just them being there helped so much. The first time it happened, the scariest teacher was there. I’m even scared of him! Some of the most talkative students pulled me aside and asked why he was there. “Well, because I talked to the vice-principal about the behaviour of this class.” “Is he going to be here the entire time?!” “I don’t know what his plans are.” “Well, can’t you ask him to leave?” “No, I quite like this. This is the quietest you’ve ever been, and you’re actually getting work done!” “But can’t you say you want a different teacher? Like a nicer one?” “No, you had a nice teacher and you took advantage of it.” “Well is he going to be here next class?” “I’m not sure..” “Well if he’s going to be here, I’m not coming to class!” “Okay then, that’s your choice.” After about a week, teachers stopped showing up to class and the year 9’s went back to their old ways. The year 8’s had also gotten quite bad. There was a lesson where I decided to let them do group work, and the class got completely out of hand. The head of science barged into the classroom (this wasn’t the first time she’d done that) and got extremely upset with the class for being disrespectful not only towards me, but towards her and the entire science department. “Now that you’ve shown us that you’re unwilling to work with miss, with me, or with the science department, miss and I will find the driest, most boring lessons that we can find for you. You’re each going to be given a textbook and you’re going to have to read the textbook every lesson and answer the questions. If you don’t know the answers or if you need help, miss won’t be helping you. From now on, the textbook is your teacher.” Great! Now I had one class that I didn’t have to deal with. And any time someone put up their hand, I just shook my head no. Towards the end of my time, I let the students know I wouldn’t be coming back. And while there were a couple “yes!”‘s, most of the students begged me not to leave. Especially the year 9’s, who vowed that they’d be better if I stayed (doubtful). One student asked if I could name my first daughter Tatiana (after her), to which I replied, “I don’t think I’ll be having kids after this experience.” Anyway, my agent ended up calling me and asking if I’d go back on Monday and Tuesday after the break, to which I replied yes because at least I’ll be tied in for two days of paid work.
|My war wounds from Saturday|
everything!” I’ve learned that while being here though; the students keep me on my toes, and I know I’m going to have to have an equal comeback to whatever remark a student throws at me. No, you’re not going to burst if I don’t let you go to the washroom. No, you’re not going to die of thirst if I don’t let you get water.
|My shoe at the end of the night|
weeks ago, Jess and I went to Forbidden Nights, which is like a Magic Mike/Cirque de Soleil show, but they keep it classy. I’m pretty sure I was smiling from ear to ear during the entire show, and I’m also pretty sure I managed to record most of the show! After the show finished, they cleared the chairs and made a dance floor, where Jess and I spent a good amount of time dancing (Again, Jess and I both claim we “never dance” when we go out, but somehow every time we go out together, we end up on the dance floor…). We then decided to head closer to home since it was close to midnight and the metros/trains stop working at that point. It was on our way from the Putney train station to the bar when I decided to change out of my heels, but upon taking my shoe off, I looked closer… “Is that blood?!” I showed Jess and yes, nearly half of my shoe was covered in blood. Meaning it had to come from somewhere. I looked at my foot, which was also quite bloody. No pain though! And oddly enough, I never ended up feeling any pain even the day after, or during the healing period. To this day, I still have no idea how it happened. I used to drink responsibly, but apparently that part of my life seems to
be over! I guess now that I’ve had nearly a year of not having to DD, I really have no more excuses. I also ended up going to Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, the musical. The set was absolutely amazing! I spent a day shopping in Camden Market with Kim as well, and we found an all-you-can-eat sushi place (finally!), where we explained to the bartender how to make a paralyzer, and ended up paying a crapload of money for it.
stone-faced, no-crying-allowed routine. In France, I’m very familiar with crying in public places, as it’s happened multiple times, so this seemed to be the place where it felt safe to let go.
Paris. The height of the river Seine was insane! Traffic lights were nearly covered, shops that were on the riverside had disappeared, I’ve never seen anything like it! That day, I went for a walk around the Promenade Plantée, which used to be an old railway that travelled over Paris, but they made it into a garden that you can walk along, and see different parts of Paris. The entire walk is about 4.5km, and there wasn’t any rain! I then made a quick trip to the Eiffel Tower before going back to my hostel. My bus left at 9:30 Saturday morning, and was scheduled to arrive in London at 6pm. But as we know from my past travel experiences, not a lot ever goes as planned. Due to the strikes, the bus wasn’t able to take the Eurotunnel on the way back and instead had to catch the ferry. We went through customs at about 2:30pm and then the driver did a headcount 45 minutes later. He said that the ferry left at 4pm, so hopefully everyone would be back by then. Then at 4:05, he made an announcement saying that we were still waiting on one more person to come through customs, and we had missed our ferry. He also said that since it was half-term break, the 5:15 and the 5:45 ferries were fully booked so we might have to wait for one after 6pm. The girl who we were waiting for still hadn’t been released, but came to get all of her stuff off of the bus and go back. Luckily, the 5:15 ferry ended up having room for us, so we ONLY ended up having to sit around for 2-2.5 hours. The ferry ride was 1.5 hours long, so we got to the other side at 6:45, 45 minutes after we were supposed to arrive in London. Then we made our way to London and arrived at the station was 8:15, 2.25 hours late! By that time, we had been travelling for 11 hours and 45 minutes, and everyone was cranky, tired, and ready to get off the bus. But wait, it can’t be that easy! We were stopped outside the bus station by the police, who kept asking the bus driver questions. Apparently, they were suspicious as to why we came so late, and decided that they were going to do a baggage check. BUT no one was allowed off of the bus until they were ready for us. So we literally sat at the bus station in London ON THE BUS for 30-40 more minutes, while we waited for the police to say it was okay to get off and claim our bags, so they could start the check. By this point, kids were crying, people were freaking out about connecting trips, and everyone was in a bad mood. We were finally let off the bus to collect our luggage and then we had to give it to the police, who put it through the metal detectors. I was concerned because I brought my favourite French sausage back, so I wasn’t at all surprised when the police officer came up with my bag and asked whose bag it was. I said it was mine, and he replied with, “Do you have a knife?” And everyone looked at me with shocked faces. “Um, no?” “Like a folding knife?” “No.. I have fingernail clippers?” “Can you open your bag and show me where they might be?” So I did… “Oh yeah, that’s it.” Phew! Then we had to go through the metal detector – take off our belts and empty our pockets, just like in an airport. After that, they took all of our passport information and manually typed it onto their iPads. I finally left the station at 9:15pm, 3.25 hours after I was supposed to arrive! Therefore, I didn’t end up getting home until after 10pm. On Sunday, I spent the day getting ready for the new week – grocery shopping, cleaning, unpacking, etc. Then that evening, I went to Mika! His concert was amazing, probably one of the best ones I’ve
seen! He just seems like a really down-to-earth person, where you leave thinking, “Wow, I’d really like to be friends with that guy.” And his voice is incredible! I (as well as everyone else) was just awestruck at the notes he could reach; I could listen to him for hours! Now I’m back in the real world, but at least I only have six more weeks left until summer holidays!