Having spent most of this week rushing around between teachers’ college, university tutoring meetings, assignments and even a parliamentary function for the NGO, I am feeling somewhat slow tonight. I have been quite flu-ey for most of this week and have little voice left. So, I am planning to take a day off for myself on Friday. Fortunately I am back at teachers’ college in class, rather than out on practicum in a school, so I have bit more time now. A luxury I’m definitely enjoying!
Being on practicum was a challenging experience for me. I had a multicultural class of five and six year olds, who were for the most part very cute and lovely, though there were a number of behavioural challenges! The thing I found particularly challenging was the constant need to simplify everything. As someone who has spent the better part of the last two years in postgraduate study, to suddenly come down to six year old level was a bit of a shock for me.
Much though I found the constant simplification difficult, I think it was also a really valuable experience for me. I have a tendency to be ‘in my head’ too much sometimes, and part of the challenge of this year for me was to be more practical and grounded. Fortunately it’s pretty much impossible to be anything but practical and grounded in a class full of six year olds!
Thinking back over the seven weeks I spent with this class, I have to say I learnt a lot. From my colleagues, yes of course, but I actually think I learnt the most from my students. They challenged me to be simple and direct, focus on the positives and think creatively. Though I’m glad to have left the class and all its challenges behind, I can’t help but be grateful for the experience.