It has been a week since my last blog post and I am proud to say that I didn’t cry even one time in front of my work colleagues, or otherwise! I am getting a small handle on behavior in my Year 10 class. The relationship piece has been huge. Apparently, they like me. Now, this does not translate into amazingly seamless days with no disruptions and lots of learning. But, it does mean that it is a more peaceful place for all of us. They have told me that I am the only teacher who lets them do lab practicals. Likely, it is just because I obviously have a high tolerance for craziness and, since I'm new, I just don't know any better. But, honestly, compared to last week and the one before, things are looking up in that class.
Year 11s have been another story. They came back from job shadowing for two weeks and they were out of control. They were fine just sitting in their desks, but once we got up to do a practical, it was complete mayhem. They were throwing water on each other and even a little acid was thrown. Good times. We broke about 9 test tubes in one lesson. So, I got the head of department to come in and witness this and she just totally screamed at them and they were silent little mice. The next day, we did some notes and a power point and will be working back up to being able to get out of our seats. This is a high ability class, they don’t generally have behavior problems but since I’m new and they’ve been there for 5 years, they rule and I don’t know anything. We’ll be turning that around in the next few weeks. With them, I don’t get as frustrated because I know that they will actually learn and I can be somewhat effective as a teacher once I get to know them and get them on my side.
This weekend has been quite fun. I attended my regular happy hour festivities with my work colleagues, which is always fun and then, went out in Chesham with my roommate and her boyfriend and some other new friends. On Saturday, I went to see the Chesham United football team (soccer) play. This was really fun as it is a real community feel and they have a bar. During the game, there was no drinking and I saw several my little Year 10 cherubs there. After the game came the best, most random part of the weekend…the meat raffle!
After every home game, to raise money for the football club, the local butcher donates a bunch of meat to be raffled off. I had seen a sign for this last Friday when I was at the football club for a comedy show and I had been excited all week about participating! We bought five tickets and were the first number drawn! WOO HOO! We won 5 sausages, a pack of bacon, and 4 disc-shaped slices of black pudding. Black pudding is a very popular and a very British food item. It is not what you would think of when you hear the word, “pudding.” (By the way, I have yet to really understand what pudding means here since sometimes it means desert, sometimes it means a popover like with Yorkshire Pudding, and sometimes it means a meat product.)
Black pudding, if you’ve never heard of it, is sausage made out of blood and oatmeal. Yes, feel free to gag. When I asked my parents if they’d had this, my dad actually said that he just couldn’t eat it which is saying a lot because he eats just about everything. He thinks that eating black pudding is only one step away from being willing to eat pickled sheep brains! This morning, we cooked up a big traditional English breakfast. It included scrambled eggs, baked beans, sausage, bacon (more ham like), and black pudding. Apparently, there is no better taste than baked beans mixed with black pudding. I think I might disagree. The taste wasn’t so bad. Honestly, the flavor was okay, but I couldn’t get over the texture, which was kind of mealy? I’m not quite sure how to actually describe it. I will say that it wasn’t horrible but it is just not something I see myself really every feeling the need to eat again.
Mostly, I just couldn’t get over the fact that I attended, and won meat, at a meat raffle! I just like saying it. So hilarious. I giggled about it all night! So now I am just getting ready for another extremely busy week. Monday night we have “open evening” at school where the school is basically putting together a sales pitch for prospective students. We’ll have to be at school tomorrow until 9 pm but only have a half-day with the kids so that’s nice.
I’m having a really fun time here. I pretty much want it to be the weekend all of the time but alas, that is not possible. But, only 4 more weeks until we have a half-term break for a week. My friend Courtney is coming to visit and I can’t wait to see her and show her around Chesham. Yay for holidays (I’ve had to stop saying vacation!) and weekends!
Sorry for the sparse postings. I am knackered (like my use of English slang) every night and can barely function after school and working out.