I’m Still Standing, Yeah Yeah Yeah

Okay, so it has been A WEEK. It’s over, thank goodness. I think it went pretty fast too because there wasn’t much preparation to do – because it was revision week etc. In the classes in the centre, we had to basically revise everything we have done up to now. Only problem – the parents came along to OBSERVE. This is quite a nerve-wracking experience. After say, just over 12 weeks in this job (with very little experience before hand) and then I have people OBSERVE the way I’m teaching their own kid, or kids. Let’s just say, it’s not the most pleasant experience, especially if one or two children start playing up and there’s my inexperienced self failing to gain control in front of expectant parents. My credibility gone down the drain…gulp. But I got through it! Woop! Well more or less, I have one more hour to survive with said parents watching me like hawks…

At this present time, I am, as usual, (not good I know…) but quite BEHIND with my work. This is not helped by the fact that I have pupil evaluations to do. Which also, I’ve never done before, until now. This is furthermore not helped by the fact that I barely know these kids. I mean, I teach over 200 a week. And some kids, I see for only half an hour a week. HALF AN HOUR times 12, well that equals 6 hours. So, I’ve seen, for example 75 4/5 year olds for a grand total of around SIX HOURS. Even less, cos of the two weeks holiday I already had. And now what, I’m expected to say how much each one remembers from that 6 hours, and makes notes on how much each participates and behaves? I can barely remember their names after spending half an hour a week with groups of 15 at a time.

I’m gonna have to make badges for the next semesters so that my next evaluations will be a lot easier. Sigh. Gotta learn the hard way.

Although I may be drowning in a pile of yet to be sorted paperwork and the like, I have many things to be thankful for. Number one – CHRISTMAS IS VERY SOON, and more importantly, THE HOLIDAYS! I don’t feel very happy actually that I move around quite a lot during the holidays; it’d be nice to stay here for a week or so to enjoy simply being here or travel a bit in France, and not rushing from place to place with work constantly there in the back of my mind. But at the same time, I know I will love catching up with different family members. And at my Mum’s place where there are less people about, I’ll enjoy that quality time with her and my twintwin, and some downtime to myself.

I just know that those hols will go fast. But I guess, that is life. And some people don’t even have HOLIDAYS! I’m the lucky one here.

Still not 100% health-wise, which doesn’t surprise me in Lilleland. Not got that much of a cold now, but coughing every now and again, and my ears are not right. But I can hear! I just would like to get a doc to check them out… but again, these irritations are not serious ones, so again I have a lot to be joyful about.

I’m going to go swimming methinks, tonight. After I finish my “reglisse menthe”. Have you tried it? You should, it’s very calming! The weather at the moment is quite representative of the north NORTH FRANCE methinks: grey, cold and rainy. But oh well. Feels like home, then, I guess.

Bisous mes amis.

A plus!

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The Stars Shine Brighter

“When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” Psalms 61:2

Ok, Lille, just tell me, WHY are you so cold now? One second you’re all fine and I can walk around in my average little shoes without a hat, and the next second you go all freezing on me. So I’ve got my boots and new winter hat at the ready, and I’d be wearing my gloves and big orange woolly scarf if I had them with me! Thanks Lille for the nice weather, and for giving me YET another cold. Sniffle sniffle.

The coldness isn’t stopping me from binging on the Ben and Jerry ice-cream I am currently indulging in however. Hm.

Just needed some time to myself. Which happens to be me here, blogging. After tomorrow, I have two weeks til the Christmas holidays. I can’t wait! (As usual…) I am so excited to just run back home. It will play out like the scene in The Sound of Music, me running home to The Hills Are Alive!!! Home is so different from being here – it will feel like a real relax, I hope, besides the prep I’ll have to do.

Tomorrow I have one less lesson than usual, because I took the class on Tuesday instead of tomorrow – appaz Father Christmas is visiting the school tomorrow. Ya know, as he does. He drops by for a panad every now and again.

I thought I had planned for tomorrow, but actually although I may have materials ready yes… no good games and activities have been thought of…

This week I have to do pupil evaluations. I am behind with that. A LOT still to do. Actually, as soon as I finish writing this blog, I think I should just spend an hour doing that for one class. Evaluations. Cos I mean, after that class, I have still got quite a few to do.

NEXT week, then, is revision week in the language centre where I work. Plus, parents will be allowed to come visit and observe my teaching their chillydren. GREAT.

Today, one of my lessons went really well. Yay! Well, for my standards I mean. The theme was the body, so I had planned,  for the beginning of the lesson a revision exercise, with a What’s in the bag? activity, using felt eyes, mouths, noses and teeth. Each child took one thing at a time, and then we all said each body piece.

Then, we do the classic musical chair flashcards game. Where they play musical chairs, and on each chair is an image (linked to whatever vocab we are learning). When the music stops, they race to sit on a chair, but also once they are sat down they shout out whatever image/piece of vocabulary which is on that chair. So today, we had mouths, eyes and noses.

Another activity we did, was making a face out of plastic fruit/food. This was “an idea of mine” to some extent – as I kind of stole it from a book where it suggested using real food to make a face. Okay, this has to be the last mouthful of Ben and Jerry’s. Wow, my tum is going to pop!

Anyway, so the kids made faces with plastic fruit and I took some photos on my camera of their “work”. And then they traced around their fruity foody face. After that, they did a worksheet, connecting body vocabulary to the correct image.

It’s funny though, I thought I’d have lots of time left over with that group and planned lots of other activities. But I felt like it ran really well, considering…

I also had younger kids today – it was more difficult to get them to make fruit faces. They wanted to go to the market, and cook pizza. Sigh. There were some, however, who did make faces with the fruit! Lots of kids in this younger group didn’t create their own fruit/food faces, but they looked at my example and aimed to recreate the same. It was interesting to see how different brains and ages work!

Songs for learning body parts? Well, the classic Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. Then there’s a song called 2 Little Hands – this one sticks in your mind! And I also like the song, 1 Little Finger. For the smaller kids!

I’ve eaten too much and I’ve eaten too fast.

Anyway…tonight I need to make sure I know what I’m doing for tomorrow. Joys! Plus the evaluations…so I shall be making myself a nice cup of tea shortly, after washing up my soon-to-be shameful growing pile of dirty dishes.

So that’ll be it for now. I’ll leave you with a few verses which I love because they speak to me in some way :

Habakkuk 3: 17 – 18:

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls yet-I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

I like the little word, ‘yet’. Though there be no herd in the stalls “yet” – suggesting there will be, reminding us, that there is always hope!

Here’s another:

1 Peter 5:10

May the God of all grace, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.

Have a good week. Smile through the dark patches. Because it’s by being in the dark that we see the stars shine brighter.