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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Still no timetable for me (the co-ordinator is still sick, and apparently won't be back till next week), so I still don't know exactly what I'll be doing long-term.

For today, I worked in a Year 7 (sixth grade, standard four) class, helping a girl who has dyspraxia and some emotional problems. That part was no problem, she was sweet and tried really hard. But oh my God, I am absolutely horrified by how academically weak the rest of the kids in that class are. Admittedly they are the bottom set (the schools here stream the children according to academic ability; much, much more on that practice later ....) so they are the weakest students there, but good grief, their spelling words are the same - literally the same - as the ones that Sophie got in her second week of school in Year 4. And those were way to easy for her. The class is small - just 12 children, so you'd think that with three adults in the class (two of the kids in there have full-time assistants) they'd be a breeze to manage. But some of the teachers really struggle.

It was interesting to see the different teachers in action as I moved from class to class with my student today. It gives one a whole new perspective, sitting in one someone else's classes. It's painfully obvious when a teacher is under-prepared, or bored with their subject matter, or when they are enthusiastic about the subject but incompetent at conveying that enthusiasm to the class. Happily, it's equally obvious when they like what they are doing and are good at it.

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