Thursday, February 7, 2008

Week 2 of the School with No School

Well, I'm approaching my second week of working out of the Parish Hall, which is where I've been placed, along with 5 or so other teachers and 3 classes worth of Grade 1's and 2's, since the school building we'd normally be during the day was declared unfit for, well, breathing.

My normal job(s) of teaching ESL and tutoring reading have been replaced with basically helping out a regular classroom teacher keep their class going, which isn't as easy without as many resources and with a less than ideal set up (if you've ever heard the noise a classroom full of elementary school kids can make, multiply it by 3 to get an idea of the audio environment I work in these days). Luckily, we told the kids we have invisible walls... and enough of them believe us to keep things relatively under control. Actually, the kids have been great about the upheaval in their lives. Plus, last Friday, we got to go sledding on a big hill out past the new arena, and this morning we went skating (not such bad things to get paid for doing - go teaching!).

Occasionally, we have to pack up our makeshift classrooms at the end of the school day to make room for other community events happening at the hall. Right after the school closed down, before we turned the hall into a triple-classroom, the teaching staff were meeting - a meeting that ended early when a coffin was pushed into the room for an afternoon funeral. I left before they opened the coffin, but a few squeamish teachers told me their story of hightailing it out of there pretty quickly when they did. So, hopefully there'll be no mid-week funerals while the kids are still around.

The school is being cleaned pretty thoroughly right now, with all of the rooms being emptied and scrubbed before everything, lastly humans, are moved back in. This should all be done by March.

One of the best things about work lately has been running into my old ESL students at the bus or wherever... and they're just sweetness and light, and actually seem to miss me. Maybe when I'm back in their regular classrooms, they'll all do their work, and treat me with respect, and things will be way better!

I'd better not hold my breath, though.

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