Tuesday, 30 March 2010

There's a First for Everything

Something funny happened to me today.

I teach chilren from 9 to 14 years of age. They go from one classoom to another as their timetable tells them. I don't really look at my timetable a lot. It is full and I know which classes I have and it doesn't really bother me when I have them. Things often change, you see, because of some extra events or some teachers missing due to ilness - either their own or of their kids at home.

Anyway, I took a glimpse at the timetable in the staff room after the second lesson today and noticed something weird: I was supposed to teach not one class, but two, in the third lesson.

I tried to find our pincipal assistant, but she was not available. I tried to think of something, but there wasn't enough time. Of course it was an error and I should have seen it earlier, but I hadn't even looked at the timetable, as I mentioned above.

Little choice did I have. I saw no solution to the problem, so I went upstairs, opened the door to the eighth-graders, opened the next door to our 5-th graders and taught them all.

I gave the older ones a text and a task. A few instructions and I left for a while.
We discussed animals with the younger ones. Some textbook exercises, workbook exercises, oral exercises and a written text to put together. Not a long one: they had to write 4 sentences each to describe an animal and we tried to guess which animal it was.

I went here and there and everyone did everything. My only concern really was that it was against regulations - the children shouldn't be left alone... Well, what can you do.

The lesson went by, I met the principal assistant, she showed me how I could have easily switched classes with another teacher (but nobody saw it then), but everything was fine.

In the end there was another result of this kinda funny situation: For the next lesson I didn't have class - I had a free lesson, which I never do. I relaxed, had a coffee and gathered some energy for the two lessons that followed.


  1. Everyone did everything? That's probably the most surprising thing. :P

  2. Well of course the eighth-graders found a way around it, but they didn't really avoid doing what they were told to do. And it's their homework to finish wha they didn't fnish at school.

    I must admit it would be more difficult to do it this way with any other grous. For such an error these two were really ideal.

  3. Teaching two classes at once is brilliant. Maybe you should be employed to teach all classes at once. You just need to learn to self-replicate.

  4. Nope, I wouldn't go there. One of me is enough. But I would be willing to do two lessons at the same time as I did today from time to time. Now that I'm thinking - the older ones were probably behaving better than usually... what if I AM THE BAD INFLUENCE there ? Hmmmm...

  5. Aw man, I would have been so stressed out. It sounds like you did a great job though, teaching on the fly.

  6. It was my fault anyway (ort of). And as I said, they really are two very nice groups.

  7. Can you imagine teaching in a one-room schoolhouse like the pioneers...all grades at once...

  8. It must have been hard. On the other hand, the children were different. But again, not too different.

  9. I think you must be a very skilled teacher to keep everyone calm and happily productive when these unexpected situations arise - good for you!

  10. Naaah, it was nothing... :))