Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The last few days...

As the end of the NZ school year drew to a close this week, I cherished my final moments in the schools. And because each moment is such a fun experience, I want to share it with people who can identify what I am doing, and how I'm doing it.

Tuesday 12 December:
Receive the following text (yes, text, on my cell phone). 'W - can you work for Mareta tomorrow? -D' (where W = Wendy, Mareta = Y1 teacher at Richmond Road, and D = Donal, the deputy principal here). I replied that I would be glad to. This is how Donal and I communicate for EVERY relief job I do. Via text message.

Wednesday 13 December:
Show up at Richmond Road early (like I always do). While resting in the lounge before starting, I speak with Di, the teacher who will be in the room next to me, and I casually say, 'Di! Wanna watch a movie this afternoon?' Di agrees, and it's a plan. Except, just then, Mareta shows up. And I'm supposed to be Mareta. (Flashback to one week earlier when Donal asked me to relieve for Mareta and when I showed up, Mareta was already here). Deja-vu. Fortunately, though, Di isn't feeling well and opts to go home so that I can stay. But before she leaves, she hands me two worksheets to fill the first and second blocks. Cool. A little later I casually say to Mareta that I had mentioned to Di about watching a movie in the afternoon, and Mareta replied (no joke) 'Yeah! Of course! We watch movies every afternoon for the last two weeks of school.' I find out that they have watched The Lion King and The Sound of Music, as well as many Warner Brothers cartoon DVDs. ('Copyright law? What's a copyright law?)

Thursday 14 December:
Di is keen knowing that I need some extra cash, and was willing to stay home sick an extra day, so I was her again. There was supposed to be an assembly for the first block and then the students and I were to play Chritsmas bingo for the second block, followed by a movie (shocker) in the afternoon. (I rented the Grinch). But instead, the assembly took 3 hours instead of 1.5. It was the Year 6 graduation, and all four ropu (sections), French, Maori, Samoan, and Mainstream had dances and songs planned. Luckily, the assembly was broken up in the middle by morning tea, but as you can imagine, the kids (and I) were really bored after the first hour of the first block. So, the assembly was rough, trying to keep kids seated and quiet, and I being one of the only teachers trying to do so (shocker).
To make the morning even, err... more interesting, the third ropu of year 6 students had one student who was so emotional about graduation that she started crying. Not to be overdone, the next student cried, and then every student afterward. The effect was contagious, and within 5 minutes most of the school was in tears. It was dramatic and very over the top, and annoying after about 5 minutes. So, when I got all of my kids back to the room, 63% of them were crying. For no reason. Arrgh.
We never got to Christmas bingo, but we sure as heck watched The Grinch!

Wednesday 20 December:
I head to school on this morning because it's was last day of term. I haven't relieved at all this week, with it being the last three days, but I wanted to thank the kiddos for all of the learning they have allowed me to do while teaching them. Plus, I need to pick up The Grinch to return to the video store. When I arrive, my ropu of kiddos are in an assembly. I didn't realize that it was a half-day, and so coming at 12 I missed my opportunity to speak to the kids all together, as they left immediately after the assembly. I still got plenty of hugs, though, which was nice. I was also able to say goodbye to my favorite teaching friends, who I'll likely see again in February. Plus, the principal, who recently informally asked me to stay around and teach full-time next year, offered me a part-time position for as many months as I want (as she knows I have no intention of staying for a year) in February if I'm still around.

But the shocker was the presents that the parents brought the kids. It was almost seemingly mandatory to bring the teacher something. And the number one gift? Bottles and bottles and bottles of wine. Which was promptly opened once the kids were gone. Maybe even a bit before...

It's vacation time!

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