19. October 2012
Have I told you yet how slow and relaxed my introduction to teaching has been? My first month in Greifswald looked like this:
Week One: the students are in England on a field trip, so I don’t have any work. Instead, I spend my time sorting out the logistical tasks related to moving to another country, and adjusting to living in Greifswald.
Week Two: I am invited to 14 different classes by 7 different teachers. At each class, I introduce myself, answer questions about myself, and then sit in the back, observing. Some teachers want me to walk around the room, helping with grammar when they are writing an exercise, but mostly, I just observe.
Week Three: Fall break! No school. I go to Lübeck, and meet up with Laura. It rains the entire time we are there, but just a light drizzle, so that is okay. It is very beautiful, still, and we visit lots of churches and museums.
Week Four: On Monday and Tuesday, I meet some more new classes. I help out in the classroom, but I am not expected to present any material to them. Also, some classes are taking tests, so I don’t even need to go to them. On Wednesday, I travel with the 11th graders to the Immigration Museum in Hamburg. Thursday morning, just an introduction to a new class. My 2nd class is taking a test, so I don’t bother going. The teacher of the 3rd class is attending a teachers’ conference. So we watch “Gattaca” and I hand out a sheet of paper with questions about the film for them to answer.
And then there was this week. Oh, god, there was this week. I am so glad I only work Monday-Thursday, because I think a fifth consecutive day would have killed me.
I now have a set schedule, where I assist in 12 different classes, for one period each. One 6th grade, two 7th grades, three 8th grades, one 9th grade, one 10th grade, one 11th grade, and three 12th grades. This week, I had to prepare a separate lesson for each and every class. And, since I was sick last weekend, I didn’t do much lesson preparation over the weekend. Instead, I put together each lesson the night before, which is not the best way to do it. I am also very inefficient at it, since I really don’t have any experience as a teacher, until now! So it took ages, and I slept 5 hours a night, 4 nights in a row (giving me flashbacks of the year of O. Chem.). For some of the classes, I just presented for 15-20 minutes on some topic, but in three classes, I taught for the entire period, and the teacher just sat in the back and pretended to not be there. I’m not sure how much time, on average, it takes me to prepare a lesson, but I do know I spent almost 10 hours putting 3 lessons together, Tuesday afternoon/evening/night. Ugh. I am really eager to get better at this! Übung macht der Meister, right?