I returned to work on the last Thursday of August after a restful vacation. Returning to school is like childbirth - over the vacation, I forget the havoc that Port-of-Spain wreaks on my skin, I forget the almost constant sore throats from projecting my voice, I forget the unbearable heat in that OSHA-violating science building. It all came back last week when classes started on Monday.
Okay, that is a lie. I remembered the parents I never want to make any contact with whatsoever ever again. Just thinking about one in particular makes me testy.
This year I have two 3rd form (8th grade) classes ON THE SAME DAY. The programme that generates our timetables obviously hates me. That is the just-hit-puberty age when the boys are most restless. Luckily, the classes I got this year only have 1 or 2 slackers each, which I can deal with. I'm a don't-cross-me teacher and I know I come off as being a bitch, but as long as the boys pass my assignments and ace their external examinations, I could care less what they think.
Most of my form 4 students seem capable. I hope they used the weekend to study everything I reminded them that they forgot over the vacation. I'm hoping they don't turn out like my form 5 students who STILL don't study! They have O'Levels in May and they have a lot of work to do in class and on their own. I really hope they get their acts together.
I also have a whopping 31 students in my lower 6th Chemistry class which is really ridiculous since we are only equipped to handle 25. I queried it with the people in charge of accepting students and I was told that I have to make it work. Oh, the joys of teaching. I have a lower 6th form class as well, which I like so far.
My upper 6th class is good for the most part. Most of them are working consistently. I already ran one lab and one boy chose to skip it. If he thinks he can submit a report for grading on something he hasn't done, he is mistaken.
My first postgraduate course started this past week as well. It has a Wednesday to Wednesday schedule and I'm still reading for it.
All in all, the first week of school did not suck. It wasn't great, but it could have been so much worse.