I felt badly deserting my basketball team in mid season but working out schedules made it difficult to do otherwise. I missed their last couple of games but they continued on with the PE teacher and help from the grade seven girls. One of my true surprises in life has been discovering that I really enjoy coaching teams. I am not particularly athletic and have never even ever really played basketball. When I started teaching at my previous school I said I would help the girls' soccer coach with her team. As an adult I had played one summer on a women's team. It actually was an experience I quite enjoyed. We even won a trophy (I assure you not due to my brilliant playing). Anyway Bonnie encouraged me to help and then I helped with basketball and soon I actually would coach my own teams. Now I often borrowed grade seven boys to help demonstrate various skills and being a large school we sometimes had some quite talented players and did fairly well. But more importantly girls who often didn't get to participate in community teams were able to have a good time and learn some skills.
It's always also most fun to teach kids what they are most motivated to learn. And you get to see kids in a totally different context. I often enjoyed being able to cheer on one of my problematic boys as he played well in a game.
I returned late Wednesday night. When I woke up Thursday morning I had two choices-to go to school to at least work with the grade ones until recess or start in on unpacking, doing laundry and cleaning up my house. I decided to go to school and walked in on the first graders writing a letter to me in response ot the postcard I had sent from St Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Of course the hyper boys were up giving me hugs as soon as they realized I had arrived.
I planned to leave after recess but I was there until lunch time because this is a class that can easily keep two adults very busy. One little boy was upset over something that had happened at recess and two peer helpers came in with him to explain to his teacher. Shin Mei told me how well the junior girls had done (despite losing their last two games) and how they had helped coach them.
Can you tell why I love to go to my old school?
I really wish the government and public would appreciate the hard work that teachers do! Many teachers have just finished report cards which used to take me more than two weekends to complete (try writing report cards after teaching all day). I also don't miss having to plan lessons when I was sick and going to many meetings nor the helpless feeling of maybe going on strike to try to get a decent contract with a government that doesn't show any real appreciation of your work or has even been judged in court to not honour a past contract. Sigh...