Rural Prac Ponderings
Below is the discussion of my rural practical which I undertook late last year. This post is so late it is appalling but I just haven’t felt like writing a long post lately.
- I realised how much I missed the bush. I forgot how lovely it was to actually see the stars, to fall asleep without traffic noises, and how beautiful the red dirt and gumtrees are. I also saw kangaroos and emus every day which was awesome.
- I spent lots of time with my grandmother.
- There was a small number of staff. Clermont SS had eleven teachers. Compared to the city schools I have been in this was a much smaller number. It allowed me to know everyone on a more personal level.
- This ties into the above point. The school was small. This allowed us to do whole school activities. Every Friday afternoon the school gathered and teachers nominated themselves to host different activities of their choice (play dough, outdoor games, arts etc.). Kids chose an activity according to what behaviour level they had achieved that week (there was a complex whole school behaviour management system that was based off colours and points). The ones on the highest levels got put into their first choice activities first.
- The teachers were all young. Nearly all the teachers were young graduates who were completing their rural service. They lived together and were all genuinely friends. They also made an effort to include me. They invited me to coffee, drinks and lunches. It was also my 21st birthday while on prac. The teachers decorated the staffroom and bought me a cake which was so thoughtful.
- I had THE most amazing mentor teacher. She had never had a prac student before but you would never know. She was so organised and supportive. She allowed me to explore lesson ideas and truly treated me as an equal. I would give anything to complete my internship in her classroom but it just isn’t possible.
- Small town = less OHS bullshit. I cannot go into details but there wasn’t the panic that is so common in city schools. Bus only fits 15 kids and there is 20? eh. They will fit. There was just a much more relaxed feeling.
- I hated my classroom. It was a large room with one class up one end and another up the other. I did get used to it, but at first I found it daunting to teach knowing another teacher was watching me and a whole other class could hear what I was saying. Especially when I was doing a social activity which required a little noise and they were doing quiet work. The school is getting dividers built in soon though.
- I was lonely. Im sure this wouldn’t be the case if I actually worked in the community and could make friends but, just living with my nana and being so busy made me feel very isolated.
- There were some cliques. I am guessing that happens when people live/work together. House mates get upset at each other and some bitching goes on etc. etc. I just stayed out of it and didn’t participate in gossip. I grew up in a small town - I know the rules.
- I HATED seeing the time consuming and irritating teaching pushes from higher authorities. WALT & WILF at the beginning of every lesson? sure. Five minute slideshows twice a day which were pretty much verbal repetition of facts? why not. This was not specific to Clermont. It is the higher-ups making the decisions so I cannot say it was a negative for the school, more like the schooling system.
I have plenty of photos I will be uploading but Tumblr is not cooperating at the moment.