How’re You Doing?

I’m at the end of my first week teaching at Summer School, and though I am really tired, it has been a great week. I have had a fabulous time! I am teaching in the Kids’ department, with my colleagues David (Head of Dept), Hawa (senior teacher) and Beata .

I have the upper level – five children, four girls and one boy; two Polish, two Russian and one Ukrainian and they have been delightful. I have, of course, had to put on a stern face from time to time, but it has been a breeze, to be honest. While the other teachers in other departments have been running round like headless chickens (not their fault, but just the way it works) we were able to be cooler and calmer and have time to set up our classrooms and prepare for the week ahead.

On Monday we had introductory lessons, and my class did some work on “The Iron Man” by Ted Hughes, looking at similes.

We started our project (making a big class picture of the rainforest, as a link to one of our trips out) and had a good time.


On Tuesday, after writing our diary, we planned a picture that we wanted to paint on a plate, as we were going to a Ceramic studio in the afternoon. I was impressed by the young Ukrainian girl, who wanted to paint the Ukrainian flag and the words of the National Anthem. As we are learning English, I insisted that we had them in English: Ukraine has not yet died,
The glory and the freedom! However, when we arrived, she was swayed from her patriotism, and painted hearts and the words “I love my family” – which is just as good!! The trip was great fun, especially as Lovely David said all the teachers and Activity Organisers* could paint a plate too. So we did!

Wednesday saw us back in class all day – diary writing and some more work on colour similes, using a story from Aladdin, followed by making chocolate truffles and a paper bag to put them in. The day finished with more rainforest making – this time butterflies, and flowers. Some lovely lilies were created for the tissue paper lake.

On Thursday, we had another trip planned, out to the Living Rainforest which was a great place to go with the Kids. In the morning we wrote diaries, as usual, and we looked at a poem called “Deep in the Rainforest” which talked about using the 5 senses. I wanted the Kids to do that while we were out. The visit was a great success. As Hawa and I sat, drinking a coffee and watching the kids playing in the Adventure Playground after going round the Rainforest “We are getting paid for this…”


Finally Friday involved diary and test, writing our Rainforest Senses poem, and preparing for our project presentation. We drew and coloured animals, while listening to songs chosen by the children – an eclectic mix of Polish hip-hop, Katy Perry, and Elbow (that last one was my choice!) And our Rainforest picture was the winner of the Project Prize! I have left my USB key in my room so I can’t post a picture of it now, but I will do later.

Today being Saturday, teachers don’t have to work. I’m chilling with a book, blogging and also thinking about next week’s work. I think we will look at past simple questions and irregular verbs. We have 4 Chinese students joining us, so my group will maybe get a little larger, but that’s okay. As long as they’re keen!! I am thinking about either swimming or going for a walk this afternoon – I am missing my weekly physio massages on my bad back and shoulders and need to do some form of exercise. And the food here is SO good! I am sure I will put on pounds… Yesterday’s Moroccan spicy lamb was delicious! We get fed a cooked breakfast and a full lunch and a full dinner as well…I am trying to restrict myself to soup and salad for one of those meals, but it is so easy to get tempted into “just a small helping” of whatever else is on offer!!

SO: thank you to those who have sent me messages of support and assurance of prayers. They seem to be paying off, thank you God! I look forward to another great week, with visits to Bucklebury Farm Park, an open top bus trip round London and an outing to 4-Kingdoms Park. Way-hay!!

* The Activity Organisers do a phenomenal job – ours look after the children and keep them amused and clean and in bed and out of bed and…and… all the time that they are not in class. Our four are brilliant! They are only young, but work as a great team and are loved by the Kids. So well done to Aileen, Stephen, Caroline and Laura.