I’ve had this idealized image of small countryside schools and how I’d love to work in one instead of big city schools. I went to a big city school myself as a kid and so far have worked in schools with 200+ students. So I’ve been dreaming about this rural countryside community where we’d ski in the winter time and build gardens during the spring. Mind you, it’s my dream scenario, and probably not very close to reality.
Anyways, I got a glimpse of a life in a small school when I was substituting in a school with just 40 students: 20 1st graders and 20 2nd graders. Two teachers, a lunch lady and occassional teacher’s assistant… First of all, I was alone in the school with my class for some parts of the day. I wasn’t too comfortable with that, you know, what if something happens, what if someone gets hurt, what if there’s a fire, what if… And we’ve been told so many times during our teachers’ training that always get another adult present if you have “a situation” in your classroom. Kids are kids. Make you sure you got yourself covered, legally I mean. I don’t mean to be grim but a bunch of kids I’ve never met. Yeah.. Anything can happen.
I found myself missing my colleagues too! As there were only two teachers we were basically either teaching or supervising the break. It was cool that I didn’t get my coffee breaks because I hardly had time for bathroom breaks either! And oh boy, the kids eating lunch in the classroom instead of cafeteria..
Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT complaining, although it might sound that I am. I’m just… venting… It seems that big schools have their good points too. And the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Overall it was pretty intense experience. I felt that I actually had to really work for that paycheck!! Sometimes the school days go so smoothly and time seems to fly, and other days it feels like whatever they’re paying you is just not enough 😉