Two Weeks after the “Phone call which changed everything”

They say life has its twists, turns, and setbacks; and it can certainly throw up a few surprises.

The last two weeks have been one wild ride, as I’ve embarked on my first full-time contract teaching position for the duration of Term 1, 2011.

100_4759Michael Graffin (2010)

An “Interesting” Start

To the lady who left a comment on my last post, saying that she was “praying for a phone call” like mine; may I suggest you fervently pray that it doesn’t come on the first day of school!

Blissfully preparing for another year of relief (substitute) teaching, I received my first contract teaching appointment at 8.55AM on Day 1, Term 1 ….          I literally threw my laptop and relief supplies into my bag, and arrived less than 1 1/2 hours later … without lunch!

I’d never dreamt that this experience would define my entry into full-time teaching, and I’m extremely grateful to my mentor and Admin for their ongoing support over these challenging few weeks. And let us not forget those wonderful canteen ladies who fed the hungry, shell-shocked teacher on his first day!

First Impressions

I’m working at a small metropolitan school in the Fremantle district, with around 260 students (K-7). Having become accustomed to relief teaching in schools with 600 – 800 students, my new school’s small student population came as somewhat of a shock. It still feels strange doing Lunch duty on the Oval – supervising a “mere” 40 students!

As I transition into a new specialist/support teaching role, I’m looking forward to two months to live, teach, learn and reflect. I’m been welcomed into a supportive school community, and I’m under the guidance of an honest and very experienced mentor. I have no idea what my future holds, but I believe this particular situation is a once in-a-lifetime opportunity – and I’ll be making the most of it.

The Future of A Relief Teacher’s Journey

A Relief Teacher’s Journey is here to stay. I’ve decided not to change the name of my blog or start a new one, as I’m comfortable with its focus, direction, and themes.

For the time being, I’ll complete the “Kick Start Your Blogging Challenge”, and return to my blogging reflections on my 2010 teaching experiences; with a particular emphasis on my work teaching Sport, Science, Health, and Art in Term 4 last year.

I’m going to need some time to put my recent and ongoing experiences into perspective, and I’ll reflect and blog about them in due course.

Something Different!

Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be attending the departure of the Queen Mary II from Fremantle, Western Australia. To celebrate her return, I’ve decided to publish some of my photos from her maiden visit last year – enjoy!

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How One Phone Call Can Change Everything

As of 9AM this morning, on the first day of school, I became a classroom teacher for the very first time.

While sitting there watching this mornings #edchat, and contemplating the QLD cyclone, I received a phone call from the Department of Education – and began a new phase in my professional journey.

I’ve been preparing for this day for over two years – developing my pedagogical and ICT skills, learning how to plan effective literacy and numeracy curriculum programmes, and contemplating what I’d do in my first days and weeks of school. Now, to my utter astonishment, I have been given the opportunity to actually apply my professional learning and skills in my own classroom!

To be honest, I’m really excited! I have an incredibly supportive Principal and Admin team, and was really welcomed into the school community. I know I have a lot to learn. I know that the coming months are going to be stressful, but they will be a positive and incredibly exciting learning experience.

Yes, I’m a second year graduate teacher, but I’m not afraid to ask for help. I know that I won’t be travelling on this journey alone – I have a supportive school community, and an incredibly diverse Personal Learning Network.

Dear PLN: consider yourself on notice!

As I embark on a significant new chapter of my journey, I’m going to need your continued help, encouragement, and support. When I’ve asked for help in the past, you’ve been there. I’ve been immensely grateful, and I know you’ll be there when I need your help. Thankyou

I will continue to share my experiences through A Relief Teacher’s Journey over the coming year. I’m looking forward to being a teacher and learner through 2011 and beyond; and I look forward to a long-term and meaningful engagement with my Personal Learning Network.