In English we have a popular saying, ‘being thrown in the deep-end‘, this means that you were asked (or made!) to do something that you have not been prepared or trained to do. It is based on the feeling of being in the deep-end of a swimming pool without knowing how to swim. Often the coveted transferable skills the English Education system pursue are supposed prepare you for these situations. This week I (sort of) found myself in said situation.
One of the teachers of a class I work in regularly was absent due to sickness. Thankfully the school uses team teaching with a year group of 40 split into two classes of 20, so the introductions to lessons are typically done all together. The classes then break off into separate groups to work more specifically to their targets. The content was taught by the trained teacher, then we split off into classes and a trained learning support teacher and I oversaw the work and gave smaller group support.I had a few free periods so I acted as an extra body.
That is until it came to the afternoon, when the absent teacher’s class were due to have P.E. Dressed in heeled sandals and a maxi skirt, I was unprepared to teach P.E. So I took the other class whilst their teacher took ‘mine’. Hello deep end. Now I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about the deep end. I do not see it as a bad thing, or something I am not prepared for, I have the transferable skills after all. But this was the first time I have been put in the deep end when it matters so much. Not particularly to that specific lesson: I was not teaching something tricky or superbly important to the children’s future and it was something they would cover again. But it was very important to me, because one day, I hope to become a teacher, and like, y’know a really really good one. Not only this but, I am now of an age when plenty of my friends or people my age are becoming teachers. They do the things that really truly make a difference to life and to little people…
It was both a blessing and an annoyance that I had a very limited time to deliver the lesson, because there was less time for something to go wrong but on the other hand a strict time constraint. Therefore, I did away with the theory, and just did the practical: making paper cup telephones! We were perhaps a bit late packing away, but they all managed to leave relatively in time.
I think in the situation, I coped with the deep end well and it was a fantastic experience and confirms to me that someday I would love to be a teacher.
What about you guys? When were you thrown in the deep end? And how did it go?