Tuesday, 29 April 2014

It's Monday, 5.43 am.

Daniela Pesconi-Arthur

Monday, 5.43 am.

           'Great! Fucking great!'
            I look at myself in the mirror, my eyes barely open, but I can still see it. The massive, yellow, disgusting, painful beast. A spot, right below my left nostril.
            I can't believe it. It has to be there, as an affront; an alien to my face, just to tease me, knowing how panicky I already am; how insecure I can bel how my self-esteem lives permanently in a swing, and that it can go down as quick as a wink...
            I has to be there on my first day at school... What's worse... High school! As if the bad belly isn't enough; as if last night's dreams of getting it all wrong haven't scared me enough.
            I don't want to go. I don't want to go. Please, can I just disappear? 
            No, I can't. I'm the substitute English teacher.


          I'm starting at this new school today. My first time as a "proper" high school English teacher. At least I'm going to the same school all week, with the possibility of being there until July. Fingers crossed.
             I've been a teacher for about 15 years. I did most of my teaching in Brazil, in language schools. I still keep in touch with some students from over 10 years ago. It's just brilliant! Especially when I see how much they've grown and what they're doing now (uni, living abroad, married with children). I've taught high school, university, young (very young) children and older people too. 

             Still, the first class with a group is always nerve-racking, but this is the first time I'm doing it in the UK. Yep, a Brazilian teaching English to high school students in the UK. Cheeky? Mmmm... I'd say brave. I've been in the classroom with 46 fourteen-year-olds once. Some of them were really well behaved; most of them weren't. 
             I get to school, sign in and wait to be given directions. About 15 minutes later, I am also given my timetable for the day and a supply teacher manual! Yay! And that's all I'm given. No worries. I can do this, I say to myself. I wanted so much to be here, that I won't let anything upset or stress me. 
              First thing is registration. I'm so happy to see that I'm suddenly surrounded by about 30 tiny people from Year 7. They are so cute, and I'm glad that I'll be seeing them first thing in the morning for the rest of the week... I love being called "Miss"...   :-)
                 Ok, I won't make this too long. What have I got to say after the first day:

              1) Students/teenagers will always be teenagers, no matter what country they live in.
                2) Most of my students so far are very well-behaved. (phew)
                3) In period 3 (the 3rd class) I saw myself in the Hall with 32 noisy teenagers for Drama class (What? Did I sign up for that???) and I didn't know what to do. So, I "improvised" (after all, it's a Drama class) and ended up with groups of students performing a car crashe, a zombie apocalypse, another car crash, a zombie attack to a bus (I guess someone has been watching too much "Walking Dead") and the last group had a girl in crutches who whacked a thief on the head. And then the bell rang to announce break time. I survived.
            4) There was also a student who shouts in the classroom, without warning, making me jump every time.
            5) I also had a teacher assistant in my class for the first time.

            In the end, I guess I just loved all of it... Masoquist? I wouldn't say that. It's hard, especially at the beginning, when you don't know your students and what they need. Actually, they're no even my students! I'm just a supply teacher. But one that's hoping to stay. :)

Daniela Pesconi-Arthur



  1. This was brilliant! It feels like part of a novel! :)