I’m completely overwhelmed. I’m living, eating, breathing school. I wake up at 6:00am thinking about school. I get ready for school. I go to school. I come home at 6:00pm and prepare for the next day of school. I go to bed thinking about school, and at night I dream about school. Then I wake up at 6:00am and do it all again.
Treading in Shark-Infested Waters, a.k.a the First Week of School
I’m completely overwhelmed. I’m living, eating, breathing school.
I know that being a teacher is a full-on job. But because this is a start-up school, it feels even more full on than normal. We are expected to do wonders with our classrooms, lessons, and students, but our resources have only been trickling in. We only received printers and paper and other things with which to decorate our classrooms some 48 hours before the first day of school. Our principal only arrived 20 hours before the first day of school. Our display boards and laptops only arrived after our first day of school. We are still waiting on the rest of the ICT resources, as well as our books, curriculum documents, and teaching guides. They may arrive by the end of the month.
T.I.A. This is Africa, they say. And we work on African time.
Somehow, we managed to pull off a first week of school without any horrible accidents. The first day, however, was complete mayhem. I woke up to a torrential flood, was dripping wet after my walk to work, and arrived to a locked classroom with keys misplaced. The room was only open several minutes after I was meant to meet my students downstairs and bring them to the room, which meant I didn’t even get into the classroom until I was with them. The ceiling of the classroom was leaking in three places, the electricity was out, and my room was quite dark. Break and lunchtime were chaotic, as we had been given no instructions on where to bring them, the people preparing lunch had no idea what time to expect students (and were therefore not ready with the food), and there was nowhere dry for the students to play after they had eaten. It was almost comical, though I didn’t have time to laugh. I just wanted to get the kids out of the school as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the parents didn’t seem to know what time to pick up their kids, so we had more than half the children for an extra 90 minutes after the school day!
The rest of the week has mercifully gotten progressively smoother, but I still somehow feel like I’m treading water in a shark-infested ocean, desperately trying to keep my head above water and not get a limb chomped off by a hungry predator. TGIF!
We did manage a decent class photo on the first day. My students are nice and sweet and I think that, once the dust settles (and my Spanish-speaking boy learns a few words of English!) it might be a tolerable year! Don’t know how often I will have time for blog entries – and in any case, they would only be school-related, as I haven’t seen a single thing in Kampala in weeks! October break can’t come too soon!