Tag Archives: class

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Most of My) Time

 This post is linked to the weekly photo challenge:Time

 This is where I spend most of my time. My waking time at least. This is my classroom – the ICT room known as Babbage. I am Head of ICT here in a faculty consisting of Business and Economics too. 

 Today I have spent a lot of time in this room, having arrived at 6:30am, courtesy of an early morning swimming lesson for my daughter. It gives me an opportunity to put to bed the Reporting Templates for the forthcoming whole school reports. 

As Assessment Co-ordinator my role is to organize the system, so that colleagues can report on their subjects in Years 7-13 across the school. The spreadsheet system is simple enough to fill in but behind the scenes fiendish calculations process the data into reports. I enjoy working on it and I’m pleased with the result it there are glitches to iron out.

The start of school at 7:55am follows with classes in Years 8, 10 and 11. Currently years 12 and 13 are on exams, so a little more time solving glitches on the reports, during my ‘frees’.

Lunch time -and a heavy downpour means I’m not going any further than the Staff Room, two doors down.

I have an after school ‘club’ with my  year 11’s, aiming to give them greater practice and confidence in their practical skills ahead of their exams. This runs until 4:30pm.  

 The clock runs about 45mins slow!
The kids here are brilliant and so much better behaved than in the UK – my job is enjoyable most of the time and certainly working here in Africa has been an amazing experience.

Over 10 hours after my arrival I’m heading home. 

I’m sure many of you work in darker dingier places for longer hours so no pleas for sympathy just a recognition that  we teachers work longer hours than you might imagine. 😉

P.S I still need to mark those A2 and AS exams tonight – at home until late!

First Day

T + 10

So the time has finally come to do what I came here for; to start my professional career overseas; to actually teach some students some ICT in my classroom. 🙂

As much as INSET days are useful, actually getting down to the job is much more my “cup of tea”.

My timetable is mostly year 10 to 13 with one year 9 class. The day is made up of 7 periods plus a morning and afternoon registration. The day starts with registration at 7:55, I wanted to entailing a 7:15 departure for the 10 min walk to school to get in early enough. Getting up in the dark (sunrise is at about 6:50am) for the first time in months was a challenge, but sunrise is quick here so it is broad daylight by 7am.

I have a year 10 tutor group. Today was a tutor session followed by an Assembly conducted amidst a horrendous downpour reminiscent of my time in Lord Bills. This is supposed to be the dry season so the weather is very unusual at the moment.

Later I met my year 11 class, unfortunately my HDMI laptop doesn’t interface with my classroom projector and two-thirds of the classroom computers weren’t seeing the network hence no logins. After a lot of sorting by the Network Technician we sorted out the logins, but you need to be prepared here – I taught HTML coding and by the time the logins were sorted the we were able to do some coding. The class (of 10) were much better behaved than in the UK, and in our double we got a long way and were experimenting with hexadecimal coding and fonts by the end.

My other lesson of the day was Year 13 a small class (3 students) and again were working well.

Early days and I am sure that more trying times will come.

I ended up leaving earlier than expected due to power cut, which is still ongoing. As I write it’s an hour before sunset – it’s going to be an early night I think 😦

IMG_8600 IMG_8599

Timetable Time!

T Minus 72

Today I have been starting the process of timetabling the ICT Faculty for next year. Having received the basic structure of what needs to be taught when, my role is to allocate staff.
It’s a bit of a puzzle to solve. Some colleagues are part time others teach in other faculties. Classes in different year groups run concurrently and where possible I like to keep continuity for colleagues and pupils alike. I also like colleagues to have their own room- in ICT that is important as our rooms are used by other faculties too. As we are a split site it also makes it easier to have a base on each site.

I always enjoy the challenge of working it all out. As sad as it sounds I get pleasure from the process. It is something I have done ever since the old days as a science teacher, long before I moved into ICT and became a HoF.

Today was stage one and only involved Sixth Form and GCSE Classes, but draft 1 is done. I know it will probably change before long as other factors impose themselves, but these are puzzles to overcome and compromises to make.

This year though I am slightly detached from the process. I, of course will never teach these classes or work within this timetable. Somewhere else in Tanzania, another timetable is being written and classes allocated. It’s a bit weird but exciting also.

I really like receiving my new timetable (even when I have planned it) the hopes and expectations of a new school year.

Unknown names which will soon become faces and personalities. Some challenging, some not, hard workers and slackers; naughty and well behaved; loud and quiet. Even known names can change (for better or worse!) Teaching in itself does not change year on year but the clientele do. I wonder what timetable awaits and what characters lie behind the names to come?