I’m not enjoying my ride this morning. The weather is being such an unfriendly, cruel, chilly mess. Hey weather, it’s yours truly NSS teacher baako p3… I am trying to put some thoughts together for the classroom management business ahead but the weather won’t let me. No moisture, just wisps of sharp crisp air beating against my skin. Ouch, it hurts!
Already, I am having water issues that have ridden me of my appetite since yesterday. You should guess the boarding house bathing tips I had to employ before getting unto a bike this morning. The distance to school even seems farther than usual! Awwwww, awurade (oh Lord)!
But you see, despite all my babbling, I do not have the luxury to yield to how I feel now. I have to brace myself instead, for the day’s unveilings. That is what a teacher does. You can’t really tell how the day will be like in the classroom; yet, you should always show up, ready for them. Trust me, you will need everything in you to cope with whatever situations awaits you in the classroom.
From the introduction of the lesson to assessment exercises; anything in this value chain is subject to change. Sometimes, all it takes is a question or just a look from a pupil, and I realize how far-fetched my explanations are. Then my whole solid teaching plan comes tumbling down before my eyes. So I bend down, pick up the pieces and rebuild; I find another way to drive the message home more effectively, right there on my feet.
THINGS I DO AS AN NSS TEACHER
I deal with parents too, well mostly mothers. They show up in class to ask for the services of their wards at home. Mostly to run some errand on the farm or take care of a younger sibling while they go to work.
Some budge in and speak to their children without acknowledging me, momentarily putting the lesson on hold.
I cannot ignore them (parents) and still go ahead to teach, hoping that they will do the right thing. I simply let them have their way; at least to release the pause button so we can continue learning. So they stand there and draws the kids’ attention to themselves. They all become alert, to virtually catch every word that will fall from the lips of these mothers; as though they have neither seen nor heard that language before. Then the pupils follow them out to attend to whatever it is (missing the lesson).
There is nothing like a fixed system here in these classrooms; it has to be flexible to accommodate all these happenings, otherwise, I will not have the best of my pupils.
What do you do about the child who has to go home to eat after the first lesson (one clear hour before break time)? Or the one who has special needs and will have to be given more time other than the usual lesson period to understand the lesson? These situations cannot be ignored.
A lot of discretion is thus required in the classroom; things can’t be done in a strict sense. Even the weather condition can disrupt a day’s plans.
There was this day the primary department closed at 11:30 am.
The day had started off normally in class when we saw the clouds turn dark. Then a strong wind followed, with sand at its heels, spraying it everywhere. I was marking and wiping the sand as it quickly settled on the pages. Before I knew it, I could see the pages no more. My whole body was covered with sand and my eyes could not focus. A lot of sand will go right in if I tried.
In a matter of minutes, the whole class was a mess; we were in a sandy mist. One could not sit nor stand, we just didn’t know what to do. My afro turned into a brown mass; my students looked like a bunch of grannies and grandpas from a drama scene. Should have seen their brows and eyelashes. You know, like how they do it in the Kumawood movies.
So we were made to move to the JHS block where there are windows to keep the sand rain away. We later dispersed them to their various homes for safety. That was a half day gone. And somehow, the lessons for that day had to be taught before the week finally ended.
Mary had a little lamb…
Even now as I type, I am looking into the faces of some younger siblings of my pupils. Okay, before your eyebrows arch, this is also another thing I deal with every day. We usually have them (our younger guests) join us until the nursery department opens in the mornings. They will be here during the last lesson period too (to wait for their siblings so they go home).
So there is the crying, snickering, and the babysitting in class while you teach. How do pupils focus at this time as these young ones keep complaining of hunger? Well, you keep a blind eye and continue. Only perhaps you release those ones a few minutes before the bell goes.
There are also the toddlers who saunter in from time to time during the day from the neighbouring houses.
Related: Bring Back Our Hand Sanitizers
So yeah, here is the classroom for you. My headmistress is right; the work is ‘classroom management’ not only teaching. Well then, I guess that equips me with some skills by the time I am done serving.
And here’s to you dear weather: please come around. As of now, I am probably the last person you want to treat this way; seeing all the classroom duties I must attend to. I have to juggle class work and social lifestyles, and that’s too much on my hands already.
Do not add up. PLEASE be nice, just like in time past. Thank you.
#NSS2018 #NSPInsideShaiOsudokuDistrict #ACNSPstellsnotales
Classroom Management Story By Margaret Blankson
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