Student Teaching in London

The Sixth Week

Monday, December 7

Today was the final formal observation.

My legs were sore that morning (probably from all the dancing on Saturday night), so I took the tube to Arsenal.

First thing in the morning, I went to Class 2. I heard a couple of readers there, Michelle and Georgina.

Then I spent most of the rest of the day in Class 6. I listened to many of them read, and helped some with their diaries.

For lunch we had mutton goulash (leftovers?) and pudding (or what we would call "cake").

In the afternoon, there was "Wizard of Oz" rehearsal. I helped the kids getting their costumes on and off.

The last thing today was telling Class 2 the fairy tale "Prince Cherry" then asking them questions about it.

The observations took place in both Class 6, listening to them read, and in Class 2, telling the fairy tale. I got a picture taken with the Supervisor.

I got two Christmas cards: from Nicola and from Michelle.

I called and confirmed the plane reservations that afternoon from Kent House. That went through without a hitch.

I got another $40 of Traveler's Checks changed. I also bought my last travelcard, for just a week, for £6.

This afternoon was the big sung Tridentine Mass at Corpus Christi, which I went to from 5:45 to 6:50.

I made it back just in time for the last episode of "Dragonfire" on Dr. Who, the episode in which Melanie leaves and Ace joins the Doctor as his new companion.

I called home right after Dr. Who. I wanted to let Beth know about the new companion, so she'd be one of the very first people in America to know about the Doctor's newest companion!

I finished writing up my unit, ready to go to the Lock Haven for grading.

Last thing that day I went across the street and picked up the latest set of pictures, for £1.99.

Tuesday, Dec.8

Today I spent very little time in Class 2. I got a card from Georgina that day. I also gave my Cherry Mansion story to Jessica to read and pass on.

I spent a little time in Class 6, writing out sums for them to solve.

Most of the day I was in Class 7, helping them with their diaries.

Their teacher, Pauline Buchanon, was going to be leaving to go back home to New Zealand, and so after Christmas would no longer be Class 7's teacher. During the last week, her replacement, Heather, came in to work with the children. She was quite different, extremely quiet. She seemed nice, though.

There was one last dress rehearsal of the Wizard of Oz that day, in the Hall. Once again, I was helping them with their costumes, in Class 7 this time. The troublemaker of Class 7 was making fun of Matthew's pants (i.e. underpants). It took a bit of yelling at him to put a stop to that.

That day I brought a tape recorder with me, and taped the whole play.

I found out that the girl in Class 6 Fezile is Turkish, and really doesn't know English perfectly, which surprised me. I also found out that Selwa is half Arabian and half English.

Lunch that day was beef pie and apple crumb.

That afternoon back at Kent House, I watched "Emu's Wide World" again. Ken Dodd (whom I had just recently seen on Dr. Who) was the guest that day. He kept calling Emu a "goose" and getting attacked by Emu for calling him that.

There was a Christmas song sung by Ken Dodd I had heard while I was there in England. I wanted very much to get it; I searched for it in every record store I could find. But alas I never did find it.

I finished all the written work for Lock Haven this afternoon.

Then I went to Mass at Corpus Christi, just a regular English Mass. It was a different priest.

I bought some humbugs for 45p. That was one of my goals for England, to find out what the kind of candy was that Penfold, Danger Mouse's friend, liked to eat. It was a hard candy with stripes of soft carmel.

At the Late Night Shop I got some bread, Gloucester cheese, quiche, fruit biscuits (cookies), prawn coleslaw, and some sort of thing shaped like an egg that I had been seeing around and wondering what it was like; it all came to about £4.

I took the final roll of film to get developed, and got what I thought would be one last 12-exposure roll.

Wednesday, Dec.9

This was the big day of Class 6 & 7's Wizard of Oz play, in the morning for the rest of the school, in the afternoon for the parents.

Early in the morning, there was a very thin layer of snow over everything!

My big task for the play was to keep the kids calm before the play.

A lot of the time that day the star of the play, Natalie, sat on my lap, which was the only time she did that. I guess she felt a little nervous about the play, since she did have the biggest part.

Philippe insisted that I rub his temple, to help him feel more relaxed getting ready for the play, even though he had only a very minor part (a crow).

I read them stories (such as "Where's Spot") while Natalie was on my lap.

Early that morning, I told the kids about tornados, which they didn't really know anything about. I also brought in my pictures from home, and let them pass them around and look at my pictures of Malvern.

My biggest job was getting Philippe into his costume. I accidentally told him to get his "pants" off, but quickly corrected my mistake and used the proper English word "trousers"! I finally got him to get moving by saying, "What would your mother do if we say you were bad?" Saying that did the trick.

There was also a problem with Joshua (the Wizard). He would not wear the green wig and make-up! In the middle of taking off his shirt, he kept it over his head, and was crying, and wouldn't say why he was crying or refusing to wear the wig or make-up. Finally it occurred to me: he was afraid of being like a girl, wearing make-up and a wig! I finally convinced him that he wouldn't be being like a girl, because actors always wear make-up, and it was acting make-up and not girls' make-up. Then he was willing to wear the make-up and wig.

My one other job was making the decorations for the Wizard's chair, with fancy green ribbons, out in the hall. It came out rather well I think.

The play went very well. Natalie and Joshua were perfect as Dorothy and the Wizard. The make-up for the Wicked Witch was amazing, really hideous, the best make-up in the show.

Selwa added an unintentional bit of humor to the show in her part as Glinda. In the morning performance, she had trouble finding the ruby slippers to give to Dorothy. She said, "Take these slippers -- now where did they get to?..." It really sounded funny. In the afternoon, when she was about to give Dorothy the magic kiss on the forehead, she kept trying to push her hair out of the way, which also looked funny.

At Dinner Play, Mrs. Lee, one of the ladies who works in the lunch room, took some pictures. Natalie had her hair ties in pigtails, and one of them came loose, and she came and asked me to fix it. As I was doing that, Mrs. Lee said it looked so cute she wanted to take a picture of me doing that.

My little friend from Class 5, Katie, kept insisting that I turn her upside-down. When I wasn't getting pictures, that's what I was doing most of the time. Even though she could be real trouble, I liked her; It was funny the way she'd always say she wanted me to take her to America with me.

After school was our big party. We had wine and twiglets (that is one of the most horrible things I ever tasted, as bad as vegemite!) and chocolate things and other snacks.

That night I spent several hours talking with Debbie in her room. It was her last day there, and she had just finished packing. She was taking my work, and several other people's, back with her to hand in at Lock Haven. After that, about 9 or 9:30, I went out again, but there wasn't really anywhere to go.

The Sixth Week: Thursday-Saturday

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