Monday, May 19, 2008

Too old for this??

I've always quite enjoyed disruption in my school day. Others bemoan interruptions to their chemistry classes, their routines. Not I. I welcome little diversions in the order of the school day. Bring on the fire drill! It's a chance to get out in the fresh air and have a break. I like a bit of excitement, like the Year 12 coordinator interrupting my class twice today. It's a different face. Someone else to banter with.

So when the newish principal decided we would alter the arrangement of the school day I thought, what the hey? I've always worked in schools with six 48 - 50 minute periods per day. Change would be good; as good as a holiday.

So this altered timetable was more or less rushed through after about six months serious planning last year. Now it's careful what you wish for.

The new day is possibly killing me. I can feel the future years dropping from my life span. This is the thing. The periods are seventy five minutes long. That's four seventy five minute periods per day. Yes, the students are well and truly getting their 300 minutes of tuition each day, and there's less movement around the school and blah, blah, blah. But when one has first 'three on' it's hell on wheels, especially when one gets an emergency yard duty thrown into the mix, as I did today, and as frequently happens. Today it was morning assembly, Advance Australia Fair and all that, then into class for a 9.05 start. Double year 8, recess yard duty, year 12 after recess, and no break until 1.15. It's crippling me. After lunch I find it difficult to use my spare period effectively because I have that hit-over-the -head-with-a-housebrick feeling. Pity my colleagues with their four-on days. Happily, I'm spared that.

And I've got to do it all over again tomorrow morning.

The other problem is extras. Under the old system, one would rarely get an extra on a five on day. Now, however, most people have an average three periods a day, so when they get an extra, it's a full on day. And seventy five minutes is a long time to be taking an extra.

Oh for some real forward planning.


SoulCradler said...

What a funny thing perspective is. I too teach in a school with 75 minute periods, but always have. I sometimes wonder how I would handle 50 minute periods with 6 different classes in one day! It's tough when you have one class twice in the same day, as happens to me with year 7, but I like it with the senior classes. The only other thing is that a period or day missed has greater impacts. Good luck, I hope that you get used to it! :-)

Anne Mitchell said...


My previous school introduced 75 minute lessons in the year before I left (last year) and I hated them.

I won't share with you the myriad reasons now because I've been playing on the net for too long this afternoon and I've got to do some 'real' work before tea. Suffice to say that students (even seniors) cannot concentrate for longer than an hour at a time.


Anne Mitchell