Monday, June 25, 2007

owl of learning (iv)

today was my first day of school. by the time i got home around 6:30 pm, i didn't know whether to cry, to go to bed for the night or to have a couple of margaritas. o dear! not that i am complaining - it was an experience - i just did not realise how difficult it was going to be :-)

ok - we began with a 3-hour mathematics lesson. since we will have to teach elementary maths, we have to learn it also. i was good at maths when i was at school. on the other hand, the last time i did maths in school was 27 years ago, before two-thirds of the class was born.

shouldn't be a problem. i am intelligent. i can be taught this. i can learn it. and then 15 minutes into the class i am looking at the teacher and she is speaking and i am sure she is speaking swahili and i do not speak swahili. i am ready to cry. i tell her that i think she is speaking swahili. she tries to explain again, and i am not brave enough to tell her i still do not understand. my brain shuts down, and i start building towers out of the little plastik blocks she has given us to help work out problems about eric the sheep.

ok so i am humbled because i can honestly say that i do not recall ever feeling so incompetent and incapable and frustrated and stupid and hopeless. also, i can now empathise with anyone who ever feels like that in a class i may be teaching. i told her i had never felt like this before, and she said then either i must be really brilliant or ... i hastened to make the case against being very brilliant and explained how i had always avoided anything i didn't like in school. i did not say that these were things like biology, swimming and italian. it did not seem relevant.

now i feel like i was hit by a brick. i do sudoku every night, and get quite a lot of the fiendish ones from the times she said plaintively. ah well, 'twas only the first day. i have tear stains on my shirt, but tomorrow i shall wear another shirt. and the introduction to reading torah in the afternoon was enjoyable and more in my comfort zone, so i had time to recover. a bit.

i may return to this subject. probably tomorrow evening in the middle of trying to do the maths homework!

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