Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Experiences

The past couple months I've been a substitute teacher (or been "playing teacher" as I call it) a few days a week at the local school. I've done everything from Norwegian and Maths to cooking and PE and I'm more convinced than ever that I'll never want to a teacher. Not that I ever thought I would.

It's not that I don't like it - some days are great; nice kids, having fun. Other days... well, take yesterday; four hours with seven years old yelling, followed by two hours in the computer room with ten year olds (fun actually), then one hour with a bunch of eight year olds; one of which would not surprise me if he told me he was raised by a bunch of monkeys. Or teenage boys. Can one get sexually harassed by an eight year old?

I'd never have the patience for that kind of job.

But all in all - I like it. It's something new, I love being stressed and sure get enough of that when I'm there; I never know what I'm gonna be doing until five minutes before I have to do it... if I'm lucky. I've wanted to do something like this for a while; observing the educational system from behind the scenes in a country first hand, especially a country as bound to its ideals of streamlining everything as this one, is fascinating. And I'm bound to come out of it with new experiences - perhaps I'll even learn something!

One thing I do find especially amusing is life in the teacher's lounge. Seeing what the teachers really do in there, I think all kids wonder about that. Lunch conversations are interesting and the people are nice. It's especially interesting talking to others my age, often coming in from the outside, giving their perspectives on things and the town. Conversation turns to people you know and before you know it you have learned quite a few new things about them.

It's fascinating to see someone you halfway know through another person's eyes. It can be different from your own ideas, different from the impressions acquaintances give off. Or exactly the same, only you weren't looking. Little bits of new information, constantly acquired, to make the picture more whole, fill in the blanks, making you see things a little more clearly. Or perhaps it just gets more confusing.

People do always tend to talk more about people's bad qualities than about the good ones. Perhaps there's a reason for that.

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