Day 5: Preparation Day for Tomorrow

Today was a big day for the two teachers that I am working with in terms of preparation.  Just like at home when teachers get observed or more importantly when an official comes to observe and inspect the curriculum, content, and overall atmosphere in the department of choice, so do Irish schools.  Tomorrow marks one of the important days to be observed for the math department - an inspector is coming for the day tomorrow and will observing all the math teachers in the school.  Let's just say the tension and anxiety is starting to heat up!

Anyways, during the day I was given much time to observe and help any students who needed some guidance on the questions and problems they were working on in the classroom.  Also, I was able to work with a group of students during lunch who organized their lunch period as a time to play and enjoy the game of basketball.  The prior day I mentioned to the staff that I have a minor in coaching and they asked for help and assistance in most sports.  So, as a result today was a great day to see what the students knew sport wise.

After walking down to the court or gym near the boys school, I was greeted by about 20 some students.  They all seemed eager to play basketball and were full of energy.  After giving them some time to run around and shoot the ball, I had them come together and meet in a semi-circle.  Knowing that this was one of the first official meets for playing basketball, I had the students understand a couple things about the basketball - why there were stripes, why did the seems meet at the end and so forth.  This led into me teaching them the correct way to shoot a basketball.  I had the students stand up with their hands raised facing outward in front of them.  Then I explained the concept of dominant hand and non-dominant hand.  From there, the students then took their non-dominant hand and "turned" it inward to the body somewhat holding something in mid air.  Finally, I passed around the set of basketballs to the students and they finally got the picture of how to truly shoot.  Hopefully next time I can leave off there and start to finish the actual shooting process and begin fundamental skills.

After finishing up basketball practice, I then went back to the staff room to type up the rest of the observations that I had conducted throughout the day.  Finally, 15.45 rolled around the school day was done.  Before heading home, my roommate and I walked all the way down to the local Convenient store to add more money to our LEAP cards.  We discovered the place had an ATM so if for any reason we could withdraw money from there.  Afterwards, we walked back to the house and just chilled until dinner was served.

Dinner comprised of rice and mixture of meat and vegetables - it was so delicious.  Catherine also prepared an "experiment" dish she was trying - not sure what to call it yet but John said it correctly - it seemed like something you would serve during the holidays more specifically during Thanksgiving (was a great treat!!).  After dinner, we sat and talked amongst the host family for a bit.  Our friends were busy for the night so our possible trip to Delaney's Pub would have to wait for another day.  No worry, the host family easily "entertained" us - from the simple conversations about school and Dublin to the daughter showing us the two young hamsters the family has.  The two boys were very busy tonight, but Jordan was kind enough to share his phone as a way to access something similar to our NETFLIX showing capabilities (this was the big entertainer) - Ron and Catherine are Walking Dead fans so they had recorded the sixth episode, the one I missed due to traveling.  They set us up in the front room where we were able to watch the entire episode on the big screen (I'll save the discussion about the episode to another day...but...).

Overall, the day was fairly great with some surprises and some great learning experiences in and outside the classroom.  Tomorrow is the big day for the teachers as the inspector will be observing all the math teachers at Sancta Maria College.  Tomorrow is a short day for the school (done around 13.00 every Friday) which means a long day and night of exploring.  Cannot wait for it!