The school I am at is very different to the one where I completed my last teaching practice. The department has 3 male teachers, approaching retirement, all the female staff, bar one, qualified in the last 2 - 3 years, straight from university. The result of this is that I feel very old! Another student started in the department today. She is 21! We were discussing Chernobyl at one point and, while I wrote an essay about it at university, most of the other teachers couldn't remember it happening, and the other student teacher wasn't even born!!
My previous school was highly organised prior to my arrival. My email was up and running, I had network access as soon as I arrived, this is not the case here, and I have yet to see schemes of work and class lists for the classes I am teaching - despite requesting these some time ago. I am sure the kinks will be worked out and I will soon feel at home and at ease. The pupils seem friendly and the classes I have are varied and present challenges and opportunities. I am slightly concerned that a couple of the teachers I am teaching for have suggested that they will take the trouble makers out of the class and teach them separately. Part of me wants to jump at this chance of getting rid of the 'bad boys,' but that feels like taking the easy way out. When I am qualified I won't have the luxury of ignoring the trouble makers!
Other challenges involve getting used to a two week timetable, lessons that are different lengths throughout the day, and a compressed timetable on Wednesdays (shorter breaks and no tutor time allowing for an early finish for students and lots of lovely after school meetings for staff).
Only 49 more days to go!