I turned up to a school yesterday for the first of my Spring term classes and had two delightful surprises.
1) There were 25 children for me to teach, with no teaching assistants. I usually feel 20 is an absolute maximum. They asked if I could take the reserve child as well, since he’d turned up. Since he was there waiting for my answer, I couldn’t really decline.
2) The students ranged from 7 to 11. During those years, you can see dramatic differences in ability. The danger is that if the folds are simple enough for the youngest, they are uninspiring for the oldest and vice versa. I tackled it by arranging each table with two elder children (thankfully, there were enough to go round), so that they could help the younger ones. This added responsibility made the class more enjoyable for them.
In the end, we completed a couple of simple models and the standards of behaviour were exceptionally high. Next week I’ll be better prepared, but it really isn’t an ideal way to run a class! If you have any bright ideas, do share them!