Sunday, 14 October 2012

project #366 Week 41

Another week over. This was a busy one, with my trainees in the classroom for the first - and all the inherent problems of preparation, timing etc. The weather was foul on occasion, and sunny and bright on others. This week saw the Jeresy Rally- one of a very small number which races on public roads. I wouldn't have fancied doing 80MPH on narrow roads with a granite wall on either side!
Sunday 7th October 2012
I was so busy during the week, plus a ceilidh, that I forgot to go shopping in time for the dinner party I was holding in the evening. Marks and Spencer to the rescue! We don't have Sunday shopping here, but some small stores are allowed to open for a short time on a Sunday. Many of them don't bother- but the M&S franchise made sure that their food outlets on the island were small enough to meet the criteria, and they are a godsend when you need something nice, fast! The one on the coast  also maintains a nice little garden area for people to sit in and look at the sea.
Monday 8th October 2012
Today the College had a group of French environmental students arrive. They have lessons in the morning and visits in the afternoon. I had a bit of free time while my trainees were meeting their TP tutors- I am going to teach the illiterate beginners group, as I feel that they are too much of a challenge for trainee teachers, and they have been sent by our Social Security department to see if we can help them. I offered to go with the French students down to the incinerator. There were too many of them to go as one group, so we split them into two groups and took them to look at the power station too. I then went back to school to find that my group of TP students was the biggest, as most of them live in the refuge down the hill. Our bus drivers decided to go on strike over the fact that a new company is taking over, and they have all been asked to reapply for their jobs. This prevented many of the students who would have taken the bus from St Helier from coming, although a few dedicated students actually walked the 4 miles!!
Tuesday 9th October
The bus drivers are still on strike!
I dropped one of the trainees home on my way back from school. He lives near the Greve D'Azette lighthouse, which always amuses me as it is used as a bus stop too. Looking at the rocks, though, you can understand the need for the lighthouse. This is the beach behind, at ebb tide. Even more rocks will be uncovered when the tide is completely out.

Wednesday10th October
Today I was extremely grateful for the support of my PLN. I needed material to deal with my enormous class of students who cannot read and write at all. #ELTpics came to my rescue today. I'll keep a record for later and tell you what I did with them when I get time. Many of the others offered support and resources galore! I really cannot tell you how helpful this was! Another problem with this group is that many of them have an alcohol dependancy. You can just imagine how lovely my classroom smells! I had to go out to buy flowers to keep the air as sweet as possible, but eventually I needed an air-freshener. My trainees refused to come back into the room after their lessons, and the smell was pemeating the whole upstairs area. After a while I become immune to it- but others don't.
I enjoyed the #eltchat on Mindfulness- but thought it was something that most of us do already, and I wasn't sure that it needed a whole discussion on the subject.
Thurdsay 11th October
Busy, busy day. The bus strike is over and the students decided to turn up en masse. The trainees    were observing my colleagues today, so I had a late start. I did a few errands and wandered up to the college in time for the coffee break with my colleagues. I don't get a lot of time to touch base with them during a training course, as my timetable doesn't always correspond with their breaks. This is to ensure that my trainees don't get underfoot when my colleagues are pressed for time to prepare lessons. In the afternoon I remembered that I hadn't taken anything out of the freezer for dinner. When I eventually got home I suggested going to the pub for a meal. In October all our pubs and restaurants run a programme called the Tennerfest, where you can eat  a 2 or 3-course meal for £10.00. Although this is difficult for the top restaurants, and their prices have crept up, over the years, to £15.00, it is still excellent value and most people take advantage of the promotion to try out new restaurants. We went to one of our usual haunts as I love their espetadas. It is anly a five-minute-drive away, and the food is excellent.
Friday 12th October
As if my life isn't busy enough, we have a ceilidh this evening- a Friday! Normally we work on a Saturday, but this week we have two. This one is a birthday party for a 70-year-old.To add insult to injury I have to be there at 7pm!  I have put  my share of the band equipment, and my clothes,  into the boot of the car and will go there straight from feedback with the trainees. The venue is the parish hall of St Ouen, (pronounced Sint Won). We don't often play in the parish halls as they are a bit precious about their wooden floors.

Saturday 13th
Today I decided to run a file clinic and tutorial session for my trainees. I opened the college from 10-3, which I think is sufficient time to give each of them my undivided attention. On the way home I stopped at a different honesty box from the usual one and picked up some fresh flowers. They are really autumnal, and look lovely on the mantlepiece. I always enjoy flowers in front of a mirror as you can get twice as many for your money! I am Scottish after all :-) I was also interested to see the number on my view counter. It has changed super fast this time- Must be the ELTchat summary I did:-)


  1. Wow, Sue, another super busy week! Thanks so much for sharing. I hope to have a bit more free time once I am back in Abruzzo mid week, and look forward to being a bit more active than in recent weeks :-)



    1. Thanks. Not as busy as this one is going to be:-) Enjoy your return home- it's always lovely to be home after spending time away, isn't it? Thanks for dropping by

  2. Busy, indeed! Was that really the M&S garden in your second picture? Great! What a lovely plant..
    I really admire you for your work with people who cannot read or write.
    That is really back to the basics... I am looking forward to hearing what you did with them.

    Lovely flower pictures too! Mirror... mmm good tip :-)

    Have a great week, Sue!

    1. Will do a post when I have time- they're taking up a lot of it- that and using audacity to make tracks for the trainees profile recordings! This lot are quite tech-unaware, very strange!
      I've always used a mirrir for flowers, especially when I was a student and had little money- it makes them go a long way : -)

  3. Good grief Sue, how do you do it! Find time to write in the middle of all that... I am full of admiration.
    Mes respects!

    1. Hi Honey.
      Are you going to Tesol Paris?
      I hope that life will have returned to normal by then- I'm looking forward to a break in November. I thought I might start with the Paris trip and then fly out from there to somewhere warm. Still need five minutes to book though, and I'm chasing my tail a bit today. :-)