Herding (teaching)


Teaching a group of twenty five 3 year olds is a combination of 30% teaching, 10% repetitively saying “sit down” and 60% herding.

Herding a group of very slippery, wondering, daydreaming jellyfish.

Herding from assembly, to the toilet, lunch, playground (if I convince my co teacher to go) Here the children also take their shoes off in the classroom so add in another challenge of getting said 3 years olds to put on/off their own shoes, they do this pretty well, it’s impressive. Although I do see a lot of shoes on the wrong feet but hey they’re 3 years old and I’m sleep deprived.

Did I mention I’m a mama?

Although coming home to one, only one, little baby is bliss and that’s when I realise I’ve spent all day being on high alert; where is that one going to, why is such and such standing on a chair, oh nooooooooo don’t stand in the puke/pee/water/sweets/chalk.

and why oh why must a 3 year old copy his/her mate? If one walks on the wall coming back from lunch it becomes a life threatening imperative that they ALL have to do it and it takes FOREVER!

The English they have learnt this week

sit down

stand up

line up

shoes on


They also all know sleeping bunnies as it’s the only way I can achieve silence even for a few seconds! Finally, my first week of actual teaching is done, although it was only 3 days due to a Buddhist holiday tomorrow.

Only 3 days…how a full week of 5 will feel?

It has got better as the week progressed and today I had a particularly successful class using a box full of random stuff like rubber ducks, pegs, a dinosaur and monkey masks that they found completely HYSTERICAL. When I said 30% teaching I actually mean 20% of that is being a performer/clown.

Life now feels like a juggling act, but motherhood seems to feel like that. This could be why women are so good at multi tasking. I have also added a daily commute on my bicycle in raging HEAT, 3 journeys totalling 1 hr. But if you know me, you’ll know that’s standard (wink)

I am happy though, mummy Hall back in London asked today out of 10 I said 8, it makes such a HUGE difference that people are just simply nice here. They smile at you, greet you and seem genuine. My husband is also feeding me insanely delicious local food that is so spicy I cough on my bike back to school. I love my home, I adore returning to a gorgeous baby who is so excited to see me, I cherish those moments feeding her and snuggling her at night. My school seems great and co teachers are awesome, very fortunate!

I’m not so keen on my polyester work blouses because if I wasn’t a hot, sweaty mess already, add in a bike ride and an outdoor assembly. I think a kid sniffed me today, I wouldn’t be surprised if I smelled.

I’m finding my way gradually into teaching, the experience I am gaining will only serve me (It HAS To) and I love the moments when it all comes together, like today, I  had so much fun doing the hokey pokey. I’m lucky that I love children. Always have! They also look like angels when they sleep.

On that note I should sleep as my little one has no awareness of days off and lie ins.

* I googled sheep herding for an image and my first thought….nah these sheep are way too orderly to represent my kids. I searched again adding ‘crazy wondering about’ sheep.

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