Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"I Change Nappies Full-Time"

These last few days have been lots of fun + exhausting + a big learning curve. I started my job as a teaching assistant two days ago, and already I have gained so much respect for teachers and the work they put in both during class and after hours. (That's not to say I didn't respect them prior though.) Particularly my first day, I felt absolutely knackered by the end of it. I am currently working in a Foundation class of 26 five and six year olds alongside a teacher, another teaching assistant and a teacher support. The difference between the assistant and support role is that the latter helps a specific child with learning difficulties and the former helps more generally with all of the children. The students are honestly so gorgeous, though their occasional misbehaviour and general volume can be at times, frustrating. My role so far has consisted of helping students with their worksheets, doing one-on-one reading tests, going to specialist classes with them like languages, music and P.E., and more menial tasks like marking, putting things in folders, photocopying, laminating, etc. While it is an international school I am working at and students and staff come from all over the world, my class mainly has students from middle eastern countries. About four of the 26 come from other parts such as Germany, China, South Africa and New Zealand, but most students home countries are relatively nearby. The trickiest thing for me so far has been remembering all their names (particularly as most are not western names their pronunciations are unfamiliar to me), but I am slowly getting there.

The craziest thing I heard, when I was talking to another teacher in the staff room about Kindergarten, was that one staff member is employed as a full-time nappy changer - a.k.a the sole purpose of their job is to change soiled nappies, 5 hours a day. I secretly found this both hilarious and depressing at the same time. What kind of person goes for that kind of job? And what would that look like on a CV? In what other job could you ever transfer those skills????

Full-Time Nappy Changer, 2013-2016
3 years experience with urine and faeces, talcum powder usage, 
and keeping squirmy toddlers still for 30 seconds at a time.

To their credit though, there are 33 Kindergarteners enrolled at the school and I suppose it is too much to ask the KG teachers to teach and maintain clean nappies for the kids. ANYWAY, enough about that. I can't believe I wrote a paragraph of waffle on this subject.

Besides that, I bought myself a (VERY beautiful) acoustic guitar for 42BD, which is around 170NZD. Out of curiosity, I looked up how much the same model would cost me in New Zealand, and it turns out I've saved about $110 by buying it here. (Now the task will just be getting in back safely when I return home!)

Thanks for reading,


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