During the second last week before midterm, I was in work experience at a playschool nearby the school. Unfortunately I missed the first two days due to conjunctivitis but by the time I was finished my first day on Wednesday, I felt like I'd always been there. It helped that I had attended this playschool when I was younger so I already knew the teachers who made me feel really welcome and were very helpful when learning how to interact with the kids. When I first arranged the week last summer, I almost made arrangements to do hand actions to a nursery rhyme with the children as drama is one of the directions I'd like to go in after I leave school and it was brilliant teaching the movements and then seeing the kids repeating what I was doing. Each week there's a different theme in the class where they learn about something such as a culture and the week I was in, they were learning about Chinese New Year and during the lesson, one of the teachers overheard me showing a little girl how to say 'hello' and 'goodbye' in Chinese so she got me to teach the entire class which ended up being very funny when the little kids got mixed up saying hello to us instead of goobye in Chinese at the end of the day ! One of the brilliant things I observed throughout the three days was how the kids didn't restrict themselves to playing with toy cars because they were boys or dolls because they were girls. I thought it was lovely seeing a lot of the girls dressed up in their princess dresses playing with the racing cars and the boys dressing a baby doll and arguing with the girls over who got to play kitchen or make the pirates or princess jigsaws ! The kids were obsessed with Frozen which I shouldn't have been surprised by but when half the girls come in wearing Frozen t-shirts and you're not even there twenty minutes when the teacher has started humming Let It Go and every kid in the room decides to join in, belting out every lyric, you really want to give the first kid you see with their hands over their ears and a frown on their face a cookie except there is no unimpressed kid except for you. And then the final Frozen event happened on Thursday when a Frozen book came in and I successfully kept a straight face reading the story. I really enjoyed my work experience there and the kids were so adorable and cute, but I found myself quite exhausted before the end of each day and I think three days was enough - I don't know what I would have ended up like if I'd been in the full week. I really love children and being around them, but I don't think that playschool teaching is an area I'd be interested in when I leave school !
Our second group of modules ended the week before midterm and unlike the first group, I wasn't really disappointed that they were ending since Chinese was the only class I really enjoyed. Every language I do I usually develop a huge interest in and I know that I'll find it difficult to choose between French and Japanese when leaving cert subject choosing comes around so Chinese being my favourite out of the three came as no surprise ! A lot of people found it difficult doing both Japanese and Chinese each week but I didn't mind too much because as much as the basic language wasn't the easiest to understand, we weren't learning it for tests or anything and we definitely did more about the culture than the vocabulary so there wasn't any pressure to pick up the phrases. My favourite parts of the module was learning how to count in the language, picking up the everyday greetings which I then ended teaching to the playschool class, like I mentioned earlier and of course eating chow mein noodles, rice and spring rolls - which I unfortunately forgot to photograph - with chopsticks in our second last class. Considering I have the coordination of beanbag, I picked up the way of holding chopsticks properly despite never using them before, although I put this down to holding them the odd way I hold a pen and speaking of bad coordination, we won't discuss the paper lantern I made on the last day. It's the ugly duckling one in the Japanese room if anyone's interested !
The other two modules I did were Prezi and Scratch - I wouldn't recommend doing both in the same group of modules to anyone as being on a computer for six classes in one day drains you and can strain your eyes quite a bit, and that's coming from someone who practically lives on their laptop at home ! Scratch was my favourite out of the two. Even though I found it a bit slow at times and wish we had done more in it, our teacher made the three classes a week very enjoyable and gave us a lot of freedom when creating mini games and the likes such as the one before Christmas here and the quizzes we partially made in groups at the end of the module. I didn't really enjoy Prezi at all as we didn't learn much over the thirteen weeks and although I had fun spending lots of classes researching information on my favourite online magazine Rookie or the makeup of the twentieth century for projects, it did become a little tedious after a while.