Monday, 16 September 2013

Pre-First Story

The first session has felt like a long time coming, and it all kicks off tomorrow.

Back in April, I think it was, Emma and Kate asked if I would take over as First Story Teacher (even though I am a Librarian). I have loved having First Story hosted in the Library, and tried to assist where possible with providing resources and encouragement, but had kept to a safe distance. Unfortunately, it seemed I had not gone unnoticed.

With no access to emails over the summer break (due to some technical complications across school), Kate and I struggled to get everything sorted before the start of term, so our first couple of days were spent manically running around trying to get the message out to students that FIRST STORY IS RESUMING SOON! I gate-crashed assemblies and tutor times, made announcements in briefing, and basically threw letters at student to attract attention.

Kate is worried we might struggle to get enough kids together, but I am more optimistic. We have two groups for First Story – a lunch time group with year eight and nine students, and an after school group with GCSE and A-Level students. The latter takes place in the Library, with the former in an English classroom. Since the Library is full of kids at lunch time, I cannot attend the lower school session, though hope that can change with some support from other staff.

One of the main challenges of hosting First Story in the Library is that the space has to be open to all students until 4pm for homework catch up. Most kids use the Library for the right reasons and in the right ways, but there are always exceptions – some play games, which is fine unless they are disrupting others. So I tend to spend a good chunk of time having to keep the non-First Story kids quiet. Last year, this was the reason I managed to keep my distance, but now, I will have to find new ways to ensure both the homework catch up and creative writing students are dealt with fairly.

Wish me luck!

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