Frank Thoms

My Oxfordshire Diary (2)

May 28, 2023 by Frank Thoms

Most of us were beside ourselves wondering how we will cope. My class list was 28 but later reached 34. But on that first day, Barrie was the most calm. He allowed that this is what we have to work with and will do it. Frankly, we had no choice.

By the end of our first full week, I wrote in my diary about plethora of issues and concerns. From seeing lots of children ‘messing about,’ whether to be more directive or not with children, to colleagues having different expectations, to the sudden large numbers of children, whether my ‘modular box’ idea had merit, how to keep track of children’s work, to the use of cards to stimulate work…

I was in deep. And loving it!

I, the lone American, persisting reaching my children. We had no breaks; coffee came to us mid-morning. Six hours a day with lunch in-between. Then Barrie asked me to supervise soccer right after lunch. You're kidding, I asked myself. But Barrie said it was important. So I did.

By the time I walked home after 4:00 to my thatched cottage in my village, Little Ducklington, adjacent to our school in the town, Witney, I was exhausted. But I have to say exhilarated. I believed I was in on something wonderful.