Welcome Friends! I hope you enjoy tasting these teaching and travel tidbits.
Come along with me as I attempt to navigate my way through a new country, school system, and life for a year!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Home in Leigh Village

Views from cupola above my room
It's my 4th day here in the UK and I'm beginning to know my way around a bit.  I'm very happy with my home at Waterworks House.  I went up in the cupola this morning a snapped a few photos of the views.  As I've wandered around the village I've met some very nice people, especially at the Fleur de Lis.  Now when I walk by there people sitting at the tables out front call me over for a chat.  Today they were looking on the internet to see what song was #1 in the UK on the day you were born.  Mine was "Diana" by Paul Anka, although they all seemed to think I was premature and it should have been the following hit, "Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis.  They've agreed that when they see me on the street they'll start singing "Great Balls of Fire" to me and I have to sing their songs which range from "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" to "Livin' La Vida Loca".  Since I've pretty much got Leigh figured out, (there really isn't that much to figure out--the pub, the tiny grocery store, the church, the Village Green, and the train station pretty much cover it) I've expanded my horizons by taking the train to Tunbridge Wells.  It's a bigger town with lots of cute shops especially in an area called The Pantiles.  I had been warned by several people that it's impossible to find Mexican food in the UK, but I had Chicken Cilantros at a place called Zapatas, which was quite good.

Garden Path at my new Home

My room is under the cupola on the left

The Fleur de Lis

 Today was my first day working at school.  Louise, who taught Year 1 last year, picked me up and drove me to Stocks Green (which I though had been named for a stockyard or something, but actually it's on the green where the "stocks", those things criminals had to put their heads and hands through, were located in the "days of yore").  She spent hours going over the lesson plans for the autumn term.  Oh my goodness!!!!!  They are so, so, so complicated!!!  My head was absolutely spinning!  Every hour is planned in great detail and evaluated, and the plans are turned in to the head teacher.  I've never in my career turned in my lesson plans!  My yearly planbook at home is about 1/10 as thick as the planbook for autumn term here (and that is only one of 6 terms for the year).  I'm a little nervous about how I'm going to pull this off.  The curriculum is much more like our first grade than our kindergarten at home, however the students are kindergarten age.  They've all been to Reception Class at age 4, so I've been assured they can handle it.  I'm just not so sure about me.  All the staff is really great and supportive, so I'm sure they will help me muddle through.  One of my teacher's aides, (I have 2, one that comes on Monday-Wednesday and the other on Thursday and Friday mornings) helped my put background paper on the 5 display boards in my classroom, as after the morning I really couldn't do anything that took much brain power.  The display boards are all meant to be interactive and changed about every 6 weeks.  I'm sure going to learn a lot this year!


  1. Glad to hear you are settling in, Cindy! Your area looks beautiful and the people sound so friendly. What a nice place to be. The lesson planning required at your school sure does sound intense! Hang in there with it all. :)

  2. Reading about your village and looking at the pictures reminds me of Jaki's posts when she was in Ireland. It all looks and sounds idyllic--well, until you start talking about the curriculum and lesson plans! Wow! Sounds like you might be feeling like a young teacher all over again! But I know you can do it, and those children and parents will love you! If you need letters of recommendation, let us know! ;-)


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