Saturday, 29 September 2012

Project #366 Week 39

This was the last week of the first course, and I spent it marking, and preparing for the next one. Bed was a distant luxury and M going to Scotland was a wise decision on his part. The weather this week was fine, although it sounds like it was very wild and woolly in parts of the mainland. It still isn't really cold, and I'm not yet wearing any heavy clothes, or even a coat, although it is starting to get nippy at night.

Sunday 23rd September 2012
Cairis was busy finishing off her paperwork, so I got to grips with some housework, and spent the rest of the time fielding phone calls and emails from my trainees. I picked up some flowers from the little stall I always go to on a Sunday  and we bought some bread from the Garden centre, and had it with some home-made soup. M's friend was working on his boat at low tide. Here is Jigsaw sitting in the mud. No wonder Mike is in bare feet:-)
Monday 24th
Today was the day that the trainees handed in their learner profiles. The profilees were sad that their time in the spotlight had come to an end. Cairis and Josh had  been working with Swiss girls, who gave them each a Lindt chocolate as a thank you for their work. The trainees  made copies of  their profiles for their students, which will help them in the future.

Tuesday 25th
I had a free 5 minutes today! Not a lot! I decided to have a quick look to see if there were any comments on here. I was excited to see that I had exactly 5000 views on the counter. By the time I had organised my camera to photo the detail for posterity, it had changed to 5001 :-)

Wednesday 26th
The moderator arrived today, so I picked him up from the airport and dropped him down to his hotel in the village. Imagine my surprise to see a robot made of recyclede elecrical appliances outside the Parish Hall. It was made by a local artist to highlight the fact that we should be doing more recycling, and was outside to encourage locals to bring their rubbish along. I belive that there is going to be the same thing in the other parishes.

Thursday 27th
My trainees were delighted to have handed everything in for marking, and were sitting at rest in their room. I snapped a couple of them- checking their social media, I think, for the first time in days :-) while the other two were chilling!. I don't know where everyone else was at that point.

Friday 28th
Nice piece of Jersey Granite

Poor Kit. Not only did he have to be moderated, he was also releasing an album in the evening. Normally we all go out for dinner after the party we lay on for our TP students. Kit suggested that we all go down to watch the album launch, and then eat together in town. My own band also decided to go down to listen, and, as a result of the posters Kit had placed around the school, many of the students turned up too. I felt as if  the different parts of my life were colliding! The band is a Jerriais band called Les Badlabecques, which means The Chatterboxes. They were veryy good, and many people turned out to listen to them. They performed outside the States Chambers, where our government meets, and chose the date to celebrate the Corn Riots of the 18th Century, which led to Jersey getting some degree of democracy.

Saturday 29th
Crowds out to watch the Dragon Boat race

M came home yesterday, but he wasn't planning on hanging around :-) His friend had asked him if he would helm his big boat for a race to Granville, in Normandy. When I dropped him down to the harbour it was very busy. The  French ferry was in, boats were preparing for the race, and there was a dragon boat race about to start. This takes place every year, and companies put forward a team to take part. All the money is raised for Jersey Hospice. Last year they made £40,000. I finished the day playing music at a ceilidh wedding for one of the Jersey Lilies. She got married in the bay, with a full moon overhead. It was magical!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Project #366 Week 38

Well, here goes for the end of another week. This one was so busy that something had to give! Unfortunately, the sacrifice was my time, which meant that I had to bow out of the course I was trying to do myself:-) Apologies to everyone else. Never mind! At some point I'll have the opportunity to do something similar again- and have the time to devote to it :-)
Sunday 16th September

Gorey beach looking South

Gorey Promenade
Today was a busy one -  My house was slowly turning into a disaster area with all the work I've been doing leaving me no time for boring things like housework. M was still sailing in the Regatta, and Cairis was very busy doing the paperwork for the course :-). I decided to pop down to Gorey, a village on the East coast, to visit a friend who had been in hospital. He lives on the coast road with a view over the promenade gardens and Mont Orgeuil Castle which overlooks the harbour. After procrastinating over a coffee, I headed back and tidied up:-)
 Monday 17th
Today was a chance for me to use my new gadget. I've been carrying it around in my bag and had forgotten it was there. It is a little curl of rubber to use as a door stop. My trainees were in and out today, and as we are upstairs and I didn't want to disturb the other classes, it was the perfect way to hold back the big fire door at the end of the corridor. Our room is the one at the back, as it's the biggest room in the building, and perfect for training purposes.
Tuesday 18th
I was running late today and not very pleased when I got to work to find that the minibus was parked in my usual space. The driver normally takes the bus up into the corner and out of the way, leaving one small space which I have adopted :-)

Wednesday 19th
 The weather has been beautiful this week, although decidedly cooler in the evenings.  I am enjoying the leaves on the tree outside the window slowly change colour. It will soon be glorious! Tonight the sky was spectacular, both from the front and the back of the house.
Thursday 20th
 My husband knows me too well. Next week there are not enough hours in the day for everything I want to do. He informed me that he was going to go to the mainland to visit his family. He actually has more holiday time than I do, so it's a good idea for him to use some up. Mine will revolve around TESOL France, or some other conference :-)
Today one of my trainees decided to do a very suggestopedic lesson, which involved crossing a crocodile infested swamp. This was all in aid of practising the Prepositions of Direction the beginners class had been learning. They thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think that it helped them retain some of the info.
Friday 21st
 TGIF! today was pay day too! I had time for lunch, for a change, so I popped up to the local supermarket cafe. The Bulgarian waiter told me that he was coming to my classes in October and then proceeded to make me a free coffee :-) That was a nice touch. The trainees have now taught for 6 hours each, with more to go next week. It has been nice to see their development each lesson, and soon they will be out in the big wide world looking for work. Some of them already know where they are going and have jobs to go to. The picture that will remain in my head for this group is this teapot. They drink tea and coffee non-stop, especially fruity and green tea blends!
Saturday 22nd
This is a catching up and finishing everything weekend. I marked all the Language Awareness tests, which everyone passed :-) and then had a look at their collaborative tasks on the wiki. I am now free to sort out this blog, do some cooking and cleaning and curl up by the fire. Yes- I've bitten the bullet and ordered in the coal for the winter. I already had a large basket of pinecones too, so this evening I am sitting by the first fire of the cooler days. I don't want to turn on the central heating yet- gas is so expensive and it is not really cold. The flickering flames of the fire are psychologically soothing. I also managed to catch up with a couple of interesting things online: The BESIG people did a webinar on copyright, and in the morning there were a couple of interesting sessions in Turkey for aPLaNet.


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Project #366 Week 37

Every morning has started with drizzle, making everyone think that the weather is turning autumnal, but it has brightened up by lunchtime and been warm and sunny. Still, I think the weather is on the turn. It's still in the 20s, but only just.

Sunday 9th September 2012


Final day of the regatta. Today there was enough wind to go sailing, and M finished, at the end of the day, with a second prize. Not bad considering that he went swimming yesterday instead. I drove him down to the quay so that I could get a look at Le Marite. She is the last 3-masted  fishing boat in the French fleet, and has been massively renovated. 
Monday 10th September
Today our guinea pigs will arrive for teaching practice sessions. My fellow TP tutors and I are going to teach them, to do a diagnostic lesson for the trainees. At the moment I don't know how many, what level or where they come from! I'm going to eat my lunch by the beach in St Brelade's in order to have some quiet time before the chaos.
Update- We had 70 students,  mostly from Portugal and Eastern Europe, although there were a few Western Europeans, and a couple of Thais and Philippinos. We managed to make some excellent sized TP classes, with some beginners, elementary, pre/intermediate and upper int students. That will give the trainees some good practice at the different levels:-)
Tuesday 11th
I went to the supermarket this morning to pick up some milk. We have a rota system on the course and today is my turn. I had to get my camera out because I couldn't believe my eyes. Talk about wishing one's life away. Is this the earliest sign of the big C word ever? I was surprised and dismayed in equal parts.
My trainees did well for their first session. We don't have any weak trainees- including my daughter, thank goodness :-)
I have quite a lot of things to do this evening, including getting to grips with the course Gavin Dudeney is running on Digital Literacies. It's probably not a brilliant time to do a course, in the middle of mine, but I will try to make time for it, as it is something I'm interested in.
Wednesday 12th
 These are the first Gladioli of the season. The ones I found were almost black, but they are opening up as a dark, velvety red. As you can see, we still  have the scaffolding which they promised to take away last week! A busy day today, quite wet and windy in the morning. In the evening M and I went out to pick up a birthday present for Cairis. I had to wait until she went to bed in order to dress the room and table, and to wrap the presents. This was late, as she was writing her self evaluation of her lesson, and preparing for her next lesson.
Thursday 13th
Cairis's birthday and the Battle of Britain air display. The college is on the flight path from the airport to the bay. You can't hear yourself think, so we have cancelled the lessons for this afternoon, and given the trainees some catch-up time. I offered to do lunch for everyone, as it is Cairis's birthday. She loves sushi, so I ordered some from the local deli. We were eating it in the lunch room, with a handful of elderly Japanese students at the next table. They were looking longingly at our food, and sadly at their sandwiches and fruit, so we shared with them. Much bowing ensued:-)
We dashed down the hill at four O'clock, to watch the end of the air display. We were in time to see a few enormous helicopters, and then, the stars of the show- the Red Arrows. The sky was cloudfree and the sea was a beautiful blue. The bay makes a natural ampitheatre for the show, which was watched by hundreds of people all around the coast. We were also treated to a view of le Marite leaving the harbour in St Helier, on the other side of the bay. She had her sails raised and looked like an elegant vessel from times past.
Friday 14th
 The end of the week. The students have all turned up regularly, and the trainees have done a good job of teaching them at the different levels. I take my hat off to the group who had the beginners class. It is difficult, even for experienced teachers, to have a class of students with a spiky profile, and they coped surprisingly well. One of the Japanese students from the main college made a birthday card on Photoshop for Cairis to say thank you for the Sushi :-)
When I got home, I was delighted to see that the scaffolding had been taken down at last. Our house is not quite finished, as there are bare patches where the pillars were placed, but I expect it will be finished on Monday . Our neighbours like it so much that they are going to paint theirs the same !
Saturday 15th
I had to go in to work for a few hours. I promised my trainees the chance to get in to photocopy or prepare lessons without getting under the feet of the main school teachers. I returned to find everyone at home working flat out- Cairis was doing her Learner Profile and M was preparing a Money Laundering prezi for his trainee accountants at the office.They look like a pair of bookends, although they were actually working in adjacent rooms :-)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Project #366 Week 36

First week of the CertTESOL course has gone well. The weather has meant that the trainees have bonded while sitting outside in the sunshine during their breaks. It has got warmer and warmer as the week has progressed :-)

Sunday 2nd September 2012
Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork! I really wish I could do a totally paperless course, but the Trinity moderator would have a few words to say about that, I'm sure. On a walk I spotted some Jersey Lilies. They are beautiful flowers, and they have no leaves. They stand majestic on long stems of dark red, and smell heavenly. While Out, I was interested to see a trail from a plane which looked as if it was flying straight up into the sky
Monday 3rd September

Nice group, all looking like they will gel well. When Nell comes in to do the Unknown language, which is actually Korean, much to Cairis's delight, I am free to go off on my own. As I made it the session before lunch I have plenty of time to go off for a walk. Today I started by walking down to the village to buy some lunch in the Deli. They are now selling Guy and David's sandwiches and salads :-) I walked down the old railway walk, and was lucky not to be mown down by a family with 5 small kids on push-bikes! The Parish hall is looking particularly lovely, all decorated in flowers. The other side of the road, the harbour, is at low tide and the boats look like they are sitting in deep mud!

Tuesday 4th
Today I picked up my lunch and ventured further afield. I drove up the hill towards the headland at Portelet, and parked to eat my lunch in peace. I was right next to a bank of wild blackberries, which are not quite ready for picking.

The view from up there is lovely. The island in the bay is known as Janvrin's tomb. The story goes that Captain Janvrin and his crew were returning home from a long sea trip, but they had the plague on board and the islanders wouldn't let them land.They holed up on the island, until one by one they succumbed- and died.
Wednesday 5th
Surf's Up!

Today I drove round to the West coast- it's only a short drive from the college. There were surfers in the water and the sky and sea were beautifully clean and clear. I took this shot of a surfer making his way back to the car. His dogs were having fun too:-) This was at the northern end of the bay of St Ouen, a place called L'Etacq. I decided to eat my sandwich on a bench near the beach. I'm really enjoying the timetable this week :-) Normally these lessons are in the final afternoon spot, and I don't do anything except go home.

Thursday 6th
Sand dunes
Round tower
 Slight change to my plan this morning. I drove Cairis in, planning to do some paperwork, and discovered that one of my colleagues was sick and that changing around the classes was going to mess up my trainees. I had organised some visits to my own colleagues' classes and the trainees were going to observe their lessons. I had to offer to teach, in order to not to have too many changes- well, I was free, and I had previously taught that particular private student, who likes the unplugged approach,- so not too difficult, all-in-all. After the lesson I escaped, in case they asked me to do another one. I have really valued my free time in the middle of the day this week. I went back to St. Ouen, but this time to the southern end, La Pulente. On one side of the road are sand dunes, on the other- sea. On the horizon I could see Guernsey, although my camera is not powerful enough to show it :-(  This time I  found a very beady-eyed seagull on the wall by the beach- a better place than the centre of town!
Friday 7th
Today I had to go down to the East of the island to organise the set up for tomorrow. We are going to supply the music for the Grouville Church Fete. Les Pres Manor is going to be open to the public for the first time in 40 years! The building has been there in some form or another since the 11th century, but it is now a mellow pink granite, with a higgledy-piggledy inside, which has been added to over the centuries. I really love the gardens and the pond at the bottom has both white and black swans.
 Saturday 8th September
No work today, but that doesn't mean that I can loaf around:-). I dropped Malcolm down to the boat so that he could take part in the Regatta. I returned to make my teaching roster, and when Cairis surfaced we drove down to Les Pres in time to open the fete. As most of our musicians are off-island I was slightly concerned about who would turn out to play. I needn't have worried as we had plenty of people. The music was piped round the fete and we were asked to play for longer as the next group had sent their apologies. We were given vouchers for tea and cakes and wandered up to the far end of the garden to the tea stall, and then had a look at some of the other ones.
All-in -all, a nice week ! We finished early enough on Friday to go down to the pub, which is always a good team-bonding experience. My trainees are  lovely, and they all did well during their first week. If the weather continues as it is I'll be happy, but my poor M is a bit disgruntled because there was not enough wind for a good race, and the boats just drifted around the bay, so he and the others abandoned the race and had a swim in the sea instead- not the end of the world exactly:-). Looking forward to the return of #ELTChat next week. I'll be able to watch the trainees teach properly, except on Thursday when we'll be doing something else- watch this space :-)