It was for two assignments this week, one being a four-hour assignment in Ashfield, and another for a 7.45 hour assignment in Leichhardt.
I found out that apparently these days, lunch breaks are no longer paid for even as a permanent staff. But two to three years ago, that was possibly still possible before the economic crises, I guess?
So how did the work go?
For both assignments, I was working with children in the two to three years age group. It was a surprise for me as I expected either pre-school age, or nursery age group for both, but it came down to be of the same age group for both assignments.
I was informed by my agent that my performance was marvellous in the first centre. In the second centre, the centre's permanent staff also informed that she was really happy that I was able to follow her "hints" and "directions", hence management of the class was though tiring, we were able to co-operate and work well together as a team.
I really have to state that after being away from the childcare work for almost 18 months, I am quite happy to see that my skills have not deteriorated that much.
PREPARATION FOR TEACHING RELIEF WORK
Of course, the fact that I kept notes during my one year as a casual relief staff helped a lot. Re-reading my written notes (which I kept in an notebook) helped me to refresh my mind on
- classroom management skills.
- the ability to work well with other centre support staff in managing the children's behaviour.
- appropriate age related skills
- preparing in my mind to prepare the activities relevant to each age group
- spacing my strength and energy to work with children
- taking care of my voice when working with children.
Maintaining My Voice
At the end of my second assignment with the preschool children, (2-3 year olds), I realised that I almost had no voice left. So indeed, drinking a lot of water, my larynx moisturised, and especially in the winter, was of utmost importance to any teacher. Also, I had to continually reapply lip gloss, as it just became terribly dry and cracked.