Let me preface with the fact that I always loved the preparation for the first day of school. All the new school supplies, all the new books, fantastic. The first day of school for me was then always a mixture of being nervous and super excited. This was always as a student, I have never had to stand in front of a class and teach.
For my host brother, the first day of school seemed to be for him what it had been for me. New supplies, books and clothes were purchased and he seemed restless the day before. I, on the other hand, had no real firm feelings about any of it, mostly because I had absolutely no information regarding what I was doing or when. I knew I was supposed to teach 30 hours a week and grades 1-6, and this was information from the program. The only reason I knew school started tomorrow was because I have a host brother who goes to the same school and the only reason I know where the school is, is because it is across the street from where I live. I was just hoping that there would be more information for me when I was physically in the school with the teachers.
From what I have learned from past volunteers about teacher and school organization, I should never have made assumptions. Turns out the teacher I was supposed to be working with quit the day before. Yes, she quit the day before school started, leaving an entire grade level without a lead teacher and the school without a 1st-6th grade English teacher. Leaving me on my first day to tag along with the 7th-12th grade English teacher, whom I will probably be working with.
The 7th-12th grade English teacher was very nice and showed me around the two-story school and explained what rooms were for which classes. She then took me into the teacher’s lounge where we looked at the schedule for today. Only the schedule for today. The actual Georgian teachers do not know what their schedule will be tomorrow. No one seems at all perturbed by this fact. Luckily they did seem upset about the 1st-6th grade English teacher quitting unexpectedly. It is good to know something like that is cross-culturally frowned upon.
I had only one class on the schedule and it could not take place due to lack of teacher, so the 7th-12th grade English teacher took me into a few random classes and introduced me to the students. This was slightly confusing because another teacher was supposed to be scheduled for those times and those students, but they seemed to be absent.
A few hours later I was told the day was over and I could go home and come back tomorrow at 9am to figure out Friday’s schedule.
We shall see what tomorrow brings.